Forty-two years ago today, an almost unimaginable inferno, caused by arson, burned and suffocated 32 people to death. All were patrons of New Orleans’ UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar. I wrote about it in 2013 here.
Over the past few days, I’ve been reading Johnny Townsend‘s 2011 book about the massacre, Let the Faggots Burn: The UpStairs Lounge Fire. For all its shortcomings, including a disjointed narrative structure, it’s a gripping account of the horrors that transpired that night, as well as a respectful remembrance of the victims, all of whom get a dedicated chapter.
Here, in direct quotes from Townsend’s tome, are ten things I learned about the UpStairs Lounge fire: