The Reel Queer Film Series presents: Screaming Queens with a talkback with Susan Stryker


The Reel Queer Film Series at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center presents a free screening of Screaming Queens on October 19, 2017 at 7pm. The screening is followed by a talkback with film director Susan Stryker.

EMMY Award-winning Screaming Queens tells the little-known story of the first known act of collective, violent resistance to the social oppression of queer people in the United States—a 1966 riot in San Francisco’s impoverished Tenderloin neighborhood, three years before the famous riot at New York’s Stonewall Inn.

Screaming Queens introduces viewers to street queens, cops, and activist civil rights ministers who recall the riot and paint a vivid portrait of the wild transgender scene in 1960s San Francisco. Integrating the riot’s story into the broader fabric of American life, the documentary connects the event to urban renewal, anti-war activism, civil rights, and sexual liberation. With enticing archival footage and period music, this unknown story is dramatically brought back to life. 

About Susan Stryker:

Susan Stryker is Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at University of Arizona. She is a multiple award-winning author, editor, and filmmaker whose credits include the Emmy-winning documentary Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria, the massive, two-volume Transgender Studies Reader, the introductory textbook Transgender History, and popular nonfiction works such as Queer Pulp: Perverse Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback and Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area. Susan also worked for several years as the Executive Director of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco. 

Awards & Accolades for Screaming Queens


“ … [ Screaming Queens ] shows how in just two short years transgender activism helped transform San Francisco culture in subtle and profound ways and presents reflective comments from the Compton’s Cafeteria subjects who bravely ushered in a controversial revolution that continues today. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED”—EMRO (Educational Media Reviews Online)

“If there was one film I’d want to show to my students to inspire them both to do and to make history, Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria is it (and it clocks just under an hour!). Trans historian and activist Susan Stryker dives into the archives and emerges with a story about the first collective militant queer resistance to police harassment, not at the Stonewall Bar in New York in 1969, but at Gene Compton’s Cafeteria in the heart of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. It's a story that is at the foundation of everything from glam rock to lesbian separatism, gay struggles based on civil rights activism to squatters and housing rights agitation (and therefore right for classes in everything from cinema to political theory). It’s also a story of unlikely heroes and heroines, putting passion and power at the center of an emergent queer historiography.” —Amy Villarejo, Associate Professor in Film, Director of the Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, Cornell University

“ Screaming Queens should be a mandatory part of every inclusive classroom curriculum. Stryker and Silverman’s masterful documentary uncovers a little known, yet incredibly powerful part of LGBTQ history. This film is a story about hope, possibility, and justice that makes history come alive for students and scholars alike. The voices from our distant past will inspire viewers to uncover and reclaim their own histories and narrate other stories that have yet to be told.” —Kristopher Wells, Associate Editor, Journal of LGBT Youth, University of Alberta

This is a sober social event, no alcohol will be served.

Appetizers will be provided by Centro.

The Reel Queer Film Series is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

















October 19, 2017 at 7:00pm - 9pm
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
522 W Maple St
Allentown, PA 18101
United States
Google map and directions

Will you come?