Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • Well, what I would say is yes. It really provided, in practical terms, it gave us a super-important milestone to aim for as we were building this archive. I said to Harper-Collins our publisher - and I want to give them a shoutout, they’ve been amazing - it was 3 years ago, and I said “June 2019 is coming up, it’s the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.” So we pointed our ship towards June 2019! It was a happy coincidence, but I knew in 3 years we could build a beautiful archive and book. And the other thing that creates urgency is the simple awareness our subjects are mortal. At least 3 of our interview subjects passed away since we interviewed them. Donna Red Wing passed away a few weeks after we interviewed her. She fought battles coast to coast, ended up living in Des Moines, and we heard she had cancer, and we detoured a team to capture her interview in March 2018, and she passed away six weeks later. So that’s a very very tangible indication of the fact that these people are in their latter years, and every day, I hear someone saying “Oh did you hear about so-and-so, they just passed away and would be an amazing interview.” So the thing that lends the most urgency is the fact that these people aren’t going to be around much longer, and we are hard-pressed to reach them in time. They have to be physically with us, and have the capacity to tell their stories. So this weighs on me all the time. We do what we can, but we hope to do a lot more in the coming months and years.

      The other thing that adds urgency is having experienced a very supportive administration and leadership in Washington with the Obama White House, we’re now in a totally different climate. President Trump has instituted a ban on Transgender people serving in the Military, which is not just ethically and morally wrong, it’s factually wrong. So we are in a time where we’re experiencing blowback, pushback on the advances we’ve made in the past 50-60 years. And that lends urgency to our work as well. We have to make sure our history is recorded so it cannot be erased. Because as we know in this fake news era, there’s no limit to the history or facts that people will try to erase if they are given the chance.