STONEWALL Veterans' Association
Charter Stonewall Member of the S.V.A.
Secretary (1969 - 1982)
Sonia Jane makes a
princess appearance -- even as a teenager!
Sonia Attkiss, Cousin Howie and Cousin Adrienne
Note: Extravagant Sonia displayed all the traits of a
[Photo courtesy of Howie House]
Pre-Stonewall vets Sonia Attkiss and Adrienne Seiden in High School
Doesn't the third girl look like Barbra
Streisand? Duh! I'm verklempt!
It is Barbra already! This is
when they lived in Brooklyn by Sunset Park.
[Photo by Max Attkiss]
Surely, with the open-slit gown, teased and dyed hair, the lacenet
stockings, the arm coverings, the crystal-like dangle earrings, the
crown hairpin and the air kiss -- all at only 16 years old -- were
all early and clear signs that, at the very least, Sonia Jane Attkiss would
fag-hag at least and perceived as a drag-queen at most! Take
another look at the happy pic above and compare Sonia's
racy outfit versus the other girls. Sonia was always proudly
'different from the rest'. Ironically, these teenage
photographs of Sonia are forerunners to her being chosen five years
later at The Stonewall Club in 1969 as "Miss Stonewall"!
Sonia Jane Attkiss
was born on November 5th and raised in
Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York. Her ultra-liberal parents
Helen and Max Attkiss, had their house in
an Orthodox Jewish
community with older son Joel Attkiss
(also known as Robert Attkiss) and younger daughter
low-key Gay son moved to Gay-friendly Amsterdam soon after the
Stonewall Era. The Attkisses were always very understanding,
tolerant and supportive of Sonia's very
un-orthodox lifestyle. Sonia's 'in-the-life' centered around illegal Gay
clubs and unauthorized after-hour clubs!
It also spilled over back to the neighborhood. Many times
over the years, Sonia Jane brought home 'live' souveniers from the
Gay and "after-hour" clubs. These included several Puerto Rican
girls and a few Black dykes who were assumed as men by Sonia's parents
and most everyone else! One, named Troy, wore a man's
fashionable derby, used a gentleman's walking cane and had a
convincing painted mustache. All this was in the heart of an
Orthodox Jewish community in Borough Park Brooklyn already.............
Upcoming photos of Sonia Jane
will include pix with Stonewall friends Italian
Candi Mangipano, first cousin Adrienne Seiden, Puerta Ricana Lydia Estrella and West Indian Monique Silas
-- plus Sonia's post-Stonewall boyfriend Afro-American Lloyd T. Anderson!
Willson and Sonia Jane at The Stonewall Club - 1968
[Photography by a special Stonewall photographer]
Sonia Jane Attkiss and Willson Henderson pictured above at their home-away-from-home, The Stonewall Club, on New
Year's Eve, December 31, 1968. This is the only known existing photo taken inside
Stonewall Inn. It is one of the few booths that were in the
club. The exact location inside the club was in the second
room -- the dance room -- against the right side wall of the club.
let the linen tablecloth give you the right impression. Only
a year on certain holidays, namely Thanksgiving, Christmas and New
Year's Eve, the Mafia-owned Stonewall Club "went all
out" and did "the
right family thing" with the tablecloths. Sonia and Willson
started the next new year together as best Gay friends: 1969!
Greenwich Village Feature
Story: The Stonewall Club
....featuring the historic photo of Sonia Jane and Willson at The
The feature allegedly quoted the New York Times about the
Stonewall Rebellion arrests as "300" when it was actually 22 spread
over the first three nights and no arrests the last two evenings.
But unlike most post-Stonewall media and
factually-challenged books and error-prone articles, they did
get the date accurate for the first night start of the
rebellion: Friday, June 27th!
Sonia Jane and Willson Henderson with "S/W-Car" in Brooklyn (Mother's Day 1974)
Observe: Protective big
bumper guards and no spoke wheels - yet!
Location is at 1340 55th St. off New Utrich Av.
in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
Guess who owns the car? Clue:
N.Y.S. license plate... "WLH-33"!
Answer: Willson L. Henderson and his favorite number 33.
[Photo on May 12, 1974 by Sonia's
Sonia while on a trip visiting her parents in Florida in
Note: See the ever-present
cigarette in her hand!
=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/= Sonia and Adrienne =/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=
The S.V.A. encourages friends and associates of Sonia Jane Attkiss or Adrienne Michelle Seiden
(a.k.a. "A&S", like the famous New York City department store) to attend a
monthly S.V.A. meeting or speak on their behalf at the SVA's annual
conference! Sonia and Adrienne are both originally from
Borough Park, Brooklyn and really are first cousins. Both
went to the Gay clubs regularly. Sonia was such a regular at The
Stonewall Club that she was known as "Princess Stonewall". That's
where in 1969 she met Stonewall veterans such as popular Willson L. Henderson, boxer Emile Griffith, drag king Storme DeLarverie, well-built John R. Watts, Jr., handsome Leigh McManus, dancer Eddie Wright, Jr., pretty Brooke Lynn, witty Stanley Dunne and lively Lucy Santiago! They all became lifelong friends!
Request: If you have any photos of
or any 411 on either of these authentic Stonewall girls, Adrienne
& Sonia ("A&S" -- like the department store), please U.S. mail
or e-mail them to the S.V.A. In the meantime, you can phone the
S.V.A. at (212) 627-1969 (24/7/365). If you receive the
leave a detailed message with your call-back telephone number.
STONEWALL Veterans' Association
70-A Greenwich Av., Suite 120
Manhattan, NY 10011
50th Anniversary of the GLBT Stonewall Rebellion=====
[Friday night, June 27
~through~ Thursday evening, July 3, 1969, Manhattan, New York City]