The film Stonewall Uprising is currently showing as many places as it ever will. Catch it before it disappears.
Why this documentary? Because filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner have framed the story of the famous riot in 1969 in Greenwich Village where gays fought police repression just as we need to have it framed today if we're not to buy into historical distortions.
Stonewall was about the crazy-making dissonance between a youth culture that was exploding with exuberant sexual liberation (and a nod to peace and racial justice as well) but that did not yet include LGBT people. If everyone else got to glory in loving and fucking freely, why not the queers? The moment was ripe for rebellion and the fags, drag queens, trannies and other rifraff at Stonewall brought it.
All of this not the message of contemporary, and necessary, LGBT civil rights agitation. We do need to be able to join the military and get married if we wish. But first we had to just BE in all our raunchy perfection! Stonewall Uprising tells that tale.
Full disclosure: Kate and David (straight folks by the way) are friends and we've been hearing about the making of the film for a couple of years.
Tuli Kupferberg, best known as the founder with Ed Sanders of the 60s rock band the Fugs, died today at age 86. The Fugs were a classic of the era that made Stonewall possible. As Kupferberg explained to an interviewer: