FEMINIST FRIDAY: 3 LGBTQ Films To End Pride Month On A High

Welcome to another Feminist Friday – Pride edition! This week, as we celebrate the last week of pride month 2019, we’re sharing a handful of film trailers to remind us all of the plethora of stories and documentaries that are being shared to champion the lives and the work of those within the LGBTQ community. We feel it is important to remain aware of the social and political issues that are happening right now, especially those that are threatening to roll back the rights and double down on discrimination of LGBTQ people.

But we can also remain hopeful by seeing how far we have come and celebrate this through a number of films. First up this week is a feature documentary, now available on HBO, called ‘Wig’, directed by Chris Moukarbel. Spotlighting the art of drag, and centered on the New York staple Wigstock, ‘Wig’ showcases the personalities and performances that inform the ways we understand queerness, art and identity today.

For almost 20 years, Wigstock was the annual drag festival that glamorously signaled the end of summer for the New York’s gay community Late one night in 1984, Lady Bunny and a few friends drunkenly wandered from the Pyramid Club in the East Village to Tompkins Square Park and staged an impromptu drag show in the bandshell. This would soon become an annual drag bacchanal, which lasted until 2001. In 2018, Lady Bunny resurrected the festival, bringing together legendary queens with some of the new children of drag, creating one of the largest drag performances ever staged.

The second video is a trailer to a feature film called ‘My Days of Mercy’, starring Ellen Page and Kate Mara. For Lucy Morrow (Ellen Page), life stopped the night her mother was murdered, and eight years later, she’s still waiting for it to start again. Her father was arrested, charged with the killing, and now awaits his execution on death row; however, he has always passionately denied committing the crime. She, her sister (Amy Seimetz), and her brother (Charlie Shotwell) spend several weekends out of the year protesting the death penalty outside of different state executions across the country. It is at one of these protests where Lucy meets Mercy (Kate Mara), a woman her own age who she has an instant attraction to. Mercy is a member of the Homicide Survivors Group – a group of people dedicated to supporting both the families of murder victims and the death penalty itself. Though they belong to opposite sides of what is often a fiercely charged confrontation, Mercy and Lucy quickly become entangled in each other’s lives.

The final video this week is the trailer to the Netflix documentary ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’, directed by David France. Marsha was one of the icons of the gay rights movement in the 1960s, the self-described “street queen” of NY’s gay ghetto, and founded the Transvestites Action Revolutionaries with fellow luminary Sylvia Rivera. When Johnson’s body was found in the Hudson River in 1992, police called it a suicide and didn’t investigate. In David France’s new documentary, trans activist Victoria Cruz seeks to uncover the truth of her death while celebrating her legacy.

We’re excited to revisit this 2017 film because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots, a pivotal moment in the history of LGBTQ rights in the United States, and Marsha was one of the leading figures of the Stonewall movement. With more attention being paid the to the shocking number of trans women, especially trans women of color, going missing and being murdered, as Rolling Stone magazine describes, this film is “essential viewing”.

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