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Cooper’s Donuts riot May 1959 , ten years before Stonewall

Cooper’s circa 1961

On the night of the Cooper Do-nuts uprising in May 1959, five (or three, depending on accounts) patrons were arrested but when the cops tried to shove them into the back of a single cruiser, a struggle ensued and all of the arrested “sex perverts” escaped. 

The rest of the patrons (including author John Rechy, who chronicled the happenings in the Main Street “gay ghetto” in his 1963 novel, City of Night) hurled coffee, donuts and paper plates, and more at the officers, forcing them to retreat and later return with larger numbers. When the police returned, a full blown riot ensued and as a result a section of Main was closed for a day. The riots may’ve been quelled but a spark would seem to have been ignited.

The cafe was located on Main Street in downtown Los Angeles between two gay bars, Harold’s and the Waldorf, and was a popular hangout for transgender people. There had been many LGBT customers at Cooper’s taken into custody before, and on the day of the riot, two police officers entered the cafe and asked patrons for ID as Los Angeles law dictated at the time that if a person’s gender presentation did not match the gender shown on their ID they were taken to jail. The officers attempted to arrest two drag queens, two male sex workers, and a gay man. One of those present that day was novelist John Rechy who wrote of the event in his novel. Rechy describes the victims of the Los Angeles Police Department’s abuse on this night as a culmination of routine targeting of the LGBTQ community.

After the detainees protested the lack of room in the police car, onlookers began throwing coffee, cups, and trash at the police until they fled without them in their car. People then took to rioting in the streets and police backup arrived blocking off the street for the entire night and arresting several people. The Cooper Do-Nuts uprising is believed to be the first gay uprising in the United States.

Gay L. A.” Lots of information on gay life from the 1930s forward in Los Angeles.
John Rechy “City of Night“.

Bernie Sanders – The Issues

As president, I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans living in this country. But I will not wait for Congress to act. I will take executive action to accomplish what Congress has failed to do and build upon President Obama’s executive orders to unite families

The decision about abortion is a decision for a woman and her doctor to make, not the government. I will not allow the right wing to deny women control over their own bodies by forcing clinics to close, extending waiting periods, or inventing other methods that create de facto abortion bans. Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and must remain so

I will take the following concrete steps to reduce gun violence: strengthen and better enforce the instant background check system; close the gun-show loophole; make ‘straw man’ purchases a federal crime; ban semi-automatic assault weapons which are designed strictly for killing human beings; and work to fix our broken mental health system

Foreign Policy:
The test of a great and powerful nation is not how many wars it can engage in, but how it can resolve international conflicts in a peaceful manner. I will move away from a policy of unilateral military action and regime change, and toward a policy of emphasizing diplomacy, and ensuring the decision to go to war is a last resort

The wealthy and large corporations must pay their fair share. As president, I will stop corporations from shifting profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying taxes. I will tax Wall St. speculators who caused millions their jobs, homes, and life savings. I will tell the billionaire class: You can’t have it all while kids in this country go hungry

My view is simple: health care is a right, not a privilege. We spend far more than any other country on health care, but 29 million Americans remain uninsured and millions more are under-insured. That is unacceptable. The time has come for a Medicare-for-all universal health care system that provides every American with affordable, quality care

As President, I will invest $1 trillion to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure to put 13 million Americans to work in good jobs, invest $5.5 billion to employ 1 million young Americans and provide job-training to hundreds of thousands of others, and create a Clean-Energy Workforce of 10 million good jobs through a 100% clean energy system

Civil Liberties:
I voted against the USA PATRIOT Act and against its subsequent reauthorizations. Terrorism is a serious threat and we must do everything we can to prevent attacks in this world, but I believe that we can do that without undermining our constitutional rights. Our civil liberties and right to privacy shouldn’t be the price we pay for security

Our criminal justice system is broken. We must invest in jobs and education not in more jails, ban for-profit prisons, end the failed “War on Drugs”; eliminate mandatory minimums, make sure people with substance abuse problems end up in treatment instead of prison, and demilitarize police forces so that they don’t look and act like invading armies

Climate change is the greatest threat facing our planet. We must act boldly. I will cut U.S. carbon pollution by 80% by putting a tax on carbon pollution, repealing fossil fuel subsidies and make massive investments in energy efficiency and clean, sustainable energy such as wind and solar power creating a 100% clean energy system

As President, I will: make tuition free at public colleges and universities, lower student loan interest rates for current and future borrowers, ensure all children have access to a quality education by fighting to ensure equal access to educational resources, and make childcare and pre-K universal and affordable

At a time when the rich are getting richer, poverty is increasing, and the middle class is in a 40-year decline, we need a budget that improves the lives of all Americans, not just the people on top. We need to reverse the massive transfer of wealth from working families to the top 1 percent and put millions of Americans back to work

National Security:
I will protect America, defend our interests and values, embrace our commitments to defend freedom and human rights, and relentlessly combat terrorism. Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies must have the tools needed to protect us, but there must be legal oversight and it must be done in a way that does not sacrifice our basic freedoms

Social Security is crucial for Americans to be able to retire with dignity. We must expand Social Security by having the rich pay their fair share. And we must lower skyrocketing prescription drug costs by allowing less expensive medicine to be imported from Canada and by directing Medicare to negotiate prices. Seniors deserve a secure retirement.

