On June 28th, 1969, a raid on New York City’s Stonewall Inn escalated into a riot that lasted for days. Fed up with regular harassment, patrons of the gay bar refused to cooperate with police during the raid. News of this victory spread and inspired the gay community throughout the country to organize, forming activists groups such as the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance. This national movement had a foothold in San Diego and advanced the liberation of LGBTQ+ people in the region.
Later that summer, students at San Diego State College formed a campus chapter of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF). Inspired by anti-war efforts, the sexual revolution, and the civil rights movement, these people viewed themselves as revolutionaries, aligning themselves with other marginalized groups. Members were mostly gay folk but some straight allies joined as well. After some early in-fighting, GLF grew to include both students and the community, and met on and off campus. Early meetings consisted of people identifying themselves and expressing why they wanted to be involved in the gay liberation movement. Encounter groups would also meet for discussion and “consciousness raising.” Emphasis was put on the coming out process and learning to embrace one’s own gayness, changing the public’s perspective and challenging laws.