Friday, October 30, 2009

Know your lgbt history - The Warriors

The Warriors (1979) is a cult classic and one of my favorite movies.

It is about a Coney Island gang going to a conclave in Brooklyn where the leader of the largest gang in New York, Cyrus of the Grammercy Riffs, is uniting them all together to take over the city.

However during the conclave, Cyrus is murdered in the middle of his speech and everyone thinks that the Warriors committed the crime.

This means that the gang members must battle their way back home through a multiude of gangs gunning for their heads.

And to make matters worse, the gangs are clued by a mysterious D.J. (played awesomely by the late Lynne Thigpen) who serves as sort of a biased Greek chorus and urging on the gangs.

These gangs include the Grammercy Riffs, the Baseball Furies, the Orphans, the Turnbull A.C.'s, and the Rogues (the gang who did in fact murder Cyrus).

And then there is my favorite gang, the Lizzies.

Now whether the name is a take off of the word "lesbian" or the infamous Lizzie Borden (the New England woman put on trial and found innocent of the axe murders of her father and stepmother in 1892 and who was rumored to be a lesbian herself) is not known.

Whatever the case may be, when the Warriors are separated into two camps by pursuing police (let't not forget about them either), one group ends up with the Lizzies who offer them comfort and a little touchy-feely.

Of course comfort and a little touchy-feely are the last things the Lizzies have in mind for the Warriors as the following clip (the good stuff begins at 3:02) shows:

I know some folks are going to give me hell about this but I liked the Lizzies.

Despite the fact that the clip embodies three of the ugliest stereotypes about lesbians (i.e. very lascivious amongst each other, very masculine to the point of aggression, and they use sex to manipulate men like one would use toilet paper), I see something different about them.

I've seen so many ugly stereotypes of lgbts and they all have one thing in common - showing our community as the weak or dangerous others.

You can't feel the same way about the Lizzies. Despite seeming like a group of stereotypes, they actually aren't.

They are people in a bad environment who've learned to united and take care of themselves; just like all of the other gangs.

The Lizzies aren't a stereotype here and they aren't the other. They are the norm.

And most of all, they are survivors.

And you have to respect survivors.

Past Know Your LGBT History postings:

Know Your LGBT History - New York Undercover

Know Your LGBT History - Low Down Dirty Shame

Know Your LGBT History - Fortune and Men's Eyes

Know your lgbt history - California Suite

Know your lgbt history - Taxi (Elaine's Strange Triangle)

Know your lgbt history - Come Back Charleston Blue

Know your lgbt history - James Bond goes gay

Know your lgbt history - Windows

Know your lgbt history - To Wong Foo and Priscilla

Know your lgbt history - Blazing Saddles

Know your lgbt history - Sanford and Son

Know your lgbt history - In Living Color

Know your lgbt history - Cleopatra Jones and her lesbian drug lords

Know your lgbt history - Norman, Is That You?

Know your lgbt history - The 'Exotic' Adrian Street

Know your lgbt history - The Choirboys

Know your lgbt history - Eddie Murphy

Know your lgbt history - The Killing of Sister George

Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda

'Know your lgbt history - Cruising

Know your lgbt history - Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones

Know your lgbt history - I Got Da Hook Up

Know your lgbt history - Fright Night

Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil

The Jeffersons and the transgender community

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Algernon and Arthur said...

Fantastic post Alvin, but I think there's only one (minor) error. The conclave is in the Bronx, not Brooklyn. Were it in Brooklyn, getting back to Coney Island would be a whole hell of a lot easier.

Love this movie, too. Glad to see it featured.

Jim Kelly said...

It's also a remake of an ancient Greek tale by Xenephon about soldiers trapped inside Persia after the death of Cyrus, the king they were hired to fight for. They have to fight their way back to the sea. It's the same story and even the names are unchanged. It's also a helluva action adventure!