blackface stonewall

“Trans Woman of Color”?

A gaggle of deranged caucasian Tumblerites (or as I like to call them, Brooklyn Genderqueers) has painted ghastly blackface on statues commemorating the historic gay riot at the Stonewall Inn, turning the figures into the most offensive lawn jockeys* imaginable. They were protesting a film that has not yet been released, and that they have not seen: the upcoming Hollywood drama “Stonewall”. Based on movie trailers, Transgender activists complain that they anticipate the film’s depiction of events that occurred at the predominantly gay white male establishment might be too gay and too white.

The 1969 Stonewall Riot occurred in New York’s Greenwich Village when gay patrons spontaneously refused to submit to a routine police raid of the venue. Lesbian and Gay public establishments were illegal back then and those caught in them were arrested, prosecuted for “indecency”, and their names published in the newspaper, “outing” them to employers as criminal sexual degenerates. Police routinely battered the gay men and raped the gay women.

That night, June 28, two years after the hippie “Summer of Love”, one year after 150 feminists set siege to the Miss America pageant, setting off stink-bombs in the hall and throwing curlers, tweezers, stockings and high-heeled shoes (and yes, bras) into a trash can as they crowned a live sheep Miss America, at the height of the Black Power movement, and the Vietnam War protests, something changed. Gay people refused to get into the paddy wagons*. Not one or two but all of them. They fought police and the whole neighborhood came out to join them. Riot!!!

The second night a spontaneous street celebration and makeshift parade took place. Reports state that it was faaabulous. Gay Pride! It was the birth of Gay Pride and we commemorate this uprising of fierce, fierce, pride in every city, town and hamlet worth its sequined thong every year, in June or July, whenever we get around to it.

The so-called “Stonewall Monument” is a work of art by pop artist George Segal named ‘Gay Liberation’. It was commissioned in 1979 by arts patron Peter Putnam and consists of four life-sized bronze figures, not sculpted, but cast in plaster bandages. They are painted white to replicate the plaster Putnam used for casting. The people used to make the casts were each a real gay male and gay female couple who were friends of the artist. The two couples are touching each other intimately (but not sexually). All four of the models are believed to have been white. One of the gay men modeled in the piece shared his reflections in a 2009 article here: http://www.glreview.org/article/article-526/ .

Segal was not the first choice for the commission but he was the first that accepted the (then socially unpopular) task. He had just finished his piece commemorating the Kent State shootings. The instructions for the work were that the piece “had to be loving and caring, and show the affection that is the hallmark of gay people … and it had to have equal representation of men and women.” The work was considered very controversial and “explicit” at the time and was installed in Greenwich Village in 1992 after the initial 1984 installation at Stanford University was vandalized over 40 times by anti-gay individuals, including battery by hammer. Since its installation in small Christopher Park across the street from the Stonewall Inn the work has come to be known as the “Stonewall Monument”.

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The latest vandalization is unique in that the gay men were painted in a way that portrays “blackface” with giant red lips, and afro and brown wigs. Bras were also adhered to the gay men’s chests. No word on why beards and penises where not affixed to the lesbian figures.

blackface stonewall 2

The transgender activists perpetrating the Stonewall Blackface Incident were apparently inspired by the words of “Miss Major”, a seventy three year old male who amazingly claims to have participated in both the Stonewall Riots and the riots at the Attica maximum security penitentiary. “Miss Major” made the following comment about the “Stonewall Monument” as posted on Autostraddle last week:

“Two fags, two lesbians and some random person looking like they were walking into the Park are the statues that are there. Someone should smash those motherfuckers up and turn them into the white dust that they are and put a couple of statues of people of color and at least make one of them an overly obnoxious transgender woman 6’5″, three inch heels, blond/red hair, lashes, beads, feathers and put one of those fine white boys next to her, now that I can handle! [laughter] And let’s have two lesbians at the end with luggage because they’re moving in together! [laughter]” [sic]

In comments at Autostraddle one of the white female trans vandals states:

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the skills or funds to cast sculptures of our own. We also couldn’t paint the entire statues brown because Christopher Park is a highly busy and visible area and we were worried about being arrested. It sucks that some people are correlating it to Black face (and we see why), but that’s decontextualizing what we did. Anyway, we hope that this gets the ball rolling and that we’ll soon see sculptures representing the people of color who led the riots.”

This event nicely caps off a long summer of transgender protests against Gay Pride events for being too gay. From Glasgow’s Pride event, which banned drag queens as offensive to heterosexual male transgenders, to the heckler disrupting president Obama’s White House Pride reception, to the forced signing of a gender loyalty pledge required of participants at Vancouver Pride, to the trans activists that sat down in the street and forced Boston’s Pride parade to come to a screeching halt, to Auckland’s Pride where they did the same thing and resisted arrest. San Diego Pride tried to thwart the inevitable by naming “the entire transgender community” as their Grand Marshal, but was still marred by “die-ins” by trans activists who wanted to draw attention to transgender despair and the fact that 14 out of the 12,000 people murdered annually in the US. are transgender victims.

Is Transgender the Last Wave of Anti-Gay Activism?