Slide 30: Can't Arrest Us All
Journalist George Mendenhall told historian D’Emilio that listening to Sarria was the "beginning of my awareness of my rights as a gay person." In the 1977 documentary, "Word is Out", he recalled:
"[The vice squad] used to come in and stand around and just generally intimidate people and make them feel that they were less than human. It was a frightening period. ... But Jose would make these political comments about our rights as homosexuals. ... It sounds silly, but if you lived at that time and had the oppression coming down from the police department and from society, there was no where to turn ... and to be able to put your arms around other gay men and to be able to stand up and sing 'God Save Us Nelly Queens.'...We were really not saying 'God Save Us Nelly Queens.' We were saying, 'We have our rights too.'"