NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - What was once called "the love that dare not speak its name" is now louder, prouder and more visible than ever before.
The way gay pride is celebrated today has the Stonewall riots of 1969 to thank.
The event is widely seen as the start of the modern gay rights movement.
The patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought back against a police raid of the gay bar on Christopher St., marking a time in history.
The time before Stonewall is recounted in the new documentary, 'Before Stonewall,' by Greta Schiller.
It spans the roaring twenties and the war years when many gays and lesbians signed up to fight for their country, a country that wouldn't fight for them.
There is one scene in the documentary when a female officer was called in to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's office and asked to help him identify and expel lesbians in his division:
She said "Sir, the first name on the list would be mine." She then went down all the ranks and said, and this one and this one and then he said, "oh... forget the order."
For years after World War II, there were raids of underground bars and even private houses.
A government purge of people --known for being "homosexual" were fired during what is now called the "lavender scare."
And there was the AIDS epidemic, which touched every level of society, but was particularly cruel to gay men who had just started to win acceptance.
Safer practices and newer medications are giving more patients hope. The medications can halt the progression of HIV into full-blown AIDS and prevent transmission of HIV altogether.
Gay bars are no longer hidden behind heavily draped or painted windows. Bars like Rebar on West 19th St. in Chelsea has it's doors open to the sidewalk in nice weather allowing everyone to see in and everyone to see out.