Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 6-27-2019


Where were the lesbians in the Stonewall Riots? They were jailed in the House of Detention for Women in Greenwich Village, New York City, two blocks away from the Stonewall Inn. Lesbians in the Women's House of Detention shouted from the windows to the rioters in the streets below, fueling the momentum of the Stonewall uprising. The women's prison was a site of lesbian confinement and resistance that inspired the 1969 uprising in Greenwich Village.

Polly Thistlethwaite is Chief Librarian at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She volunteered at the Lesbian Herstory Archives 1986 – 1997.


This essay was first published by the Gotham Center for New York History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, as “Stonewall 50: Remembering the Lesbians,” at, June 27, 2019.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.