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Sonia Jane Attkiss
STONEWALL Veterans' Association
Charter Stonewall Member of the S.V.A.

Original S.V.A. Secretary (1969 - 1982)


Sonia Jane makes a princess appearance -- even as a teenager!

Sonia Attkiss Adrienne Seiden 1964

Sonia Attkiss, Cousin Howie and Cousin Adrienne
Note:  Extravagant Sonia displayed all the traits of a drag queen!
[Photo courtesy of Howie House]


Sonia Attkiss 1964 Adrienne Seiden

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 would become a 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 (aka Robert) and younger daughter Sonia.  The 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.  The 'in-the-life' centered around Gay 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 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 post-Stonewall boyfriend Afro-American Lloyd T. Anderson!



Pre-Stonewall Rebellion

Williamson and Sonia Jane at The Stonewall Club - 1968
[Photography by a special Stonewall photographer]

Sonia Jane Attkiss and Williamson 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 The 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.  Don't let the linen tablecloth give you the right impression.  Only thrice 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 Williamson 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 Williamson at The Stonewall!

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 Attkiss with SW Car in Brooklyn

Sonia Jane and Williamson 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:  Williamson L. Henderson and his favorite number 33.
[Photo on May 12, 1974 by Sonia's father Max-the-Plumber Attkiss]


Sonia Attkiss Florida

Sonia while on a trip visiting her parents in Florida in 1982
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 (aka "A&S", like the famous NYC 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 Sonewall veterans such as Williamson Henderson, Emile Griffith, Storme DeLarverie, John WattsLeigh McManus, Brooke Lynn and Lucy Santiago!  They all became lifelong friends.  If you have any photos of or 411 on either of these Stonewall girls "A&S", 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.  If you receive the voicemail, please leave a detailed message with your call-back telephone number.  Remembering "A&S"!!

STONEWALL Veterans Association
70-A Greenwich Av., Suite 120
Manhattan, NY 10011
(212) 627-1969

*G*L*B*T* History Month


=====2018:  49th Anniversary of the GLBT Stonewall Rebellion=====
[Friday night, June 27 ~through~ Thursday evening, July 3, 1969, Manhattan, New York City]

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