Trans and Poc Erasure in the new stonewall film.
Erasure of people of colour in a Hollywood feature is nothing new. Nor is the tied practice of casting a cisgeder man in the role of a Transgender Female character. Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall movie however takes erasure to new heights. The 1969 stonewall uprising was by all means the turning point for LGBT liberation however it’s important to acknowledge the role of Trans Women of Colour as many of the people responsible for leading the fight back at stonewall . people like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Miss Major (the latter two notably absent from the Roland Emmerich movie. In addition to this Masha P. Johnson is played by Otoja Abit (a cisgender man) in an age when many wonderful transgender actresses are available (such as Laverne Cox) this sort of thing is inexcusable. Furthermore the events of stonewall are recent enough that there are a number of people still alive who were present at the stonewall uprising such as Miss Major who has publically expressed her disappointment at the lack of representation in the Roland Emmerich film in an interview on the on the autostraddle website.
The stonewall uprising it ‘self was not an Isolated incident but rather another in a series of protest actions in major cities across the United States of America the earliest occurring a decade before stronewall at Coopers Doughnuts in Los Angeles. This was followed by other direct actions throughout the United States most being led by Transgender Women of colour. Its important t5o realize the class as race distinctions played a huge part in LGBT oppression during this era. Rich Homosexual men tended to suffer under the anti-gay laws in the USA during this time period. Working class Queers suffered far more than the rich and Queer people of Colour faced discrimination even within the LGBT community (some would argue they still do to this day). Trans people were themselves seen as bellow most of the gay community. And Homeless Trans women of colour very much bore the brunt of the anti LGBT laws of that time.
The stonewall story can’t be told properly without understanding the dynamics of oppression that caused not only stonewall but also the preceding actions of the prior decade. Without this basic understanding the Roland Emmerich movie is nothing more than a Hollywood fantasy that shares only the name and location of a significant historical event.