While at RuPaul DragCon LA 2019 this past weekend, I had the incredible privilege of attending a reception in celebration of the upcoming World of Wonder/ YouTube original documentary, Stonewall Outloud. The documentary will feature many notable faces from the LGBTQ community as they listen to and lend their faces to the voices of many of the iconic names who fought for LGBTQ rights at Stonewall nearly 50 years ago.
World of Wonder founders Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey spoke briefly about the project and how much Stonewall impacted the community at large and our very lives today. As they said, there is no way we would be able to have so much that we take for granted were it not for the brave men and women who fought at Stonewall. There would be no RuPaul’s Drag Race, no RuPaul’s DragCon and probably no World of Wonder. So much that we have the privilege to enjoy is in direct relation to that one event, and yet we live in a time that seems to be going backwards with every passing day.
“Right now we are in a country that believes in building walls, a country that believes in hatred, fear, exclusion, and that is the exact opposite of what the LGBTQ+ community stands for. At our best we are a community of inclusion, of open arms, and that is a quality that is needed now, probably more than any other time in this nation’s history.” Fenton Bailey
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3 winner Raja, who lent her face to the voice of Sylvia Rivera in the documentary, then took to the stage and gave an emotional speech about how much has changed since she was growing up.
“I was a kid who was really connected to night life and art, and I feel so privileged because I get to sell merchandise with my face in 2019 at a convention, when once upon a time wearing nail polish could get you thrown in prison, get you beaten up or hurt. We live in a different time and I am so thankful to be here.” Raja Gemini
Being able to attend DragCon year after year and growing up in the household and community that I did, I often feel like I live in a bubble. I think so many of us take for granted the daily privileges we have while so many around the world, and quite frankly, even people here in America, are not afforded the same privileges.
“I love that we’re paying tribute to what happened. Now more than ever our LGBT rights are being stripped away, again, and we have to make sure that doesn’t happen. We have to stand up and show our unity, we have strength in numbers, and it’s time to come together and show that.” Lance Bass
Truly, now more than ever we need to band together and stand up for our rights and for the rights of those around us. Stonewall was a revolution and the hard fought for rights we have gained from that night should be honored. We should continue use the voices those at Stonewall gave us as guidance to keep things moving in the right direction.
“I think it’s always a time to reflect on the past, so that we don’t repeat things in the future, and we remember that the gay community is known for balls and brass and we won’t sit down for shit anymore.” Daniel Franzese
Stonewall Outloud is sure to be a truly heartfelt and thought provoking piece of cinematic history. It premieres on WOW’s YouTube channel, WOW Presents, on the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall, June 28th.