“The First Gay Pride Was a Riot,” is a reminder you hear an awful lot the last week of June every year. But that doesn’t mean the rioters have always been remembered as they should. The 2015 film Stonewall was roundly criticized for representing the 1969 uprising as the work of gay white men, when in reality it was largely the work of trans and gender-nonconforming women of color, including Marsha P. Johnson.
Johnson, a pioneer who died in 1992, gets her due at the Roxie this weekend at the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF). From Friday, Nov. 9 to Sunday, Nov. 11, the world’s oldest and longest-running festival of its kind delivers six new programs that encompass the trans experience from short, highly political films to music videos to animation. (There is also a closed-captioned component on Saturday evening.)
Aiming to give a voice to marginalized communities within a marginalized community, the festival gives equal weight to established and emerging filmmakers — having begun in 1997, when institutional support for such an enterprise was nonexistent. With the federal government seemingly bent on the erasure of trans bodies and trans experiences, the festival’s political valence is more timely than ever.
Each of the six programs contains different films, from the powerful, like Mizz June & Kjerstin Rossi’s War Call, a music video from a New York hip-hop artist who’s the protege of the one and only Miss Major Griffin-Gracy to the silly (StormMiguel Florez & Annalise Ophelian’s A Murder of Porgs, described as “Some things are so cute, you just want to eat them up”) on Saturday at 7 p.m.
San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF), Friday-Sunday, Nov. 9-11, at the Roxie Theatre, 3117 16th St. $12-$15 sftff.org