In this special series, LGBT celebrities and public figures talk to Tim Teeman about the Stonewall Riots and their legacy—see more here.
Broadway performer, and soul, dance/electronica, and pop singer; former contestant on American Idol
When/how did you first hear about the Stonewall Riots, and what did you make of it?
I feel like I’d been hearing about Stonewall for my whole life, but I didn’t fully grasp all of it until my teens/early adulthood.
What is their significance for you?
It’s significant for me in a multitude of ways. Particularly as a queer black woman. Shoutout to our sister, Marsha P. Johnson. God rest her brave soul.
How far have LGBT people come since 1969?
I think we have a lot further to go, actually. On the surface, it looks like the LGBT community has made great strides but until we collectively do a better job of creating safe spaces for the women, the black folk, and the trans brothers and sisters in the community, we aren’t advancing as a whole.
What would you like to see, LGBT-wise, in the next 50 years?
I would like to see more visibility and inclusivity for non-white cis male members of the community. The Stonewall history has become so white-washed, and far too many people are unaware of who Marsha P. Johnson was. That is our responsibility.