Sunday, May 29, 2011
THE PURPLE PANTHERS
"History provides us with many examples of GLBT resistance. Through the years, queer people continued to live, work, love, cruise, have sex, find lovers and create literature and art in spite of repeated attempts to kill, maim, jail, raid, fire, evict, cure or vote against us. Acts of gay resistance happened all the time, and at the most unexpected places. One of those acts took place 49 years ago in South Florida’s Dania Beach, now John U. Lloyd Beach State Park. Already a favorite gay hangout, in 1962 the gay men on Dania Beach faced two enemies: police officers who harassed and arrested them for “lewd and lascivious” acts and teenagers who rode their dune buggies at top speed to scare the “fags.” Though police harassment remains a problem till this day, the young gays on Dania Beach eventually took care of the riders. According to the late Jerry Mitchell, a South Florida activist, some gay men buried pieces of wood with protruding nails in the sand. When the buggies came by later that day, their tires got punctured. Angered by this turn of events, the riders jumped out of their cars only to be attacked by gay men wielding baseball bats they had hidden in the sand. These gay men, the “Purple Panthers,” are now a proud footnote in the history of GLBT resistance."
(written by Jesse Monteagudo)
Posted by Darling! aka David Frank Ray at Sunday, May 29, 2011