Afterthought. Post Stonewall.

Hi readers,

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Stonewall finally came out on DVD. I look forward to owning my own copy and keeping it with my other LGBT movies, Torch Song Trilogy, Desert Hearts, Angels In America, Common Ground, CRAZY, and a number of others. What I’ve come to understand about friendship, grief, work, art, movies and politics, is that when you mix them all up, it can be incredibly complicated. I lost friends over Stonewall.

I also understood that to make creative work and be part of a collective, like Stonewall the movie was (and I had a very small part but I was deeply passionate about participating in it) and to be part of something so gay was exhilarating, but I learned that anyone can attack for any reason. I do believe there will come a time when our community will realize it was not right or wise to go after one of our own. I hope that time comes sooner than later. Initially I was concerned because I was one of few lesbian characters in the film but I was determined to give it my all and to love the process and I did. Not only did I love it, I became friends with many people while making the movie and for that I am truly grateful and incredibly proud of Roland Emmerich and all who were in the film from producers to background performers. We all had our hearts involved and you can’t buy that kind of love and commitment on most films. If the community only knew how much we struggled behind the scenes and talked about the LGBT community all the time. And to have some in the community and even our friends dis it, was incredibly disturbing, but even more disturbing because none of them had even seen the movie yet. Stonewall hadn’t even been released and they were mocking and arguing and getting angry about a film based on a two minute trailer. That was a moment of deep sadness and actual confusion because I lost a couple of friends that I really liked and also understood how flawed we humans are in a different way, in a way that made me not proud of my community and I went further into isolation, which had followed a rough year prior with quite a bit of grief, but I digress. I’ve come out the other end and I’ve decided that in order to keep pushing the envelop we can’t be scared by the backlash, that we must rise above and keep writing, keep making movies and content and not be afraid. So it is with this spirit that I release old friends and know that those losses were meant to be and that the new is around the corner, the spirited, activist, creative and artistic path that I am on will always lead me in the right place, even if telling stories are hard and even if people don’t like them.

To all my LGBT friends who make movies, or write books or make art, may you never be harshly criticized for work you haven’t yet published or produced, and may the work you do be well received, and if it’s not…take heart, it will find it’s way to light, like Stonewall the movie. You may not like the movie, but I’m certain that as a film highlighting the plight of some in our community, it does a good job and I am extremely proud of my LGBT brothers and sisters for trying, for doing the work and supporting each other. To those who fell away or dissed a piece of work, or de-friended, or passed judgement on something based on a trailer or an FB post, well…nuf said. I wish you well in the end. Good luck all. Now…on to the next awesome journey, publishing my memoir.

 

2 comments

  1. Wonderful words. I saw some of the criticism the film got and thought it was awful, everyone suddenly had something to say about it. It’s not as though they had all been standing in line to make a film about Stonewall themselves, but they were all too happy to pick it apart. I have not seen it yet, I hope to get my mitts on it soon, but already I think it is wonderful that people continue to make films about Stonewall, about LGBTQ, about the history of it all, because we need to. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but not everyone can think every single film is brilliant.
    I’m sorry to hear that this got so personal for you in such a negative way, but admire you for the way you dealt with it and for focussing on all the good things you got from the experience. There will always be people who try to pick apart what we say, pin us down to every single syllable we may or may not have used, but we have to keep the dialogue going. It’s a shame that the LGBTQ community (and that is what I had always hoped for it to be, a community) is doing a lot of fighting between themselves at the moment, rather than be supportive and open-minded with each other. In the past few years dialogue has increased, more people now feel able to be out and speak out about who they are, and its wonderful! But we have a long way to go yet if our words and our works are being thrown back at us like this all the time, most of all by some of our own!
    I loved reading your article, because it has reaffirmed something that I have been thinking about a lot in the past few years in particular: Regardless of the criticism, we have to keep speaking out and I am determined to be louder than the critics, to be as honest as I can be, not be hurtful to anyone, because they will run out of insults soon enough!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your words. Some of us out here sometimes need reminding that there is good people in this world after all. Hope all is going well for you with your upcoming projects!

    • Thank you Ricki. I appreciate your thoughtful response and think it is very important to speak out, even when it’s scary or opens up to potential criticism, but in order for anything to change we must keep doing the work, and speaking out, writing, making art, poetry, music, pics, everything and anything that advances our species and makes the world a better place. Don’t ya think? So…to the future, to change, to things getting better. Be well. And thank as always. You are always kind.

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