|Pictured above are
Lee Henderson, the founder and president of the National STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association ("S.V.A."), wearing blue, tight, stitched, designer flair, bell-bottom jeans and
a hand-made, multi-colored, Oriental print satan shirt plus stylish,
light blue, styrofoam-soled, platform shoes and carrying a
Gay rights protest sign; Stan
Mallow (who lived with his boyfriend Ray Faucher around the corner at
Victoria Apartments on East 14 Street),
S/W-vet and S.V.A. Executive Committee member,
wearing blue flair jeans, dark blue tee-shirt, sandles and dark
why); and, to his right, Electra
O'Mara, S.V.A. Corresponding
Secretary, wearing blue designer jeans,
blue plaid shirt over dark blue tanktop and
high-heeled shoes (with head turned and mouth yacking as
You will notice that of all the people shown, only
Willson wore a colorful, really Gay-spirited shirt.
The shirt/blouse was designed by Charlez, the designer for
Willson's on/off public boyfriend boxing champ Emile Griffith.
Virtually everyone else wore something low-key, plain, tacky
and/or drab --
not the Gay spirit of Stonewall!
If you know Willson, it is no surprise that in all of the
marchers shown, only he carried a Gay rights sign! At that time,
it was definitely a determined and brave act to do so. One never
knew of pedestrian reactions, which could be threatening or
violent. It is
that Willson did it quite unabashedly, proudly and with
a nice smile. :)
The theme of "Stonewall 8" in 1977 was anti-homophobe, orange juice queen Anita "Paper Roses" Bryant out of orangey Florida! What a hateful witch! That explained why this Gay Pride Parade was the biggest by far to that point in Gay history. No one -- before or since -- unified the Gay community like soon-to-be-dethroned hate monger "Anita the Bee". Spouting her evangelical tirades of hate against Gay people, Willson's sign (shown above) reacts and reads: "Anita made me an atheist"!
"Stonewall 8" in 1977 was the last year that the New York City Gay Pride Parade went up Fifth Avenue. At the time of the 1977 parade, strongly rumored to be Gay, never-married, candidate Congressman Ed Koch was campaigning for New York City mayor. Although the STONEWALL Veterans' Association was the only Gay group to support him in the 1977 Democratic Primary Election against Gay favorite Bella Abzug or Run-off Election with all the other G.L.B.T. groups endorsing NYS Assemblyman Mario Cuomo from Queens -- our "Kotch-ya" placed first in the primary election and won the run-off election -- God bless! Willson Henderson headed-up much of the G.L.B.T. supporters with strategy meetings, campaign outposts, telephone banks and direct mailings. In 1978, as the Mayor of New York City, Ed Koch smartly and proudly granted our long-sought wish to march from Central Park West and down Fifth Avenue appropriately into Greenwich Village and past the landmark Gay Stonewall Club, historic site of the revolutionary 1969 Stonewall Rebellion!
*G*L*B*T* * "STONEWALL-50"