On Saturday, September 30, the Buffalo-Niagara LGBTQ History Project will host a film screening of Screaming Queens, a film that documents a 1966 riot by LGBTQ people of color, against police brutality at Compton’s Cafeteria, San Francisco. The sensational occurrence is noted as one of the first recorded LGBT-related riots in US history. It also ultimately gave way to a wave of institutional changes within the SF police department, including identifying transgender people as “citizens with rights” instead of simply “problems that needed to be dealt with”. It is interesting to note that, at the time, transgender people were not even welcome in gay bars due to transphobia.
Today, the same transgender women of color have been priced out of the Compton’s Cafeteria neighborhood, which begs the question, “What does it mean to commemorate LGBTQ spaces in a gentrifying neighborhood?”
The film was directed by Victor Silverman and trans activist Susan Stryker in 2005. It has become a rallying flag for queer communities to continue on the fight for freedom and equal rights, while being safe and secure in their own neighborhoods.
Allentown has always been considered a hotbed and haven for the LGBTQ community. As with many cities, the LGBTQ community has made a huge impact in preserving the artistic and bohemian nature of the village, while cultivating and promoting an open and forward thinking identity along Allen Street. But what does the future of Allentown behold? The film/discussion will touch upon the gentrification of queer spaces, which, according to event sponsors “is a hot topic in Buffalo’s LGBTQ community.”
A screening of the documentary Screaming Queens, plus a panel discussion on race, class, gentrification, and queer spaces in Buffalo.
The screening of Screaming Queens will be held at Grindhaus Café (co-sponsor), and will include a post panel discussion about race, class, gentrification, and LGBTQ spaces in Buffalo. Panel speakers will include Tinamarie and Denise Sweet, co-owners of Sweets Lounge and co-founders of the Black Intelligent Ladies Alliance; Reggie Griggs, founder of All About Us; Sherrill Cooper, the former owner of MC Compton’s bar on Niagara Street; Emily Terrana, a community organizer for PUSH; Bridge Rauch, co-founder of No Labels Clothing Cooperative; and Seth Girod, from the Dreamland Collective.
The panel discussion will be moderated by Susan Cahn, professor of history.
The screening will begin at 6 p.m. at Grindhaus Café (160 Allen Street). The admission fee is a suggested donation of between $5 and $10, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. See Facebook event.