Stonewall The Movie at TIFF and opening in Sept.


Well it’s finally here, Stonewall the movie. All year my friends and I who were in the movie, and I mean background performers, crew and the leads- have all been waiting to see this. We all gave our hearts and souls to this regardless of how much time we spent in front or behind the camera. It truly was a labour of love and I wanted to be in this movie so badly before I even saw a script. All I knew was that a movie was going to be made that was connected to an era I knew a bit about and that filled me with purpose and pride- a connection to my people and ancestors from the LGBT community. No part was too small. I would get to be a lesbian in something near and dear to me.

What I didn’t anticipate was how many friends I would make or how many tears I would shed because watching the riot scenes and being in the riot as a lesbian being thrown about by the cops, deeply impacted me. There were numerous LGBT people on the set from crew to background performers up to leading actors like Vlad Alexis and Jonny Beauchamp, two young twenty somethings who will probably become stars. Their performances are amazing. I know and I love these young men and I hope that all people will stand behind this movie.

People are already complaining and the movie hasn’t even been released! I think it’s to easy to hate and jump on our own, to try to tear something down that actually has great ideas and tells an amazing story. It’s fictional and not meant to be a historical account, but there are certainly parts of the movie that do stay true to life with characters like Marsha Johnson, and Sam my character, based on a woman who fought four cops with all her might before being thrown into a cruiser. Not much else is known about her but what courage, and of course some of the cop characters and the gay and trans characters who were there are also depicted, but mostly it’s a fictional account mixed with truth of the time. I think it’s way too easy to find things to dislike about art and story telling, way too easy to look for things to be mad about. It may not be everyone’s idea of great story telling but I think it is good story telling and I think more than that it’s going to be a great movie that will inspire and educate those who know little about the Stonewall days in the 60s, including many in our own community.

fullsizeoutput_2aa1I suggest people see the film. I ask that people support the effort. It may not be the story you would have told but it’s movie making and story telling and it’s fiction. Please remember that. In movies and television shows things are made up, otherwise they are documentaries. I am so excited to see it and hope that it will become one of the films that inspires another generation of not just filmmakers and story tellers but LGBT people from all walks of life. Hopefully more people will be inspired to tell additional stories of that generation from multiple perspectives. Personally I think it would be cool to take a great look at the butches and fems of the time, and women like Storme DeLarverie or the group The Daughters of Bilitis, and what happened between men and women of those early days when women were disregarded and not included so much by men. Sexism was alive and well in the 60s and we are still struggling in 2015!  There are so many untold stories and that is the point I was trying to make in an earlier blog post about hoping more women journey into that era and create more shows about it.

I’ll be getting ready to go to #TIFF in Sept. for its premier, and I hope it gets a massive audience come the end of Sept. when it’s released. I believe in supporting LGBT filmmakers and films and that is what I hope others will do too. It’s worth it…I mean the alternative is the same old same old Ironman or strange comedies about attacking leaders in Asia. How about we get behind the film Stonewall and support it? 🙂

I”ll try to post the trailer but you can visit it at youtube:

Support each other and keep telling stories!

One comment

  1. I watched the Trailer! Was so excited so see the power and energy in the protests and resistance. Made me wish I was still teaching in the Master’s in Social Justice program I used to teach in in Detroit. THIS FILM would be included…just from the trailer and knowing Joanne for so many years. My hope is that it will be a source for deep education and discussion and change. Fiction is not a problem for me because what is depicted is based in fact…the emotional and political environment and the effects of these long term (as Joanne says, STILL HAPPENING in 2015…the oppression of LGBTs and the hatred still rampant.) I am so proud to know Joanne had a role in this film and is in the middle of the storming of society in any way she can–and she does this astoundingly in her acting and writing. Bravo. Can’t wait to see this film!

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