FEMINIST FRIDAY: Celebrating Pride Month With Powerful & Personal Videos About LGBTQ History

Welcome to another Feminist Friday column! That time of the week where we share 3 of our fave videos of the moment, tied into a feminist theme. This week it’s all about celebrating the historical, personal and powerful stories about the LGBTQ community during Pride month.

First up, we go back to where it started in the US with the Stonewall Riots in New York. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the riots and today there is more recognition for the activists, in particular the trans women of color, who lead the way for an historical breakthrough which would see even more gains for the LGBTQ community over the following decades (despite continual pushback).

For a helpful primer on how the Stonewall Riots came about, watch the short documentary below, ‘Stonewall Forever’, published by the LGBT Center in NY, directed by Ro Haber.

“The film brings together voices from over 50 years of the LGBTQ rights movement to explore queer activism before, during and after the Stonewall Riots. The history of the Stonewall Riots is equally as cherished as it is charged. There are questions of who was there, who “threw the first brick” and who can claim Stonewall. This film…brings together queer activists, experienced and new, to look at the movement for LGBTQ equality before, during and after Stonewall. It highlights trans people, people of color and homeless people who were at the forefront of the movement, and who have often been erased from the narrative. It explores how the activism of today stands on the shoulders of the activists who have come before. And it asks us all to recognize the legacy of Stonewall that remains today, when the struggle for queer rights is far from over. “

The second video we’re sharing is the crowdfunding trailer for a new documentary being made about a trailblazing trans women of color, directed by award-winning journalist and filmmaker Luchina Fisher (‘Birthright: A War Story‘).

“MAMA GLORIA is an intimate portrait of aging about a trailblazing 73-year-old black transgender woman who transitioned before Stonewall, started a charm school for transgender youth in her 60s and is now looking for someone to spend the rest of her life with,” says the description on the Seed & Spark campaign page.

“Born George in 1945, Gloria came of age amid the legendary drag balls on Chicago’s South Side and transitioned after high school with the support of the women in her family, including her mother Alma, a former showgirl and Jet centerfold. In her 60s, she started a charm school for transgender youth, paying forward the love and life lessons she received. Intimate and character-driven, the feature documentary explores what it means to grow old as part of the first generation of out LGBTQ elders. Living alone, unmarried and childless, having lost many of her friends to drugs, disease and murder, and surviving on a small, fixed income, Gloria lives each day with joy, humor and gratitude, displaying a resilience and optimism that can serve as a model of aging for us all.”

Filmmaker Luchina explains why she felt compelled to tell Gloria’s story:
“I felt a personal connection to her story: I am the mother of a transgender daughter. As a black woman filmmaker who is raising a biracial transgender daughter, I see Gloria’s story through a unique lens and with personal urgency. Ultimately, it is the story of a mother’s love — the love Gloria’s mother had for her, the love she has for her chosen children, and the love I have for my daughter, Gia. My concern for Gia’s future drives me to bring Gloria’s story to the screen.”

Please donate to the campaign while it is running throughout June and help allow this unique and personal story be seen by the world.

The final video we’re sharing is some timely news and takes us abroad to Brazil, where the supreme court recently voted to criminalize homophobia and transphobia similarly to its laws on racism. This is a major step forward for equal rights especially under the current Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has been nicknamed “the Trump of the Tropics”. He swept into power carried by many religious conservatives who agree with his regressive and awful views regarding the LGBTQ community. We’re not interested in sharing those here, they are very easily found on Google.

Instead we’re celebrating the fact that even when destructive and regressive leaders are in power, progress can be made. People should never stop fighting for equal rights, no matter who is in charge. Here’s hoping the new ruling will be enforced and that the LGBTQ community in Brazil can be protected from discrimination in every facet of their lives.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.