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The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot –
San Francisco Film Proposal
A creative team in the Bay Area will be making a short film with the goal of bringing attention to The Compton’s Cafeteria riot of 1966 — a lesser known historical event that marked the beginning of transgender activism in San Francisco. The Compton’s Cafeteria riot was one of the first LGBT related uprisings in the United States. In fact, it preceded the infamous 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City.
We hope to illustrate how The Compton’s Cafeteria uprising continues to inspire today’s fight for the rights of sex workers and trans women in San Francisco. The film will use this event as a starting point to address the intersection between sex work activism and trans activism.
The film will open with a brief recounting of the general climate around The Compton’s Cafeteria riot and describe the events that took place that night through animation and voice over.
We’ll then open up the conversation to our chosen subjects through a series of interviews. Since we’re focusing on a topic that was led by the trans community, we’re turning to speakers who can tell the story authentically, through their voices. The interviews will have a conversational tone. The footage will be most likely shot in the homes of the speakers and/or in recognizable spots throughout San Francisco.
We’ll use animation to create a mixed media look, with hand drawn marker and paint-like splotches over archival images, as well as a little bit of collage. We’ll also include b-roll of San Francisco and any relevant images to intercut with footage of the interviewees. The film will run between five and ten minutes.
Janetta Louise Johnson is the Executive Director at at Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project. She is a formerly incarcerated Black transgender woman and has been an activist and advocate in the transgender communities since 1997, when she moved to San Francisco from her hometown of Tampa, Florida.
In 2016 she co-founded The Compton’s Transgender Cultural District in San Francisco, which is the first transgender cultural district in the country; and TAJA’s Coalition, community accountability for Black trans safety in San Francisco.
Stephany Ashley (she/her) is a housing, homelessness, and sex worker advocate who is currently working at Brilliant Corners to expand access to affordable housing and emergency beds for folks experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. She was the ED of St James Infirmary for four years prior to that.
Vandell is a southern queer and genderqueer organizer who was brought into community resistance and empowerment work in their youth. Their movement roots instilled the love of storytelling and self-discovery as an act of resistance. They center black, indigenous, and TGI POC narratives primarily, but enjoy traversing the many stories that need to be told. Examples of some common themes in their writing include personal and communal stories of grief and trauma healing, ancestral channeling, discovering the decolonial alternatives to life, and envisioning new liberated landscapes. Van’s big loves in life are making things just a tad bit more gay/queer, virgo-ing out, and living in a vintage camper trailer with fluffy cats and journals.
Vanessa Warri is a Nigerian-American community-based researcher, strategist, and advocate, committed to the liberation, empowerment, and safety of Black transgender women, queer and transgender people of color, and all communities existing at the various intersections of oppression. For over 12 years Vanessa has provided empowerment based direct services and peer education for transgender communities, LGBTQQIA+ youth, and the incarcerated. Vanessa hopes to be able to support younger queer and transgender people of color in their educational attainments by creating initiatives that center their experiential expertise in research about them.
Lessa Millet is a filmmaker and animator. Their work is a mix of hand crafted animation and stylized live action. Born in Barcelona, they relocated to New York City in 2006, where they first learned about animation, art and pizza. In 2016, they packed all their books and records into a blue Subaru Outback and moved to sunny Los Angeles. It is here that they finally began exploring bread making and ceramics. They strive to use their filmmaking skills to document, honor and amplify the visibility of queerness, and other vulnerable and marginalized communities.
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Valentine | Photographer & Filmmaker in Portland Valentine is a 12 yr Black / Biracial sex worker who works as a photographer and networker while advocating for queer Black representation within the adult industry. Valentine is collaborating on #OldProProject in...
D'Monica Leone | Choreographer in Seattle D'Monica Leone is a zoo of artistry at its finest. As a model, MUA, Femme presenting burlesque performer and drag queen AND as the current reigning Seattle's Queer Monarch, they are dedicated to advocacy and amplifying...
