“Drunk History” Team Pick: Alexandra Grey Is Marsha P. Johnson, True Stonewall Hero

Drunk History has had some super incredibly on point casting over the years (remember Octavia Spenser as Harriet Tubman??) and so when it came time for them to (drunkenly) tell the history of the legendary Stonewall Riots, they stepped the fuck up. Not only did they actually center the story on the iconic Marsha P. Johnson, but they cast Alexandra Grey, a trans actress, in the role. And she NAILS IT y’all. This is the way the Stonewall story should be told.


The story is narrated by comedian Crissle West, and unlike a recent movie about this same event, it actually gets the story right. You won’t see cis white dudes centered here. Now, you might remember Grey from the first episode of Transparent Season Three, playing Elizah, or from her guest appearance on Code Black recently, but here she’s performing like we haven’t seen her before. She’s hilarious, powerful and has all the appropriate swagger for someone who told the courts that her middle initial stood for “Pay it no mind!” She’s everywhere on TV this fall and she totally deserves it. She can do drama and comedy, she can be muted or over the top and she demands the spotlight no matter what kind of show she’s on. Please someone give her a starring role asap. Or, hell, give her a ton of starring roles.

Of course, Marsha P. Johnson wasn’t the only trans woman of color instrumental in the Stonewall Riots, and Drunk History has you covered there too. Puerto Rican trans icon Sylvia Rivera also has a big role in this episode, played here by the talented, glamorous and gorgeous trans actor Trace Lysette, best known for playing Shea on Transparent and Giselle on Blunt Talk. In this six and half minute clip, trans actors playing trans characters get more screen time than pretty much anywhere that’s not Transparent. Good job, Drunk History.

Remembering and respecting our queer history is vital, and Drunk History does a freaking brilliant job of doing that. Trace Lysette looks fucking amazing in a jumpsuit and is hilarious and Alexandra Grey is an all star who’s taking over our TVs this fall.

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Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. When I watched this video this morning, I wanted to smash the patriarchy with my bare hands. Just smash it into bits. I was ON FIRE. I love it. And I love your words about it, Mey.


  2. I didn’t realize they were doing an episode on Stonewall. I am pretty excited mostly over the fact they got the story right and have trans people playing trans. Ironic a comedy network gets it right, but major movie studios keep fuck up.

  3. Y’all I think I pulled something laughing at the drunk adorable historian person.
    Also my heart may have grown 3 sizes from the casting choices and the to even cover this part of American history by a mainstream media outlet.

  4. Alexandra Grey was on last weeks episode of Chicago Med.
    At first glance on the image above I thought it was Ana Gasteyer not Trace Lysette.
    I love drunk history, I have been able to answer many a trivia question because I have watched it.

  5. i had not seen Drunk History before this but I really enjoyed the Octavia Spencer-Harriet Tubman episode as well as this one and now I must watch them all.

  6. um i did not know that drunk history was a thing, but it is clearly a pretty great thing! loved this (even though i’m two+ weeks late to the party…)

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