Combination Lock

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Combination Lock is a story written by shukyou and illustrated by beili. It ran in Issue 80 at


Philadelphia, July 1968: Two gay men get stuck together after a failed arrest attempt and have to make a journey to get unstuck.

Author's Notes[edit]

I don't want to put a full-on content warning on this one, but be warned, there is a lot of very period-appropriate homophobic language being used here.

This whole scenario was inspired (hysterically loosely) by a real story from the Stonewall Riots -- which were in June of 1969, to give a little context. I had actually completely forgotten about it until listening to the You're Wrong About episode about Stonewall. I know far less about 1969 New York than I do about 1968 Philadelphia, though, so here you go: a history lesson.

The Annual Reminder was a real thing! It was an important part of pre-Stonewall gay activism in the US, respectability politics and all.