The Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969 are generally regarded as the first salvo in the Gay Rights Movement in America, but of course the struggle hardly began there -- for years gays and lesbians were fighting to live their lives with dignity and without persecution in cities all across the United States, and filmmaker Glenne McElhinney chronicles the early years of the Gay Rights Movement in Los Angeles in this documentary. In On These Shoulders We Stand, men and women who were witnesses to the battle for their rights speak out about the large but underground gay and lesbian community in L.A. during the 1940s and 50s, and how like-minded people sought each other out while dealing with abuse at the hands of the police. As gays and lesbians began venturing out of the closet in the 1960s, Los Angeles became a center for gay activism, as gay clergymen stepped forward to speak for their community and men and women of all walks of life began speaking for their rights. After Stonewall, L.A. was the site of America's first gay pride parade, and the citizens who were part of this revolution share their memories and affirm how much has been gained, and how far there still is to go. On These Shoulders We Stand received the special programming award for freedom at the 2010 Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.