In this special series, LGBT celebrities and public figures talk to Tim Teeman about the Stonewall Riots and their legacy.
Amber Heard is an actor who has starred in such movies as Pineapple Express, Magic Mike XXL, and Aquaman. She came out at a GLAAD event in 2010, saying, “GLAAD is one of the many reasons that I, as a 24-year-old, can come out.” She told Metro in 2011: “I don’t label myself one way or another… I love who I love, it’s the person that matters.”
When/how did you first hear about the Stonewall Riots, and what did you make of them?
I remember reading about the riots in school when I was young and feeling so inspired by the bravery, determination, and strength that so many people displayed in standing up for their human rights when it was so culturally and politically dangerous.
What is their significance for you?
All the people who defied comfort, convenience, and expectation in the noble pursuit of demanding their civil rights served as an inspiration for change, and a future worth fighting for. All of the people, especially the trans community, who were especially instrumental in the effort, are role models for the bravery, integrity, and strength required to stand up against institutionalized injustice.
How far have LGBT people come since 1969?
The path towards equality is a very long and arduous one, but one that we find ourselves barreling down at increasing speed. I am so lucky to be benefiting from the paving done by this and prior generations that make my life, my choices, and my rights accessible to me with minimal sacrifice in comparison. With that said, I must recognize how far we still have to go in order to see the kind of societal, institutional, and legal equality we deserve actualized throughout the world.
What would you like to see, LGBT-wise, in the next 50 years?
The goal remains: the full and true actualization of equality for all people, no matter who they like, are, love, or look like. The protection offered by labels can sometimes be essential for survival for any marginalized community or group. However, I would love to see a world not needing the protection of the LGBTQIA+ label and instead enjoying a world under the banner of humanity.