In 1969 the police began a routine bust on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, a gay bar which was like the majority of others they raided regularly and harshly. This time however things did not go the way the police had planned - the gay community fought back. However, before Stonewall and as far back as the ‘20s, lesbians and gays had formed groups, printed newspapers, opened restaurants, discussed their problems. The film traces a half-century of a parallel culture with film clips, photographs and articles as well as witnesses. It analyses how gays and lesbians went about coming out of the closet; breaking the isolation of guilt and forming a community with its own problems and specific claims.