Let the Faggots Burn: The UpStairs Lounge Fire

Let the Faggots Burn The UpStairs Lounge Fire On Gay Pride Day in someone set the entrance to a French Quarter gay bar on fire In the terrible inferno that followed thirty two people lost their lives including a third of the local congreg

  • Title: Let the Faggots Burn: The UpStairs Lounge Fire
  • Author: Johnny Townsend
  • ISBN: 9781614344537
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Paperback
  • On Gay Pride Day in 1973, someone set the entrance to a French Quarter gay bar on fire In the terrible inferno that followed, thirty two people lost their lives, including a third of the local congregation of the Metropolitan Community Church, their pastor burning to death halfway out a second story window as he tried to claw his way to freedom A mother who d gone to theOn Gay Pride Day in 1973, someone set the entrance to a French Quarter gay bar on fire In the terrible inferno that followed, thirty two people lost their lives, including a third of the local congregation of the Metropolitan Community Church, their pastor burning to death halfway out a second story window as he tried to claw his way to freedom A mother who d gone to the bar with her two gay sons died alongside them A man who d helped his friend escape first was found dead near the fire escape Two children waited outside of a movie theater across town for a father and step father who would never pick them up During this era of rampant homophobia, several families refused to claim the bodies, and many churches refused to bury the dead Author Johnny Townsend pored through old records and tracked down survivors of the fire and relatives and friends of those killed to compile this fascinating account of a forgotten moment in gay history.

    One thought on “Let the Faggots Burn: The UpStairs Lounge Fire”

    1. The author apologises for the absence of proper historical method, which is fair comment; this is not history in the academic sense - in fact it's more anecdotal and lacks such things as photographs and a diagram of the UpStairs Lounge which would have been helpful. That said, however, it's a strong (if at times confusing) narrative of a semi-forgotten tragedy and the official apathy/neglect which attended it. Whether a fireman actually did say 'Let the faggots burn' is open to question, but it' [...]

    2. Being from Nola, I've known of the tragedy that was the fire for as long as I can recall. This book, however, made it real; made it personal. It puts people to the names. It's a shame this event, and these lost souls, are as forgotten as they are. They were largely dismissed in life, and in their death - and it seems there legacy has also been long forgotten.I don't know that I would say that it is a "good" book - or that I "enjoyed" reading it, but I am glad I did - and would recommend it to an [...]

    3. Very sad true story in which personal friends died or were injured! A terrible tragedy in which many So-called ignored for they forgot to ASK WHAT WOULD JESUS DO! and they forget MARK 12: 28-31

    4. This book was recommended in a blog post about the fire, a largely forgotten episode in New Orleans history that wasn't terribly famous even at the time. It's becoming better known today in the push for greater awareness of LGBT issues and hate crimes, but what happened at the Upstairs doesn't neatly fit that narrative. It was a gay bar that tried to keep things friendly and mellow, the kind of place a straight man could feel comfortable and women sometimes accompanied their male friends. In fac [...]

    5. 3.5 starsTo see my full review:wp/p1jhaj-3hqOne of the deadliest crimes against the LGBT population in American history occurred on June 24, 1973, an event that, at the time, was widely swept under the rug, hushed, and forgotten. Thirty-two people—husbands, wives, friends, lovers, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters—died that day in the Upstairs Lounge Fire, a fire that quickly cut off the only stairwell exit and trapped the 60+ patrons celebrating in the gay bar that day. Townsend’s no [...]

    6. This book was disturbing to me in so many ways but still an excellent book. I read it in tandem with "The Up Stairs Lounge Arson" going back an forth. I would give this book a 5+ and the arson book a 5- mainly because this was the more personable book. I'm not naive enough to think that stories weren't embellished as they were remembered and passed along, but it still gives you a very good idea of who all the people were involved with the tragedy and gives you a feeling of "knowing them". It hit [...]

    7. On Gay Pride Day, June 24, 1973, 32 people lost their lives in a horrific fire that engulfed a gay bar in New Orleans.This 2011 book -- based on interviews conducted 16-17 years after the fire, but not published for 20 more years after those interviews -- offers an important record of a terrible tragedy.Overlapping personal histories and memories form the basis of each of the brief chapters. More than simply the story of one tragic night, the book offers glimpses into gay American life in the 19 [...]

    8. Not just a story about a fire in New Orleans that killed 32 people in 1973, this is the story of those 32 individuals who had lives, and dreams, and friends, and families. The author apologizes for not having all the proper documentation for his interviews, but it doesn't diminish the realness of the victims or the reality of the tragedy. The title comes from a comment overheard while the fire was raging

    9. A good read on a little-known corner of history. The author leapt all over the country to different time periods to give the background on every person involved, but never lost me once -- quite an achievement. At the same time, there were far too many awkward phraseologies and passive constructions in here coming from a guy who said he was an English major in college. But this is just a quibble. Well worth a look.

    10. The arson fire at the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans has been a largely forgotten and tragic piece of US gay history. Author Townsend seeks to bring it into greater awareness with this book. The account is a bit chaotic in its organization, but that's probably because Townsend had a lot of information to juggle: biographies of the victims and survivors, the fire itself, the aftermath, and how the survivors were doing years later. It's a very sad story but one that I'm thankful I read.

    11. Great read!Although the book is not your typical read, I found it very interesting to learn about the people involved with the fire (survivors and victims alike) as well as the attitudes of the various people and various organisations after the fire. I enjoyed how the author wrote it so that the reader gets to know each person. I also intend to check out some of the sources give at the end of the book.

    12. This one took me awhile to get through. It was very interesting, but pretty tragic subject matter. I had never heard of this fire and really regret not knowing about this before my trip to New Orleans earlier this year. I would have stopped by to pay my respects.

    13. Chapters linking into chapters, stories into stories, lives into lives. I'm not sure how I feel about the overall quality of the writing/editing, but it told the tale well.

    14. Words are fruitless. History is learned. Will read again, because love New Orleans French Quarter, and community. What a current comment on today's world.\

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