I meant to post about this in the throws of SCOTUS’ gay marriage decisions and SF Pride last week, but got unfortunately distracted. However, it’s a really important article to read at any point in time (though it is especially relevant right now).
Elizabeth Dias tells the story of a 1973 fire that burned down a gay lounge in New Orleans’ French Quarter, killing 32 people in 12 minutes. I had never heard about it before reading this TIME article. Apparently it garnered very little media attention at the time, as discrimination of gays still ran pretty rampant. City officials’ responses were equally minimal. Forty years down the line, with gay marriage legal in an increasing number of states, it’s a real reality check to read about this kind of stuff and really worth it. Unfortunately, you need a subscription to read the full article online, but here’s a blurb if you don’t. Looks like there’s also a documentary on the topic/event that I’d love to see.