QUEER HISTORY MONTH, DAY 11: RIOT GIRLS.
Three years before Stonewall, another drag queen riot broke out — this time at Gene Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco. A beat cop had grabbed a drag queen while she was having coffee. She threw the coffee in his face. Within minutes, the cafeteria erupted and for several hours the police were driven back by gay and transgendered rioters fed up with harassment.
The story was largely forgotten until historian Susan Stryker came across a reference to the riots in an old newspaper story, and dragged this history out into the open.
Historic SF Riots Remembered (Bay Area Reporter)
Screaming Queens (documentary, dir. Susan Stryker, 2006)