Donna Overview

The Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York Metropolis are nicely often called a historic second when the lives of queer folks in America shifted. However three years earlier one other landmark occasion befell, this time at Compton’s Cafeteria within the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, when a transgender lady resisted arrest by a police officer and impressed a brand new type of trans activism within the metropolis. Donna Personna remembers it nicely — she knew the lady concerned and was invited by an unbiased theatre director within the metropolis to show the riot into a chunk of immersive theatre.

After we meet Donna in Jay Bedwani’s tender documentary, she is in her seventies and dwelling comfortably in her feminine identification. She hadn’t all the time been in a position to take action and didn’t put on a costume for the primary time till she was 59. Reflecting on her childhood in San Jose, the place her household and minister father had been central to a Baptist group, she knew that as a queer individual she “had the ability to destroy their lives”. This concern for her household led to a lifetime of repression for concern of showing her genuine self.

In Bedwani’s profile, Donna’s hidden identification is widely known — she loves performing in bars, lip-syncing to Ok. Michelle’s ‘If It Ain’t Love’ and dancing in sequinned robes. She lives alone, however she has a group now, interacting with different trans folks within the bars and through rehearsals for the play she writes concerning the Compton’s Cafeteria riot. The self-confidence the expertise and her pals give her encourages Donna to succeed in out to her estranged household, resulting in a transferring sequence wherein she reunites together with her sister, Gloria. Donna is aware of that not everybody can be as accepting, however her optimism about trans folks at present is deeply inspiring.

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