Pop Culture Fix: The First “Stonewall” Trailer Is Here, Queer, But Light On Women And Trans Folks

Autostraddle’s Pop Culture Fix is a weekly round-up of the queer arts and entertainment news you need in your life.

TeeVee News-ish

+ Tig Notaro‘s new HBO comedy special, Boyish Girl Interrupted, will land on August 22. To tide you over, here’s a trailer of the big event.

+ The CW is making a TV show about Little Women. About dystopian Little Women.

+ At the Television Critics Association summer press tour this week, Jill Soloway talked a little bit about “taking the bubble wrap off” of Maura this season on Transparent.

“We’re not doing ‘Trans 101’ anymore — we’re not having to introduce the world to the concept of a trans woman. Now Maura can be a little bit more human. She can make mistakes more, she doesn’t have to be exemplary, so that’s exciting as writers for us, to allow her to make some bad turns.”

+ Here are some Grey’s Anatomy spoilers about Callie and Arizona’s sapphic hijinks in the upcoming 12th season, straight from Shonda Rhimes.

Definitely some new romances for them this season, and some pretty exciting ones, too, which I think are going to be kind of interesting

Team Arizona and Dr. Geena Davis, to be honest. Team Callie and Meredith.

+ The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual Emmy roundtables are arriving! I love these things! They’re my favorite part of the Emmys! First up, Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, Lizzy Caplan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Lange, and Ruth Wilson talk sexism, racism, ageism and nudity in Hollywood. For a full hour, they talk about it!

+ IndieWire thinks UnREAL is the feminist masterpiece theater we’ve been looking for.

The show doesn’t pity [Rachel or Quinn], or make excuses for them. Quinn and Rachel may be working within the constraints of a system, but they still have choices, and they frequently make bad ones — for which they suffer harsher consequences than a man ever would. UnReal is smart enough to wrap its critique of patriarchal structure in a compulsively watchable drama full of outrageous plot twists, appealing to the very factors it leads you to question. That it airs on Lifetime, buffered by ads for shows that appear to do the same without the layer of self-conscious criticism, just makes it more potent. This is what a feminist TV show looks like.

+ The A.V. Club is super into UnREAL too. They think it’s one of the most accidentally authentic things on TV this summer, along with I Am Cait (which plummeted in ratings for the second episode, by the way).

This same disconnect makes shows like Caitlyn Jenner’s new Lifetime show I Am Cait, which trades on perceived authenticity, something of a tough sell. Tackling transgender identity on television is still complicated, not least because of prejudices against transgender people as somehow deceptive—a perception hard to tackle sensitively on reality TV, a genre ruled by either conflict or voyeurism. I Am Cait’s biggest triumph is that it manages not to rely overmuch on either; the result is something both well meaning and carefully controlled, a Fabergé egg of public image. Those expecting vapidity will be stymied by the show’s sincere mission statement; those expecting any raw-edge authenticity will be disappointed by its careful polish.

+ Variety is all about Jenji Kohan, Shonda Rhimes, Lena Dunham, Jill Soloway, Ilene Chaiken, and other female showrunners in this week’s print issue. Here’s Ilene:

Women often “come from a less top-down approach, and are more able to engage in the process of listening to the room to find the best idea, and guiding the story to that, rather than rigidly guiding it one way,” Chaiken says. “I think women do that naturally and more intuitively than men.”

+ Don’t forget: Dannielle Owens-Reid is teaming up with some awesome queer folks to make the definitive documentary on the evolution of LGBT folks on TV.

The Silver Screen

The first trailer for Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall is here. It features more characters of color than the promo photos (which were all super white), including Jonny Beauchamp and Otoja Abit as real-life activists Ray Castro and Marsha P. Johnson, respectively. However, some critics are still worried about potential trans erasure in the movie. (Also, Otoja Abit is a cis man playing a trans woman of color, which is another problematic thing.) The film drops on September 25.

+ Kate McKinnon and her new squad of Ghostbusters surprised patients at a Boston children’s hospital.

Queer + Feminist Folks Doing And Saying Things

+ In the wake of the Lafayette theater shooting that killed three people and wounded nine more, Amy Schumer has decided to fight back with more than words. She’s teaming up with her cousin, New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, to promote a “three-pronged approach to fighting mass shootings, focusing on background checks and mental health funding.” You can watch Schumer’s full press conference announcing the forthcoming legislation here.

+ Former A-Camper Danielle Strassman teamed up with some of her friends and HereTV to do a street investigation inspired by the Do I Sound Gay? documentary. Can these random people pick out the lesbian in the crowd just from the sound of her voice?


+ More Kate McKinnon? Okay! She’s doing some pretty amazing commercials for Ford now.

+ Jennifer Beals‘ name is everywhere in my Feedly and Twitter timeline right now. I think she’s trying to change the press narrative because of how she left her dog in a hot car or whatever that was that happened earlier this week. I can’t watch videos like that. Anyway, she did an extensive interview with The A.V. Club yesterday, in which she talked about her whole career, including The L Word.

