Dick Leitsch was born in 1935 in Louisville, Kentucky. While in high school, he came out to his Catholic parents, who took his revelation in stride. Bolstered by their support, Dick was living openly as a gay man by the 1950s. He got rowdy in the local Louisville gay bars, but in 1959, inspired by watching movies and hearing radio shows about New York, he took the plunge and moved to the Big Apple, where he supported himself in subsequent years as a journalist, waiter, bartender, painter, and holiday decorator.
On the night of June 28, 1969, Dick heard something on the radio about a disturbance at the Stonewall Inn. Hopping a cab, he arrived in time to witness the glorious mayhem that would alter the gay rights movement forever. Dick’s account of the riots was later published in The Advocate.