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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Stonewall Uprising Doc

I learned through the Stonewall Uprising that there were so many negotiations that queer people had to navigate through just to exist and find a place to flourish. While being rejected and continually branded as "other", the desire for community, belonging, and family is the foundation for the fire and brute force for rights of the LGBTQ community. I was heartbroken by the lengths for which the government went to potentially "cure" these people, completely stripping them of their humanity. I was left wondering if their result left them satisfied? Was being a vegetable in a mental hospital unable to contribute, grow, learn, that much better? The sheer torture and the justification for this inhumane treatment had me questioning the decency of those in power. Although there was an element of humor to the PSAs that were shown throughout the documentary, mainly because we, as a society, have come so far and seeing the depiction of the creepy, mustachioed, older gentlemen with porno cards in his pocket, trolling the park in his station wagon attempting to lure young boys into temptation, is dramatic, comical, but completely feared and legitimate at that time. Another aspect of the documentary that stuck with me was the immense amount of shame that was placed on the unfortunate individual that had been arrested and consequently outed by the way of having their personal information plastered all over the local newspapers. The continual reminder of "you are not right and you are not welcome" rang throughout the entire first half of the film, but what really inspired me was the resiliency and the power that pushed back against what seemed a world of "no". The trailblazers, the often unsung heroes, the underdogs created, redefined, and stomped their way into a place of "yes". I loved seeing the fire in the eyes of the people that were there the night of the Stonewall Uprising and the pride and the satisfied smirks of revenge. The triumph lit up their faces, which for me in academia, the result of Stonewall is never the main focus, whereas the heartbreak receives all the focus, which rightfully so. However, I was inspired and pleased to see the positive and uplifting "end" to this uprising, which spurred and coupled with other uprisings that were born after and alongside.

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