Compton's Cafeteria Riot

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Aug 2 1966

Location: 

San Francisco, CA

Compton's Cafeteria, 24 hour diner in S.F.'s Tenderloin was a hang out spot for trans women, drag queens, and sex workers. It was a place for the community to meet up for an expensive meal, a place to chit chat, and let each other know they made it through the night alive. They were often harassed by police and arrested for female impersonation. Finally one night in August the Compton's costumers weren't going to take it anymore. an officer tried to manhandle one of the trans women and she splashed her coffee on his face. The police raided the cafeteria and the costumers fought back. Cops were hit with purses and high heals, and salt shakers were thrown through windows. The riot spread out into the street and a news stand was set on fire.

After the riot the National Transsexual Counseling Unit was created and the SFPD go the first liaison to the"homophile community".

This riot is significant for many reasons one in which being that it predates Stonewall. It also had tangible result in the LGBT tenderloin community.

Posted by jmt499 on