STONEWALL Veterans' Association
Charter Stonewall Member of the S.V.A.
Secretary (1969 - 1982)
Sonia Jane makes a
'princess' appearance -- even as a teenager!
Sonia Attkiss, Cousin Howie and Cousin Adrienne
Note: Extravagant Sonia displayed all the traits of a
[Photo courtesy of Howie House]
Pre-Stonewall vets Sonia Attkiss and Adrienne Seiden in High School
Doesn't the third girl look like Barbra
Streisand? Duh! I'm verklempt!
It is Barbra already! This is
when they lived in Brooklyn by Sunset Park.
[Photo by Max Attkiss]
Surely, with the open-slit gown, teased and dyed hair, the lacenet
stockings, the arm coverings, the crystal-like dangle earrings, the
crown hairpin and the air kiss -- all at only 16 years old -- were
all early and clear signs that, at the very least, Sonia Jane Attkiss would
fag-hag at least and perceived as a drag-queen at most! Take
another look at the happy pic above and compare Sonia's
racy outfit versus the other girls. Sonia was always proudly
'different from the rest'. Ironically, these teenage
photographs of Sonia are forerunners to her being chosen five years
later at The STONEWALL Club in 1969 as "Miss Stonewall"!
Sonia Jane Attkiss
was born on November 5th and raised in
Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York. Her ultra-liberal parents
Helen and Max Attkiss, had their house in
an Orthodox Jewish
community with older son Joel Attkiss
(also known as Robert Attkiss) and younger daughter
low-keyed Gay son moved to Gay-friendly Amsterdam soon after the
Stonewall Era. The Attkisses were always very understanding,
tolerant and supportive of Sonia's very
un-orthodox lifestyle. Sonia's 'in-the-life' centered around illegal Gay bars and unauthorized after-hour clubs!
It also spilled over back to the neighborhood. Many times
over the years, Sonia Jane brought home 'live' souveniers from the
Gay and "after-hour" clubs. These included several Puerto Rican
girls and a few Black dykes who were assumed as men by Sonia's parents
and most everyone else! One, named Troy, wore a man's
fashionable derby, used a gentleman's walking cane and had a
convincing painted mustache. All this was in the heart of an
Orthodox Jewish community in Borough Park, Brooklyn already.............
Upcoming photos of Sonia Jane
will include pix with Stonewall friends Italian
Candi Mangipano, first cousin Adrienne Seiden, Puerta Ricana Lydia Estrella and West Indian Monique Silas
-- plus Sonia's post-Stonewall boyfriend Afro-American Lloyd T. Anderson!
Willson and Sonia Jane at The STONEWALL Club - 1968
[Photography by a special Stonewall photographer]
Proudly pictured above Willson Lee Henderson and Sonia Jane Attkiss at their home-away-from-home, The STONEWALL Club, on New
Year's Eve, December 31, 1968. This is the only known existing photo taken inside
STONEWALL Club (nobody called it an 'Inn'). Shown is one of
the few booths that were in the
club. The exact location inside the club was in the second
room -- the dance room -- against the right side wall of the club.
let the linen tablecloth give you the right impression. Only
a year on certain holidays, namely Thanksgiving, Christmas and New
Year's Eve, the Mafia-owned Stonewall Club "went all
out" and did "the
right family thing" with the tablecloths. Sonia and Willson,
regulars at The STONEWALL Club, started the next new year together
as best Gay friends: 1969!
Greenwich Village Feature
Story: The Stonewall Club
....featuring the historic photo of Sonia Jane and Willson at The
The feature allegedly quoted The New York Times about the
1969 Stonewall Rebellion arrests as "300" when it was actually 22 spread
over the first three nights and no arrests the last two evenings.
But unlike most post-Stonewall media and
careless factually-challenged books and intentionally error-prone articles, they did
get the date accurate for the first night start of the
rebellion: Friday, June 27th!
Sonia Jane and Willson Henderson with the "S/W-Car" in Brooklyn (Mother's Day 1974)
Observe: In vogue protective big
bumper guards and no spoke wheels - yet!
Location is at 1340 55th St. off New Utrich Av.
in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
Guess who owns the car? Clue:
N.Y.S. license plate... "WLH-33"!
Answer: Willson L. Henderson and his favorite number 33.
[Photo on May 12, 1974 by Sonia's
Sonia while on a trip visiting her parents in Florida in
Note: See the ever-present
cigarette in her hand!
=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/= Sonia and Adrienne =/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=
The National STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association ("S.V.A.") is extra proud of Sonia Jane Attkiss and Adrienne Michelle Seiden -- two real "Stonewall girls"! Sonia and Adrienne are both originally from
Borough Park, Brooklyn and really are biological first cousins! Both
went to many New York City Gay bars and after-hour Gay clubs regularly. Sonia was such a
regular at The STONEWALL Club from the time it opened in 1966 that in
1969 she easily won the title "Miss Stonewall"! The STONEWALL Club is where in 1968 and 1969 they met Stonewall veterans such as popular New York City model Willson L. Henderson, famous boxer Emile Griffith, drag king performer Storme DeLarverie, well-built John R. Watts, Jr., handsome Leigh P. McManus, Broadway dancer Eddie H. Wright, Jr., pretty Brooke Lyn, witty Stanley Dunne, lively Lucy Santiago and hot Rufus 'Sonny' Carson! They all became lifelong friends!
Request: If you have any momentos, letters or photos of
or any 411 on either or both of these authentic Stonewall girls, Adrienne Seiden
& Sonia Attkiss
("A&S" -- like the famous NYC department store), please U.S. mail
(see address below) or e-mail them to the S.V.A. at SVA@StonewallVets.org. We will carefully and promptly
return all items upon your request. In the meantime, you can
S.V.A. at (212) 627-1969 (24/7/365). If you receive the
leave a detailed message with your call-back telephone number.
may wish to attend a
monthly S.V.A. meeting on the last Saturday of every month or speak on A&S's behalf at the SVA's annual
conference and Stonewall reunion at the end of G.L.B.T. Pride Month!
STONEWALL Veterans' Association
70-A Greenwich Av., Suite 120
Manhattan, NY 10011
51st Anniversary of the GLBT Stonewall Rebellion=====
[Friday night, June 27
~through~ Thursday evening, July 3, 1969, Manhattan, New York City]