Feature writing

Stonewall 50

Michelle Rodriguez: ‘Stonewall Is a Symbol for People Who Believe Love Is Ten Times More Powerful Than Hate’

Website:
The Daily Beast

Date:
June 8, 2019

Rodriguez on the LGBT future: ‘I side with hope. I see a space where the divisions of the past are no longer necessary because we have finally evolved enough to unite as one.’

Michelle Rodriguez, Actor (Girlfight, The Fast & The Furious, Avatar, Widows)

When/how did you first hear about the Stonewall Riots, and what did you make of them?

I heard about the Stonewall Riots recently when I was asked this very same question. I didn’t remember at first, but the riots were talked about when I was at the Pride parade in New York. I used to go in the late ’90s. The injustice of being picked on because of hatred made my blood boil. It’s the very reason I went to my first protest in New York for the Amadou Diallo shooting. I was introduced to the world of standing your ground by a wonderful O. G. lesbian from Brooklyn.

What is their significance for you?

Equality and acceptance in a world of division will always begin with a clash. The significance of Stonewall to me is the beginning of solidarity for a group that has been alienated since orthodoxy. It’s a solidarity that is increasingly felt around the world as nationalism and fear of change overtake the hearts and minds of people incapable of universal love. Stonewall is a symbol of a stance towards acceptance and inclusion by people who believe that love is ten times more powerful than hate.

How far have we LGBT people come since 1969?

All I can say is that Mayor Pete has my vote already…

What would you like to see, LGBT-wise, in the next 50 years?

After the Pandora’s Box was opened, all that was left was the gleaming luminescence of Hope. I side with that hope in saying that I see a space where the divisions of the past are no longer necessary because we have finally evolved enough to unite as one. So, if I’m on the right side of fate, then there will be no need for the LGBTQ community to divide itself with names, labels, or dividing titles, will there?