Adra Boo | Songwriter & Singer in Seattle Seattle soul singer, emcee, teacher, Rain City Rock Camp Ladies Rock Camp Director, “Westminster Daddy” and auntie, Adra Boo, walks through walls. While some in the age look to construct boxes for others, Boo flouts these...
Saira Barbaric | Casting Coordinator in Seattle Saira Barbaric is a surrealist slut monster, a homegrown sex witch and a nonstop creator. They/he/she/ze strives to blend genders and bend genres with their creations to enable his/their audience to envision a future...
get involved in the Old Pro Project now »The Old Pro Project: Portland Local PDX artists BOUD and Bad will be creating a mural in honor of Ashley Moody, a trans sex worker of color who was a beloved member of the sex work community in Portland. Cat Hollis of Haymarket...
The category is… revolutionary love. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were the vanguard of the modern LGBTQ Rights Movement.
Born to tax evaders in Slovenia, Melania Trump is the 45th First Lady of the United States, model, and an old pro.
Soothsayer, suffragette, stockbroker, sex worker, and candidate for US President, Victoria Woodhull lived a vibrant, controversial life.
Zola Z. Bruce, MSSW | New York Zola is a social worker, activist and artist who focuses on helping people to create the life they want in all aspects of their career. Originally from Dallas, TX, they moved to New York to attend Sarah Lawrence College to study...
Seattle's #OldProProject music video for “Been Around (Since the Old Days)” is dedicated to Allena Gabosch. The Joy of Allena Gabosch March 25, 1953 - November 25, 2020 Allena Gabosch was a powerful force in creating and fostering sex positive culture in the Pacific...
Sophia Sky As 2014 came to a close, Allena Gabosch designated Sophia Sky as her heir to the role of Executive Director to the Pan Eros Foundation. She said that she could think of no better hands to pass the organization into upon her retirement. Since then, Sophia...
Sarah | San Francisco Art Contest Winner Sarah is an outreach worker for a syringe exchange and has done sex work for her entire adult life. In her free time, she volunteers for a community fridge program and writes letters to incarcerated pen pals. This year, she...
Zoe Colmenares | San Francisco Art Contest Winner My name is Zoe Colmenares and I’m an entertainer/artist who is based out of New Orleans. I’ve been creating since a young age but picked it up seriously in 2011 when I first started taking art classes. I use social...
Madam Lou Graham was so rich that she served as an alternative to banks, giving loans to business propositions deemed too risky by bankers.
The most famous sex worker of today’s music industry, Cardi B unabashedly flaunts her past as a stripper in her songs, videos, and social media.
Best known for his paintings of the moulin rouge, French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was also a john who (literally) lived in brothels.
Ching Shih went from working as a full service sex worker to becoming the one of the most successful pirate captains in the history of the world.
Marilyn Monroe’s undeniable charisma, comedic genius, and iconic sensuality enchant and resonate with old pros and civilians alike.
Anaïs Nin was one of the first prominent modern western women known to explore and take part in erotic writing.
Mesoamerican Goddess, Tlazōlteōtl, symbolically pardoned her followers’ sin in a never ending circle of life, sex, and death.
Infamous misandrist and queer icon Aileen Wuornos killed seven men while working as a hitch hiking sex worker in Florida.
A very special episode of compiled heartbreaking and heartwarming coming out stories from Coyote Fawn, Allie Oops, and many more.
Commemorating the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers on December 17th, Ceyenne Doroshow interviews JyAsia Kylee.
Stormy Daniels is an incredible self made woman and sex worker who had the audacity to tell her own story.
Big Nosed Kate worked as a full service sex worker and eventually became the wife and companion of Old West gunfighter Doc Holiday.
Unbeknownst to most, six years before writing and starring in Rocky, Sylvester Stallone was the lead in a soft core porn film.
