Cooper Do-nuts Riot

The Cooper Do-nuts Riot was a May 1959 trans protest against police harassment that took place at the Cooper Do-nuts in downtown Los Angeles. Like the uprisings at Dewey’s restaurant in Philadelphia in April and May 1965, Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco in August 1966, and the Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles in January 1967, the Cooper Do-nuts Riot is considered significant to LGBT history as one of a number of trans protests against police harassment that predated the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969. Like these other actions, limited evidence has meant that the riot at Cooper’s has been subject to historical debates about who was involved (trans women, racial minorities) and how that involvement shapes our interpretations of the modern ...

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