5. The Three-Article Rule allowed policemen to arrest individuals in drag

Fifty years after the Stonewall Inn Riots, Drag Queens performed in celebration.

Homophobia and transphobia permeated New York City during the 1960s and decades proceeding them. This fear sparked the revival of the Masquerade Laws, which punished those who had their face painted or concealed. The United States government created these laws in 1845 after farmers disguised themselves as Native Americans in order to avoid tax collectors.

When policemen arrested individuals on account of the now “three-article rule,” it was because they were crossdressing. According to law enforcement, individuals wearing fewer than three articles of clothing were subject to arrest. The law was not taken off the books until 2020 when New York State Attorney General Laeticia James supported the push to repeal the law, in connection to public health mandates in the coronavirus pandemic.