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05 May 2011

Enid Gerling (1919 - 2010) lawyer.

Enid Gerling was a member of the New York State Bar from 1952.

In 1963 she persuaded cop-killer Thomas Trantino to give himself up.

In the mid 1960s she was one of two lawyers, for the New York Mattachine Society, who would handle cases for desperate gays arrested for soliciting. However Mattachine came to see her as being in collusion with the cops, and took her name off their referral list. She came screaming into the Mattachine office, vowing that she would have it closed down if she were not put back on the referral list, although she never did.

On the other hand she did get many entrapped gay men off, and was famous for her colorful language that she used against the cops in court. Duberman quotes a comment that she dressed like a drag queen in heels and a wig, and it was rumored that she slept with several judges. She was said to postpone a case if the sitting judge was not one of her lovers. Duberman says that he and many other gay men at that time always carried her phone number when they were cruising. She was the house lawyer for The Stonewall Tavern, and often when customers were arrested, she had them released almost immediately. She represented some of those who were arrested at the Stonewall riot. However Craig Rodwell, owner of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop is quoted by Duberman as saying that Gerling was only a money-grabbing ambulance chaser. 

Gerling was also Patricia's Morgan's lawyer.

In the late 1970s, several politically connected pedophiles were avoiding prosecution because of their connections. They were represented by Enid, but she told the police that they were on the right track and should not give up.

As late as 1990 Gerling was the counsel for 14 gay men arrested on drug charges at the Ninth Circle in the West Village.

Enid died at age 91.
  • Patricia Morgan as told to Paul Hoffman. The Man-Maid Doll. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, Inc 1973: 83,86.
  • Martin B Duberman. Stonewall. New York: Dutton, 1993. New York: Plume, 1994: 116-7, 219, 289n21.
  • David Carter. Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked The Gay Revolution. New York: St Martin’s Press. 2004: 83.
  • Gerlad Tomlinson. Murdered in Jersey. Rutgers University Press, 1994: 109
  • Duncan Osborne. "Cops Nab 14 in Drug Raid at Gay Bar". Outweek, Oct 24, 1990: 13. 
  • Martin Duberman. About Time: Exploring the Gay Past. A Meridian Book, 1986,1991: 425,427n1
  • James M. Rothstein. "Pedophilia and the Criminal Exploitation of Children Part 1". Disgusted With the System. Sept 19, 2007. http://disgustedwiththesystem.blogspot.com/2007/09/pedophillia-and-criminal-exploitation.html.
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    These are just bits and pieces that I was able to find.  Somebody should write a biography of Enid Gerling.

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