AVC: It’s amazing how far we’ve come just since the show went off the air.

JB: Isn’t that incredible? It really is incredible. For me, when I started playing the character, when I saw the script for the pilot, I thought, “This would be amazing to have some girl somewhere in the middle of nowhere, who has no access to her tribe, really, see herself represented as a multiplicity in a mainstream media.” I thought that would be incredible. To touch just one person with this story, I would’ve been happy. But for the show to have had—and to still have—the kind of following that it does is incredibly gratifying. There are no fans that are more loyal than The L Word fans. They’re so engaged and present.

+ Mindy Kaling previews the TV that’s coming our way this fall for The New Yorker. (Kind of.) (Just read it.)

+ If you’re a bigot, you’re a bigot, and Ruby Rose is not going to apologize for saying it (even if you are the Prime Minister).

+ Lea DeLaria spoke out at TCA and called butch lesbians “the pariahs of the community.”



I hope your day makes you smile like this puppy!

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. I did watch that trailer and really? This is how you wanna play it, Roland Emmerich? We were all lead by a white gay man? Ok, let’s remake history once again.

    Well, at least I have the sweet smiling puppy…

    • I was so pissed off too, ESPECIALLY since theyr’e trying to pass this as “historical accuracy” or something. Like, REALLY ?

    • I’m not really surprised. I feel like white gay men have always tried to sell us that narrative over the years. This Stonewall movie really sounds worse and worse the more I keep hearing about it.

    • Not to mention centering it around a fictional gay, white, cis male main character (someone the targeted audience can relate to?!). I have no doubt a few trans, gender variant and people of color will be thrown in the film as set dressing (and to toss out outraaaageous lines) and to show the main white man character he’s not in Kansas anymore. This looks about as ghastly as the mediocre PBS documentary/pledge night commercial “Stonewall Uprising” and have little doubt GLAAD will try to convince us it’s the “film event of the year.”

  2. I was gonna cancel my HBO any second but now I have to wait for Tig’s show to come out first…

  3. The “Do I Sound Like a Lesbian” video was so painful. So. Many. Idiots.

    The Stonewall trailer…I know it’s early to say because obviously I haven’t seen it but my first reaction was “All I see are dudes. White dudes”.
    And the tagline “where Pride began” …really? I started with a bunch of cis gay white dudes? Is that actually how it started and I’m just catching up right now?

    • Its not clear who thought one could tell ‘gay’ by voice. Some people who did the experiment maybe said “I don’t think you can tell” at the start…
      So… weird, over all.

      • Also also all the “good for you” comments at the end are cringe worthy. Even the people who were cool with The Gay still sounded awkward when confronted with that information. What can a person on the street say other than “good for you”?
        Anyway, funny idea I guess…

  4. “The CW is making a TV show about Little Women. About dystopian Little Women.” WAT. Y?

    I actually really enjoy unReal. Not enough to have to watch every episode as it airs, but I’ll go back to it and binge once a few have come out. I still don’t trust Marti Noxon (I’m looking at you Spike storyline!) but it’s been awhile since than so I think she’s matured/understands nuance better. I hope it gets a second season because it’s stuck in a bit of ‘show not tell’ right now, which would probably go away once the characters settle in.

  5. I honestly don’t even know how to process that stonewall movie, like, it just feels so purposefully and blatantly wrong. i just, i can’t.

  6. Does anyone know of a good book or documentary — nonfiction — about Stonewall? I feel like there’s a big part of my history education missing right there…

    • Yes please. I need a lot of this to spam my various timelines with for when people start posting abouth this impooortant movie!

    • Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter is one i’ve read that’s pretty good–it’s really in depth and is filled with multiple people’s accounts of the riots and includes the history of the bar and the events leading up to the riot, along with the effects they’ve made on the lgbtq+ rights movement–some of the language (particularly concerning trans people) might be a little outdated, but otherwise it’s a great read!

      • I haven’t personally read Carter’s book, but apparently he doesn’t put Sylvia Rivera at the riots at all, and I have read interviews where he actively denies her presence there. It seems like Carter’s Stonewall presents a narrative closer to it seems like this film is going to portray.

    • Stonewall by Martin Duberman was the first gay book I ever read and I’m really glad cuz it set the stage for me in knowing my history! <3 There's also a documentary just called Stonewall, I think, that's decent. Also, some folks are working on a film about Marsha P. Johnson, but I can't remember what it's called.

    I want to be Lizzy Caplan/be her best friend, marry Maggie Gyllenhaal and have her babies, and just bask in the glow of Viola Davis. I just. They are all so brilliant in different ways.

