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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > Summer 2019 > Fighting talk

Fighting talk

Playwright Alex is G regory speaks to Michael-Anthony Noz z i, who was one of the youngest people at the Stonewa llInn, in New York, on what was tobecome ap ivota l day in LGBTQ history

Approaching his 67th birthday, Michael-Anthony Nozzi is one of a dwindling number of eye-witnesses to the start of the Stonewall Inn riots. That fateful night in New York 50 years ago was his irst in the Big Apple.

“That was my introduction to not only New York City, but also to what it was like to be a gay person in the United States of America in 1969,“ he says from Los Angeles where he now lives.

Having been much younger than many of the other regular patrons of the maia-owned gay dive-bar leaves Michael in the position to still be here to share his story of that weekend of 28-29 June.

He describes the regular clientele as older drag queens. “I don’t think I ever saw a young drag queen, all [were] middle age or older; [much] older.“

Young hustlers, most of a similar age to a young Michael, locked to the bar to make money of the older men. Michael says: “There were a lot of street kids hanging around. They were just in there trying to survive.

“I think I’m one of the only ones left from that night at the Stonewall. I really do. I never meet anyone else who was there. I’d be surprised, I really would.

“Most of the people who were there, the frequent goers to the Stonewall, would be 130 now and the hustlers probably died because of HIV/Aids.“

Michael was born in Chambersburg, in rural Pennsylvania, but during that June weekend he was in New York to check out acting schools. “I was just a country boy, a country hick. In many ways I still am.“

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About Attitude

Pride in Love! Celebrating 50 years since Stonewall with over 50 LGBTQ people across 25 covers for 25 years of Attitude. Starring: Jake Bass, Jodie Harsh, Drag SOS, Gok Wan, Ranj Singh, Jonny Woo, and more.