The next two trailer summaries (starting with this one) deal with a subject that has taken on a specific urgency every since the fateful 2016 U.S. presidential election. With the advent of an administration so hostile to every minority group imaginable, the LGBT+ has suffered particular indignities these past weeks: namely, the danger of being defined out of existence.
As a cis-gender, straight, white woman, I’m not an ideal person to tackle this topic. But I wanted to highlight this trailer from Netflix about Marsha P. Johnson, the transgender woman who led the 1969 Stonewall Riots. The reason I wanted to talk about this: I found out about Stonewall completely by accident. I was taking a bus tour during my first trip to New York City several years ago and listened to the guide explain the story of Stonewall while we drove through Greenwich Village. I was both fascinated and shocked that I’d never heard of this badass fight against the abuse of those in authority, who constantly harassed NYC’s LGBT+ community simply because they could.
Now other filmmakers have attempted to tell the Stonewall story, but have done so with in the same patronizing manner of telling the story through a cis-gender, straight narrative, thereby still erasing the perspective of those who fought for their right to exist. What I wish to do instead is highlight the importance of a complete record of social history. Too often dominant cultures try to write people and events out of existence because it’s too inconvenient to acknowledge that there are those who refuse to fit into any category that’s forced on them. It took a riot to get everyone’s attention once. I’m hoping that this time around, we know more about this struggle to be true allies for the fights ahead.