How to deeply insult thousands of transgender (especially black transgender) people all over the world in two minutes 22 seconds: make a trailer of a movie about their history which writes them out of it. Have the oppressed become the oppressors?
Some people are saying “but it’s only the trailer, wait until you’ve seen the whole film.” Yeah, right, so that’s when we get the picture? So it doesn’t matter if the trailer is hugely misleading and re-writes the heritage of all members of the LGBTQ alphabet? No No NO! The trailer is the first public exposure of the film, it has high significance and will (mis-) shape the history of the event in the minds of most who see it.
If the full movie gives an accurate and balanced account, why does the trailer so clearly not do that? Methinks the full movie is more likely to live up to our worst fears.
I’ve lifted a little from Mey‘s interview with Miss Major Griffen-Gracy posted on http://www.autostraddle.com/how-dare-they-do-this-again-miss-major-on-the-stonewall-movie-301957/ The whole article is a great read, here’s a few snippets:
The best thing I can remember about that night is that when the girls decided, “no, we ain’t doing this,” some of the girls got out of the paddy wagon and came back, the police got so scared they backed into the club and locked the doors! I mean, if nothing else, that was the funniest thing to have in your mind watching it happen. And meanwhile across the street there are all these cute little white boys cheering us on, and saying “don’t hurt the girls!” and all this blah blah. They weren’t in the fight.
…the first thing you want to do is piss off whatever guard you’re fighting so much that they knock you completely out, then you’ll live another day. They won’t keep beating on you until you don’t live. So I got knocked out early, and the next thing I knew I woke up in the cell and we were let out the next day.
…it was so disappointing for me to watch the first gay parade because most of us don’t think of ourselves as gay.
Below are excerpts from something I (Mix Margaret) saved in 2002, posted by someone in the Gay and Lesbian Equality (Western Australia) Inc. Yahoo! Group. Originally it came from the Message Board of http://www.theglassonion.org by the writer ‘TheEggman’ whose site it is, or was.
In this account of the riots the words ‘queen’ and ‘homosexual’ (which includes ‘queens’) are used because in 1969 the terms transsexual, transgender, or gay were not known, or not widely known. However, it is clear that the main actors in the riots were trans or drag queens, especially black or coloured, and at least one lesbian. The gay men were mostly onlookers who nevertheless played an important part by cheering them on to encourage them.
The article by Jerry Lisker was published within days of the Stonewall riots. Subsequent to the riots the gay rights movement really took off in the USA. Writers of gay rights history correctly ascribe the riots a key position in that history, but I wish the true story of the event itself was not so frequently forgotten or re-written.
Quote: Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad
Reprinted from “The New York Daily News,” July 6, 1969 By JERRY LISKER
She sat there with her legs crossed, the lashes of her mascara-coated eyes beating like the wings of a hummingbird. She was angry. She was so upset she hadn’t bothered to shave. A day old stubble was beginning to push through the pancake makeup. She was a he. A queen of Christopher Street.
Last weekend the queens had turned commandos and stood bra strap to bra strap against an invasion of the helmeted Tactical Patrol Force. The elite police squad had shut down one of their private gay clubs, the Stonewall Inn at 57 Christopher St., in the heart of a three-block homosexual community in Greenwich Village. Queen Power reared its bleached blonde head in revolt. New York City experienced its first homosexual riot. “We may have lost the battle, sweets, but the war is far from over,” lisped an unofficial lady-in-waiting from the court of the Queens.
“We’ve had all we can take from the Gestapo,” the spokesman, or spokeswoman, continued. “We’re putting our foot down once and for all.” The foot wore a spiked heel. According to reports, the Stonewall Inn, a two-story structure with a sand painted brick and opaque glass facade, was a mecca for the homosexual element in the village who wanted nothing but a private little place where they could congregate, drink, dance and do whatever little girls do when they get together.
The thick glass shut out the outside world of the street. Inside, the Stonewall bathed in wild, bright psychedelic lights, while the patrons writhed to the sounds of a juke box on a square dance floor surrounded by booths and tables. The bar did a good business and the waiters, or waitresses, were always kept busy, as they snaked their way around the dancing customers to the booths and tables. For nearly two years, peace and tranquility reigned supreme for the Alice in Wonderland clientele.
The Raid Last Friday
Last Friday the privacy of the Stonewall was invaded by police from the First Division. It was a raid. They had a warrant. After two years, police said they had been informed that liquor was being served on the premises. Since the Stonewall was without a license, the place was being closed. It was the law.
All hell broke loose when the police entered the Stonewall. The girls instinctively reached for each other. Others stood frozen, locked in an embrace of fear.
Only a handful of police were on hand for the initial landing in the homosexual beachhead. They ushered the patrons out onto Christopher Street, just off Sheridan Square. A crowd had formed in front of the Stonewall and the customers were greeted with cheers of encouragement from the gallery.
The whole proceeding took on the aura of a homosexual Academy Awards Night. The Queens pranced out to the street blowing kisses and waving to the crowd. A beauty of a specimen named Stella wailed uncontrollably while being led to the sidewalk in front of the Stonewall by a cop. She later confessed that she didn’t protest the manhandling by the officer, it was just that her hair was in curlers and she was afraid her new beau might be in the crowd and spot her. She didn’t want him to see her this way, she wept.
The crowd began to get out of hand, eye witnesses said. Then, without warning, Queen Power exploded with all the fury of a gay atomic bomb. Queens, princesses and ladies-in-waiting began hurling anything they could get their polished, manicured fingernails on. Bobby pins, compacts, curlers, lipstick tubes and other femme fatale missiles were flying in the direction of the cops. The war was on. The lilies of the valley had become carnivorous jungle plants.
Urged on by cries of “C’mon girls, lets go get ’em,” the defenders of Stonewall launched an attack. The cops called for assistance. To the rescue came the Tactical Patrol Force.
Flushed with the excitement of battle, a fellow called Gloria pranced around like Wonder Woman, while several Florence Nightingales administered first aid to the fallen warriors. There were some assorted scratches and bruises, but nothing serious was suffered by the honeys turned Madwoman of Chaillot.
Official reports listed four injured policemen with 13 arrests. The War of the Roses lasted about 2 hours from about midnight to 2 a.m. There was a return bout Wednesday night.
Two veterans… recalled the battle and issued a warning to the cops. “If they close up all the gay joints in this area, there is going to be all out war.”
… Police said there were over 200 people in the Stonewall when they entered with a warrant. The crowd outside was estimated at 500 to 1,000. According to police, the Stonewall had been under observation for some time… The police are sure of one thing. They haven’t heard the last from the Girls of Christopher Street.
See the video of my piano solo from 1977: Androgyne Prophecy, available as sheet music.
See this great re-make of the Stonewall trailer, which says it all: http://themuse.jezebel.com/spoof-trailer-tells-the-truth-about-obnoxiously-whitewa-1723959891