Silver Lake is famous for being home to the gay rights movement, specifically the Mattachine Society (founded in 1950) and the Black Cat Tavern, a historic LGBT landmark. In 1967, the Black Cat was the site of one of the first demonstrations in the United States protesting police brutality against LGBT people. (It preceded New York’s Stonewall riots by over two years.)
When Harry Hay founded the Mattachine Society decades ago, being gay or lesbian was so secret that the members didn’t even know each other’s names. Today, of course, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated openly every June. Sadly, however, LAPD reports that Detectives Juan Aguilar and Ryan Watterson are investigating the HATE crimes of LGBTQ flags being vandalized and stolen from the Shakespeare Bridge. All patrol officers are made aware in daily rollcalls to be in the lookout for suspicious activity.
LAPD encourages anyone who may have information to come forward. If they wish to remain anonymous, please contact SLO Ramirez at (213-793-0763) or submit tips at https://lacrimestoppers.org.
On a happier note, be sure to watch the Silver Lake History Collective’s interview of gay filmmaker Billy Clift on Monday on the collective’s YouTube channel. Billy is a director/producer/writer/actor/designer who grew up in Hollywood and has lived in Silver Lake for many years. His story of how he became a filmmaker is fascinating as is his longtime friendship with Elizabeth Montgomery. The interview was produced by Michael Masterson and Khoi Pham.