Why "Stonewall" Isn't a Good Movie

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 The Stonewall Riots, a story of a courageous people looking for justice, freedom, and liberation. The riots are said to be the start of the fight for the LGBTQ community; the catalyst for the gay rights movement that has lead to the fair (or fairer) treatment of the LGBTQ community. I’m sure you know right? Everyone knows about the riots…right? Wrong!

Apparently, Hollywood has no idea how to correctly tell the story of this pivotal moment in history. The release of Stonewall, a movie about the riots, has joined the list of a number of movies that have lead audiences to believe in a white male as their hero. 

The movie tells the story of fictional character, Danny Winters, a young, white male played by cis actor Jeremy Irvine. 

Now, this would be all fine and dandy if the actual riots were lead by other young, white, cis males, but no. The movie ignores the story of the trans men and women of color who are to thank for the start of the pride movement. To completely whitewash the movie by making up a fictional white male character, and forgetting the real people who are credited for the movement is wrong. It’s wrong y’all, it isn’t true to history and it’s wroooong. So, I’ve taken it upon myself to educate you on who actually started the Stonewall Riots!

There’s:

Marsha P. Johnson

Black, trans-woman, drag queen, and LGBTQ activist. 

The first to throw a brick at the riots (not the fictional character in the movie). She is often credited as the one to start it all. She co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR for short); an organization meant to help trans-women of color.

 

Stormé DeLarverie

Biracial, Lesbian, Drag king. 

Her being assaulted by the police is said to be what sent the crowd into action. She was a civil rights icon and entertainer, remembered as the “Rosa Parks” of the LGBTQ community. 

 

Sylvia Rae Rivera

Latina, Trans-Woman, Drag queen, and LGBTQ activist.

She is credited with being the first to throw a bottle at the police. She went on to co-found STAR with Marsha, and was also a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance.

 

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy

Black, Trans-woman. 

Her jaw was broken by a cop in the riots. She was a force in the fight for transgender rights. Today, she continues to fight for trans-people by doing work with the TGI Justice Project in order to stop abuse committed against transgender, gender variant/genderqueer, and intersex people. 

These women, so amazing, and so unafraid. All of their individual stories are so real, full and rich with history, it’s a bit hard to understand why there would be a fictional character literally made up to discredit them. Why Hollywood? Why act like this critical moment in history is anything other than what it was? A movement started by beautiful and brave transpeople and lesbians of color.

So cool, you want to see the movie then go watch it. I’m sure it’s entertaining. While you're in the theater keep the real heroes in mind. Never forget that their existence has changed our world forever.

Thank you so much Marsha, Sylvia, Stormé, and Miss Major. Without you who knows how far we’d be in the fight for LGBTQ rights!