Emmerich's Stonewall Movie Is Not The Stonewall Movie The LGBTQIA Community Is Looking For
Politics and Activism

Emmerich's Stonewall Movie Is Not The Stonewall Movie The LGBTQIA Community Is Looking For

The erasure of transgender women of color in Stonewall is an erasure of history.

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Emmerich's Stonewall Movie Is Not The Stonewall Movie The LGBTQIA Community Is Looking For

#Notmystonewall erupted on Twitter after the first trailer for the new movie Stonewall came out. The movie casts a white, cisgender man as the lead character who throws the first brick in the Stonewall riots. This white, cisgender man does not exist. He is a fictional character created to star in this movie in order to ignore and erase the truth of the riots. This white, cisgender man did not exist, and did not throw the first brick at Stonewall and even pretending that he did is an insult to LGBTQIA people's history, and an erasure of the impact transgender women of color have made on the movement and their existence.

Transgender women of color and drag queens of color were at the center of these riots, not at the fringes. Transgender women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera were the revolutionaries who started this riot. Marsha P. Johnson herself is credited with throwing the first brick at Stonewall, not some skinny, cisgender, white boy who the director somehow decided was a better fit.

Whitewashing and ciscentering is nothing new to Hollywood and nothing new to the world, but that doesn't make it acceptable in any capacity. White people, and cisgender people are not the ones responsible for the Stonewall riots. The movie Stonewall is taking people of color's history from them. History books, lectures in school, and even things we learn from watching documentaries teach us that white, cisgender people are the revolutionaries and the saviors of many movements, including Stonewall. Ignoring the truth and the history of the LGBTQIA rights movement continues to ignore the truth that transgender people, especially transgender women, are the ones that kick started the 'gay rights movement’, which has left the transgender community in the dust. This isn't mere ignorance, but it is disrespectful, violent, and erasure.

Social media websites like Twitter and Tumblr have been very active in showing their anger and frustration about the erasure of the transgender women of color from the movie and from the movement itself. Without Silvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and Miss Major (who is still alive today) there would be no modern 'gay rights movement'.

To add insult to injury, the movie decides to cast cisgender men to play transgender woman Marsha P. Johnson. This of course, plays into the offensive and horrific trope that transgender women are just 'men in dresses'. There are plenty of transgender women of color who are actresses that could have been casted as Marsha P. Johnson. If it wasn't obvious enough that the director does not care about transgender women being included in their own history, this should seal the deal. The term insult to injury, to be perfectly honest, does not even cover the true violence of this casting choice. This is beyond disrespectful; this is violent.

The movie Stonewall is in itself, violent. This movie lies about LGBTQIA history, my history. As a member of the LGBTQIA community myself, I am angry about this movie. I am refusing to allow my history to be whitewashed, and ciscentered. The Stonewall movie is #Notmystonewall. I will be boycotting the Stonewall movie and putting the money towards organizations that help transgender women and the LGBTQIA community instead of lining a director's and producer's pockets who can't be bothered to be accurate and provide even the most basic respect for the transgender women of color who started the movement. This movie is not our history, not my history. This movie is not the Stonewall that I will accept for my history. All movies have fictional elements, but when the entire history is rewritten to erase transgender women of color, that is unacceptable.

If you want to watch a movie about Stonewall and about the amazing transgender women of color who were major participants, then there are movies out there like Happy Birthday Marsha.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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