Biography of Hunter , Legendary Drag Performer

Hunter , Drag Queen LegendHunter Half and Half
BornHunter Smith
March 14, 1968
Escondido , CA
DiedJuly 15, 2007 (aged 39)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of deathHead Injury complications
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, United States
OccupationDrag performer
Years active1988 through 2007;


Hunter Smith (later changed legally to mono-name Hunter)  (born 18 March 1968) was a renowned drag performer/queen for over two decades in Southern California’s drag circuit, He performed at several night clubs including the now defunct “Peanuts” and “Horizon”. He was also one of the 3 original performers in the longest running drag show in Los Angeles called Dreamgirls Revue. Chad Michaels was the host of this show up until 2012 when it was taken over by Delta Work (Gabriel Villarreal).


Early life

Born as Hunter Smith in Valley Center, where he grew up and graduated high school. He relocated to Los Angeles, California in approximately 1988.


As Hunter he performed regularly with more current famous drag queens such as Morgan McMichaels, and Raja (Sutan Amrull) as well as Delta Work (Gabriel Villarreal) and Chad Michaels, the current and previous producers of the long standing Dreamgirls Revue show held in mostly West Hollywood, CA. for nearly 35 years.  He performed at Dillons(now Richs) in San Diego which is the home and start of the Dreamgirls Revue.  It then moved to the Brass Rail in San Diego which is where Chad joined the show and met Hunter. For a two year period, he moved to NYC approximately 1997-99 and did clubs and shows in drag all over Manhattan.  He also did a short time in Buloxi Mississippi working at a Casino in a show called La Cage.  About 2000 until 2003, along with Miss Kiwi, he traveled to Lake Tahoe at Horizon Casino (run by Dan Gore) and was a regular cast member in “Carnival Cabaret”.  He then returned to Dreamgirls in West Hollywood and in others venues around all of Southern California. Everyone wanted to book him and he was working almost full time.  According to Chad it was several times per week as he was in great demand for his talent.  He is drag mother to Chad Michaels and grandmother to Morgan McMichaels.  The staff of Dreamgirls always was teasing him about his secret of not telling his real age.  According to Chad, they never actually learned the real year except once when someone was able to grab his driver’s license.  So the age above is an estimate and not verified.  He was very into his craft and loved being very creative. His comedy was mostly influenced by people like Carol Burnett …simple yet not crude humor.


Personal Life

It is my understanding that his personal life was not a lot outside of the drag persona.  Similar to another local queen called Tammie Brown, even though they identify as gay men, they rarely are outside of character.  I need to find out if there is more that I am missing when I speak to Chad again.  Oh and the history of both of them using real names:  some clubs forced a performer to use real names versus a drag name.  And like with Chad Michaels, this just stuck and everyone knew him simply as Hunter.


Hunter had a tragic accident during a rehearsal and sustained a very bad head injury.  He went through about a two year period of attempts at rehabilitation and surgery to help keep him functional.  After a long struggle and what was shall say was terrible conditions for anyone that is very ill, he ended at a hospice called Wealth House in Long Beach which was gay owned and well operated.  Due to all of the wounds being just too complex to overcome, Hunter was lost due to the complications of the original head injury.  He was dear to many local people in Southern California and we miss him more than a biography can express.

Miss Kiwi Biography

Miss Kiwi – Legendary Drag Performer
Mickys Dream Girls 03-21-05  028Mickys Dream Girls 03-21-05  004
BornTony Rice
October 18, 1963
Saint LouisMissouri
DiedJuly 22, 2007 (aged 43)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of deathRespiratory Failure complications
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, United States
OccupationDrag performer
Years active1987 through 2007;


Miss Kiwi (born 18 October 1963) was the female persona of drag performer Tony Rice. A local fixture in Southern California’s drag circuit, Rice performed at several night clubs including the now defunct “Peanuts” , “Catch One” , and “Horizon”. She was also one of the 3 original performers in the longest running drag show in Los Angeles called Dreamgirls Revue. Chad Michaels was the host of this show up until 2012 when it was taken over by Delta Work (Gabriel Villarreal).


Early life

Born as Tony Rice in Saint Louis, he was a cook on cruise ships in the south that allowed gambling. It is unknown if he had siblings and the parent information was not obtained. He relocated to Los Angeles, California in approximately 1987.


As Miss Kiwi she performed regularly at drag shows in the following venues: “Peanuts” (7969 Santa Monica) now closed, “Catch 1” in south city of Los Angeles, also closed, and “Horizon” which was located in south city of Los Angeles as well. She performed regularly with more famous drag queens such as Morgan McMichaels, and Sutan Amrull as well as Delta Work (Gabriel Villarreal), the current producer of the long standing Dreamgirls Revue show held in West Hollywood, CA. She did private parties for celebrities such as Tori Spelling and others. She also went for a short time in the 90s to perform in Lake Tahoe. She was also often found at the Queen Mary (a drag club in Studio City that no longer exists) as well as the Boom Boom room which was located in Laguna Beach.  Also really big in the club kid LA Vogue scene.  She was a staple on the Los Angeles drag circuit for over two decades.  She was one of three original Dreamgirls Revue cast that started in San Diego at Dillons which is now called Rich’s.

Personal Life

Starting in about 1997 for several years Miss Kiwi began surgical procedures to transition to a female. She basically was just a leader in the first over-the-top transsexual performers.


Miss Kiwi died July 22 2007 of complications from Respiratory Failure. She attended all of the previous shows as performer at “Dreamgirls Revue” before her death and actually the last show one week before her death.  She is interned in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood.