– For a trace of mascara on the wrong night, they would beat you, bust you up in the most despicable way. – Your buttons are on the wrong side, pal. Come here. You’re under arrest for female impersonating. – No, no, no, no, no! – In the ’60s in San Francisco anything that had to do
with gay was a secret. It was almost like literally
entering another world. Those transgender women
were beautiful people. They took care of me. And I’m making it a mission to have the world see
them through my eyes. – It’s the ’60s, it’s This is a new time, I can’t believe what they’re challenging, what they’re saying. There’s very few facts about what exactly happened that night. What facts there are,
we put into the play. The rest of it really is stories about Collette and Donna
and their experiences. – I was humiliated but it
happens to all the girls. – Everybody would go to Compton’s and sit for three or four
hours and just have coffee and talk and it was the
only safe place around where everybody could
be around each other. You know what I mean? ‘Cause the streets were no good and the police would be on everybody. – I was about 18-year-old when I discovered Compton’s Cafeteria. It was the most exciting thing
up to that point in my life. I saw boys standing with boys, everything I’d dreamed about. Wow, I loved it. – I first got to know
Donna as a performer. We met backstage and I
saw her do her thing. I was blown away like this woman is of her age and she’s having the time of her life. I can’t wait for you to see my mom. She told me about the
story, I read the script and she got very personal with me about her experiences, growing up in San Jose,
being in the closet. When I moved to the Bay [Area], I really did not know
much about transgender. I pretty much was a gay guy, I did drag a few times in college. The reality is I have it easier now than it would have been
back then in many ways. She was always scared
that she’d get caught so she was always filled
with a bit of anxiety. Hearing it from Donna’s perspective just gave me a whole
other sense of respect for Donna and for the story. She’s my elder. She’s lived this experience. -What happened? Get it out. No use holding on to it. – I was at the Cat Club. Some gay guy hit on me. I came back to my drink
and he was still there. I think he put something in it because I got very dizzy. He said he would help me and the next thing I
know I’m at his hotel. And I screamed telling him no. I told him that this
doesn’t feel good, stop. As soon as I was able to get out, I went to the police station. I told them what happened and you know what they did? They laughed. They said I was a man
and I couldn’t get raped. And the sad thing is that I believed them. – I’ve had some sleepless nights. It’s almost like going
through it again for me and that’s not so easy. – This is a group of people
fighting for their rights as human beings and they’re still doing that fight today. -Tonight is our opening night. The folks that have made this history, we’re doing this for them. – I was at the Cat Club the other night. Some guy hit on me, he was handsome, older but then he got a little weird. So I went to the dance floor– – I’m willing to sacrifice. I’m willing to go through
it again and again, because I believe
unfortunately most of them died not fully understanding what they’d hoped — that they were just normal good people. I know that now even if
they don’t know about it, we’re giving them validation.