The movie “Stonewall” is set to come out based on a series of riots in June 1969 in response to countless police raids at the Stonewall Inn–gay Twitter is already [rightly] aflame with debate.
At the time, the Stonewall Inn was one of the few gay, trans, and lesbian bars open to us; however, police raids were common. Key contributors of the ‘gay liberation’ movement would frequent this establishment. These raids led to a series of riots; following these riots organizations were created, starting in New York and quickly popping up across the country in San Francisco. The purpose of these organizations–and newspapers–were to inform the community, support equal rights, and discuss tactics on how to go about police confrontation.
If you have never heard of Stonewall, I completely encourage you to read about it and become informed because it’s a key part of our history and without it we would not be where we are today.
Anyway, so a movie coming out based on this movement sounds great, right? We’re making progress, right? That’s what I thought until I watched the trailer and saw the lead was cast as a cis, white male who comes to NY from Kansas (I AM ROLLING MY EYES SO HARD) who is the one that throws the brick that incites the riots and chain of events that follow. Marsha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera, black trans women, started the movement and witnesses say Johnson was actually the one that threw the first brick at Stonewall. Do you think you can just whitewash this and pretend some white Prince Charming came to our rescue? Nah, I don’t think so. Black trans women have been so crucial to this movement and if we start to let Hollywood erase a part of that history and that struggle then what’s next?
If you don’t understand why I’m upset or why the queer community should be upset then you clearly don’t get the issue and it’s probably too late to try to educate you. Not one POC or trans woman is showed in the trailer, and while I agree it’s great that Hollywood is making a movie that sheds light on the issues, there is absolutely no excuse for ripping these people’s key contributions from the history of the movement because it just looks better to have some pretty boy be the savior, AGAIN. Nope, not today. I urge everyone to turn to social media and voice your opinion on this issue. In this day and age, the internet is the strongest platform we have to voice our opinions and actually have them be heard. You can use the hashtag #stonewall to both search and add your two cents to the dialogue on Twitter.