The riots at New York’s Stonewall Inn in June 1969 gave birth to the modern gay movement. “From now on,” in Neil Miller’s words, “everything would be described as ‘pre-Stonewall’ or ‘post-Stonewall’” (367). Edmund White, who took part in the riots, acknowledges the mythic signifi cance of this moment in gay history in the fi nal pages of The Beautiful Room Is Empty (1988), where it becomes the climax of the novel: “I stayed over at Lou’s. We hugged each other in bed like brothers, but we were too excited to sleep. We rushed to buy the morning papers to see how the Stonewall Uprising had been described. ‘It’s really our Bastille Day,’ Lou said. But we couldn’t fi nd a single mention in the press of the turning point of our lives” (184). White thus adds to the mythologizing process. This novel is the central volume of his autobiographical trilogy, a series that begins with A Boy’s Own Story (1983) and concludes with The Farewell Symphony (1997). The placing of this event at this point in the narrative is thus part of the plot structure of the sequence as a whole: Stonewall becomes the curtain to the second act of the drama and the turning point not only of the hero-narrator’s life but of the phase of gay history his life parallels.