The First Stonewall Story: Danny Garvin

Danny Garvin (1949 – 2014) is the the first subject of our “Stonewall Stories” section.  He joined Times Squares in 1992. Not only was he there at the Stonewall Uprising in 1969, he was also present at the opening of the Stonewall inn, on his 18th birthday, on 01 Mar 1967. Danny met his first love there by dancing with him, dated the main doorman (Blonde Frankie), and was roommates with one of the men who worked in the coat check. His knowledge of the club has contributed a lot to a better understanding of the Stonewall Inn. Fortunately, Danny also happened to walk up the street soon after the June 1969 raid began, and his detailed memories of that night significantly add to our knowledge about the Uprising.

Danny at the Stonewall Inn with his cherished friend and co-rioter Martin Boyce. Credit: Huffington Post

Danny Garvin

At that time of the Stonewall Uprising, Danny was a twenty-something, living out of a locker in the Port Authority, and struggling to survive on the streets. When the Stonewall Uprising started on Christopher Street, he was out there, antagonizing, screaming, protesting. Danny joined the Times Squares in 1992, and graduated Mainstream in 1993. Noting that the Stonewall raid was caused by the simple desire gay people had to dance, Danny wrote to President Obama in 2013 after hearing his Inaugural Speech, which referenced civil rights battles “Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall.” Danny wrote:

“You made me proud sir when you mentioned that significant part of my life, but it is a battle that is not over yet, and we still have a big fight on our hands. I still have not gotten to dance that dance I started 44 years ago. The big joyous ‘I Am A Completely Free Gay American Dance’ yet, and I so badly want to dance that dance before I meet my maker.”

Sadly, Danny passed away Dec 15, 2014, but not before receiving an invitation to visit the White House for its reception celebrating LGBT Pride Month. He was requested to arrive early because “President Obama would like to have his picture taken with you.”

You can read more about Danny in this article from The Advocate (15 Jan 2015)

You can watch a video interview of Danny from “The American Experience: Stonewall Uprising” (2011) pt.1 pt.2 pt.3