Just in case anybody could forget that the struggle for gay civil rights has been ongoing for decades, I had it brought to my attention that this Wednesday is the 42nd Anniversary event of the Black Cat Bar Protest for Gay Rights. For those who don’t know where the Black Cat is, it is now a gay Latin bar, and you’ve all seen it–it’s on Sunset right in the middle of Sunset Junction. While it’s now called Le Barcito, it’s an official Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and still sports its original sign with a black’n’white pussy cat.
In 1966, New Year’s Eve, the Black Cat was ground central for horrific police brutality as plainclothes officers viciously beat revelers for…kissing at midnight. About a month later a protest vigil of about 200 people gathered at Sunset & Sanborn to stand in opposition to the brutality and discrimination. In 1966, that was a hell of a vigil–when just being openly gay could be grounds for arrest as a sex offender. This brave protest occurred two years before New York’s groundbreaking Stonewall Riots.