Stanley grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, in Westchester County on the border of the Bronx. He came out in the 1970′s and says that the Stonewall riots in 1969 played an important role in how he came to discover his own. sexuality. Stanley, a precocious child, became sexually active at an early age yet didn’t reconcile the physical aspect of being gay with the emotional side until many years later. Stanley also discusses the relationship between the black and gay communities based on his experience growing up gay in an atmosphere heavily inspired by the church. He believes that young people today should look to their elders for support and guidance and that the history of the LGBTQ movement is important to pass on to younger generations.