    • heh I hadn’t noticed. I spend too much time yelling at the television to listen top their names (I love it)

  8. AND as far as I can tell, Ray Castro IRL was NOT trans identified in any way. So they totally used his name and slapped it on this amalgam of trans women/queens, thereby also erasing him and misgendering him while simultaneously erasing the many trans women of color and queens of color and MY GODDESS WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK.

  9. “Butch lesbians are the pariah of the LGBT community”

    Bullshit. Transfeminine people are the pariahs of the LGBT community, and this statement completely ignores the role butch lesbians have had in upholding transmisogyny.

    • I read her somewhat differently — more that she’s recognizing that butch lesbians and (her phrase) nelly queens are disparaged in the mainstream (homonormative?) GL community. And that that disparagement has to do with both of those groups’ violation of cis/binary standards of gender presentation.

      I don’t know to what degree DeLaria is or isn’t aware of, or concerned about, transmisogyny. But what I hear her objecting to is a gender-presentation-policing acceptability politics (“see, we’re just like you straight people!). She just doesn’t happen to mention in this piece that kind of exclusionary politics also turns into transmisogyny (and other exclusions).

      At least, that’s what I get out of her remarks.

    • Will there ever come a time when we can stop arguing over who’s the ‘real pariah’ of the LGBT community? It would have been valid for DeLaria to just say, ‘I always felt out of place as a butch person’. Or even ‘butches tend to get looked down upon for not conforming to the image many gay people want to present.’ No need to erase the other forms of alienation running rampant.

  10. someday…. SOMEDAY there will be a good LGBT movie that isn’t about a gay white man, but that Stonewall movie obviously isn’t it.

  11. Well, definitely not going to see STONEWALL. I stopped being in interested in white gay dude’s media…oh wait, I was never interested.

    Also, the comments by Lea Delaria are really irresponsible–it ignores the privilege masculine presenting lesbians have in many lesbian spaces (being read as queer and being automatically included, emphasis on an alternative = masculine queer aesthetic) that femmes don’t have. And to anyone really thinking critically, people on the trans feminine spectrum are definitely the “pariahs” of the LGBT community. C’mon.

    • Yeah, Lea’s comment makes me feel unsettled. I hear what she’s saying in the sense that butch lesbians are highly visible “targets” of the LGBTQIA community by outsiders, and that little progress has been made in the mainstream acceptance of more masculine presenting females.

      But saying they are the “pariahs of the gay community” as in, within our own community, they are the least accepted group.. well.. that seems narrow minded. In my personal experience as a very femme person, I have dealt with inordinate amounts of bullshit and misogyny from butch lesbians who chose to question my authenticity because I didn’t LOOK queer enough for them, or who treated me like a piece of meat because I’m girly. Being highly visible, while creating issues with the hetero public, in my opinion allows butch lesbians to more easily identify each other and band together. Regardless, these types of pros and cons can be made for all of our narratives and I think that trying to COMPARE the DEGREE of suffering in the sub-groups of this community only serves to divide us.

  12. My friend posted an article about Stonewalls whitewashing… And I’m just like… Ugh. I can’t!!!!!!! Any person deciding to “get creative” with history needs to be aware of the tremendous responsibility some of this may entail, and it is really disappointing to see that this director decided to use it to erase the voices of the trans women of color and queens that truly started the movement, especially because the film has so much clout financially and its intention to really “inform the mainstream” with such an erroneous and misinforming story line that just continues to perpetuate bullshit (a young white cis gay man was the start of it all. REALLY!?!?). Its just wrong in so many ways. With a platform that big and visible, they really should have gotten off their high horse and stepped back to let the real leading powerhouses of the riots/movement be seen and heard after having dealt with this kind of BS marginalization for so SO long.I await the day a film maker or documentarian is smart and humble enough to tell the story as it should be. Historic story telling shouldn’t have so much damage control to be done for it. :(

  13. What bothers me the most about the whitewashing of Stonewall is that I get the awful feeling that this is the movie that awards show, the Oscars in particular, are going to fall all over themselves to honor to prove how progressive they are. Similarly to what they always do when their is a movie about slavery.

    I’m also getting that feeling about Eddie Redmayne and The Danish Girl. There is NO WAY the Oscars aren’t going to nominate him for his “brave” portrayal of a trans woman.

    • Oh totally agree. And it offends me as a straight up women. WOmen are women not dude, not even trans men.

  14. I’m glad that Ruby Rose clarified that question for us. And the Julia Gillard takedown of Tony Abbott’s misogyny (which is briefly alluded to) is a masterpiece of rhetorical art, truly a thing of beauty.

    I would pay a lot for a vial of Tony Abbott’s tears.

  15. Eh ok;
    Read this–its by an actual feminist

    Next–let’s say–never watch life-time or that ID channel; its bad for you…
    and at some-point Lifetime had a content warning for ELLEN ffs

    Making history is great; maintaining it is a real bitch. Excluding one cause to empower another equally sound cause will wind up with a wash-out of “white” noise over opinions.

    And trump pre-patented that.

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