The criticism against the upcoming Stonewall riots-focused film “Stonewall,” which largely focuses on the erasure of women, trans* people, and people of color in the movie’s lead cast and just-released trailer, has manifest in a new petition to boycott the film that already has more than 15,000 signers.
The petition to boycott the film was started by Pat Cordova-Goff, a transgender California teen whose participation in her school’s girls softball team was profiled in Al Jazeera America last year; it is hosted on the website of GSA Network, an LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that works with youth activists.
The petition is accompanied by a video (which you can see below) in which Cordova-Goff explains the overlooked history of previous LGBTQ activism and riots, as well as the broader context of LGBTQ people of color’s contributions to that activism being minimized over the course of the struggle. The petition itself features statements that echo those sentiments:
History classes throughout our nation have built a reputation of instructing young generations that white, straight, cis folks are the saviors and founders of this land. Wrong. We were taught that light-skinned people are the goal; the goal to assimilate to. Wrong. We were also rarely taught about queer history, but when we were, it probably revolved around white cis gay men. Wrong.
This film is no different that the history classes that are serving a disservice to every potential viewer. From the previews alone, queer folks have gathered that the centralized character is a white cis gay man. (WHY?) From the previews alone, queer folks have gathered that not many people of color are even in the film. (WHY?) To make this short, we have also gathered that white folks are being credited in throwing the brick, starting the riots, starting the “gay liberation front” and also capturing the heart of a light-skinned transwomyn. (Of course we all fall in love with the white saviors. WRONG.)
The petition also encourages people to use the hashtags #BoycottStonewallMovie and #NotOurStonewall on social media, as well as to create their own media to counter the narrative that “Stonewall” seems to perpetuate.
Check out the petition’s video below, and click here for the petition.