Jesse Tyler Ferguson Producing LGBTQ Rights Doc About Stonewall

“Stonewall Forever” director Jeffrey Schwarz's documentaries include "Vito" and "Tab Hunter Confidential."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is bursting with Pride.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Modern Family star and his husband, Justin Mikita, will executive-produce Stonewall Forever, a feature documentary about New York City’s famed Stonewall Inn and the ongoing fight for LGBTQ rights.

The couple joins Emmy-winning producer-director Jeffrey Schwarz and executive producer Craig Gartner on the project, which will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

“So much of where the community is today is because of wheels set in motion 50 years ago—and yet in the day of dying retail and Grindr, it is getting harder and harder to keep queer spaces open,” Ferguson says. “We decided together that we wanted to create a documentary for the younger generation—one that tells the importance of queer spaces for gathering both then and now, and why we have to work to preserve these spaces. We hope that it will not only educate and enlighten but also inspire. We always need new leaders and who better to learn from that those who came before us.”

THR reports:

The documentary aims to use the events of those nights, and its upcoming 50th anniversary celebration, as a jumping-off point to tell the history of gay activism, the triumphs and tragedy in the ensuing decades. Harvey Milk, AIDS, hate crimes, marriage equality and the fight for transgender rights will be touched upon, with interviews with notable activists, artists and influencers from Stonewall, gay liberation and the generations that followed. The filmmakers plans to use rare archival footage and photos, activist videos and home movies, coupled with innovative animation, motion graphics and original music. Tying it all together will be the story of Stonewall Inn itself, which is not just a center of the community but also a business in New York City that has to deal with rising rents and gentrification.

Stonewall Forever is expected to capture New York’s upcoming LGBTQ Pride festivities.

“We are going to be on the frontlines at this year’s NYC Gay Pride which also happens to be WorldPride and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall,” says Ferguson. “Our main focus is to fully take advantage of documenting that once in a lifetime event.”

“Every time there is a major event in the community, people go to the Stonewall to celebrate,” Schwarz explains. “It’s a place to gather, to celebrate, to mourn, to protest and to party.”

“The movement has always been about moments of triumph and backlash,” the filmmaker continues. “Every time there is progress, it’s followed by pushback. We’re in that moment again. A lot of the progress is being undone. That makes this story even more relevant and urgent to tell.”

Schwarz’s previous LGBTQ-themed documentaries include Tab Hunter Confidential, The Fabulous Allan Carr, Vito, and I Am Divine.

Ferguson and Mikita are also involved with their charitable LGBTQ rights organization Tie the Knot.

Ferguson will join Jesse Williams in next year’s Broadway revival of Richard Greenberg’s Tony-winning play Take Me Out, which tackles homophobia, racism, and toxic masculinity in sports. Modern Family will return for its 11th and final season this fall.

 

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