Bettie Page, iconic pin-up and bondage model of the 20th century, had an on-and-off again relationship with Evangelical Christianity.
Powerhouses of the “Porn Wars”; Linda Lovelace (star of Deep Throat) who later in life joined Andrea Dworkin in the campaign against porn.
In this special episode, Kaytlin talks about losing the NY12 Democratic Primary and next steps in the fight for sex worker rights.
In 17th century France, Julie D’Aubigny seduced aristocratic men and women, did some grave robbing, and burned a nunnery. A bisexual legend.
Special guest Jacq the Stripper joins Kaytlin Bailey to talk about American icon and patron saint of strippers, Gypsy Rose Lee.
Ceyenne Doroshow co-hosts a discussion of the life and work of an unrepentant hustler, author, and attempted murderer, Valerie Solanas.
French courtesan Marguerite Marie Alibert, otherwise known as Maggie Meller, was the lover of Edward the VII.
As documented in the film Paris Is Burning, Dorian Corey was one of the queens of the New York City Ball Culture.
A 13th Century madame who tricked the system, Elizabeth Moryng serviced the religious clergy under the guise of an embroidery business.
Sharmus Outlaw’s legacy lives on through harm reduction and outreach efforts of the people who loved and were inspired by her vibrant spirit.
Timarchus was a sex worker in his youth and was later shunned and outcast by his fellow politicians in ancient Greece.
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy participated in the Stonewall Riots and founded the The Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center.
Arrested over a hundred times, Flawless Sabrina mothered and mentored countless young trans women in the New York City ballroom scene.
Georgina Beyer went from survival sex worker to radio host, and ultimately took her place as the first trans politician in New Zealand.
FOSTA / SESTA were introduced as bills to stop sex trafficking, however legislators fail to distinguish adult, consensual sex work.
An absolute legend in the adult film world, Jenna Jameson took her success in the sex industry and started an empire.
Yoshiwara was the infamous red light district in 17th century Edo, current day Tokyo, Japan. The original hoe-topia, if you will.
Der Pranger was a German communist publication by whores for whores, attempting fair treatment and laws for sex workers and their patrons.
While running a brothel in Berlin, Nazis threatened to throw Salon Kitty into a concentration camp unless she cooperated with them.
The US government forced sex workers to administer LSD tests on their unsuspecting clients, a.k.a. Operation Midnight Climax.
Yu Husuan-Chi had a reputation of being sexually adventurous, and is thought to be China’s first openly bisexual historical figure.
Heidi Fleiss ran an upscale prostitution ring based in Los Angeles, California in the 1990s and was known as the “Hollywood Madam.”
You may know him as Santa Claus or Old Saint Nick, but Nicholas of Myra has an untold history of relationships with sex workers.
From an impoverished child to the concubine of a powerful Emperor, Wu Zeitan became a powerful Empress who really knew how to run it all.
Are sex worker witch hunts being subtly implemented by law enforcement agencies in an attempt to criminally punish sex workers?
Queen of Naples, Countess of Provence, and Princess of Achaea… the epic story of Joanna of Naples lives up to the hype of her titles.
Anna Nicole Smith was labeled a white trash gold digger throughout her career, all for capitalizing on her sexuality and good looks.
Phryne was a renowned courtesan in Athens at the height of the civilization’s power in ancient Greece, around the 4th century B.C.E.
The life of Mary Jones gives us a glimpse into the lives of old pros, transgender, and queer experiences in the early 19th century.
Harriet Hicks worked as a prostitute during inception of the Contagious Diseases Act (CDA) in 19th century England.
Ah Toy was a Chinese American prostitute and madam who dominated the booming sex work industry in San Francisco during the Gold Rush.
Courtesan, poet, and author Veronica Franco endured public shaming during the 16th Century in Venice, Italy.
The goddess of romantic love and fertility, Ishtar was worshipped through the bodies of church-sanctioned prostitutes.