Roland Emmerich's Stonewall film, which depicts a largely fabricated interpretation of the historical events leading up to the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement, has faced considerable criticism since the trailers debuted this summer. See, the actual Stonewall Riots were started by drag queens and trans people of color, not by pretty white dudes like Emmerich's version suggests. Understandably, LGBT activists were upset by this revisionism, prompting investment into other, better projects.
After seeing all the negative press, Roland Emmerich suggested that we give his movie a chance anyway, and, considering the hideous reviews the film has been getting (like this and this), we're thinking we're going to pass. Here's some other things you could be watching if you are actually interested in LGBT culture, art, and history:
1. Paris Is Burning
Not without its own controversy, Paris Is Burning is a legendary LGBT movie which depicts the often underappreciated history of vogue and the underground ballroom scene. Endlessly quotable and inspiring, the movie continues to inspire queens and queers all around the world.
2. Happy Birthday, Marsha!
When the Stonewall controversy broke, many activists suggested funding a project titled Happy Birthday, Marsha instead. This small indie film, still seeking funding (donate here!) features a diverse cast and hopes to tell the story of drag queen revolutionary Marsha P. Johnson, the person who actually threw the first brick at Stonewall. The movie isn't quite ready yet, but we'll be keeping our eye out for it when it finally drops.
This dark comedy stunned audiences at Sundance with its honest and hilarious depictions of trans women of color, played by actual trans women of color. Filmed on iPhones and with almost no budget, the movie became a surprise art house success.
4. Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street
Here's another project currently looking for funding. Scream Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street hopes to tell the story of the second film in the Freddy Kruger franchise. You know the one, with all the gay stuff? The movie is hoping to expose the less-than-ideal status of gays in the 80s through the strange story of how a weirdly Freudian horror film got made. Donate to the movie over here.
Queen Latfiah's HBO's portrayal of bisexual blues legend Bessie Smith was hailed by critics as a triumph of storytelling and acting, and described by the Denver Post as “beautifully affecting.”
6. Pink Moon
This artsy sci-fi film wonders what it would be like to live in a world where homosexuality is the norm. The 17-minute short film contemplates the relatedness of LGBT concerns and women's reproductive issues.
7. Literally anything else
I don't know. Twin Peaks is still on Netflix. That's pretty fun. Or, like, maybe Die Hard? Everyone loves Bruce Willis. Seriously, just pick something. Doesn't even have to be LGBT. Just do something better with your time and money!