As many of you know a lot of my history posts tend to lean more towards New York City’s gay history mostly because that is where I hail from. With that being said I would like to share with you a very interesting and great documentary I stumbled upon about the history of the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco.
Originally shown during the Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in 1996, The Castro is a 90-minute documentary tells the dramatic story of how a quiet corner of San Francisco became the cornerstone of a movement-an international symbol of gay liberation.
Using rare archival film and fresh contemporary footage, the story of the Castro’s transformation and history is told by the people who lived it: young and old, straight and gay. They bring to life a history ranging from the discriminatory world of the 1950s, through the flowering of “gay power,” and into the age of AIDS.
The Castro, was produced by KQED San Francisco/PBS and won the George Foster Peabody Award, a CINE Golden Eagle Award and was screened at numerous film festivals in the United States and abroad.
Its a must see to understand our past and why the community is so different today..
PBS has not tweeted from its main Twitter handle since April 8, following Elon Musk’s decision to label the outlet “government-funded news.” PBS joins NPR, another major editorially independent outlet that receives some government funding, in halting its Twitter activity in light of the new label. Twitter added a “government-funded” label to PBS’ main Twitter account last weekend, a spokesperson confirmed. “We did stop tweeting at that point as soon as we discovered it,” a PBS spokesperson confirmed. “We have no plans to resume tweeting.”
Now that PBS has stated they won’t tweet, Elon Musk and Marjorie Taylor Greene has called for a halt to all their Federal funding.
¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.? is America’s first bilingual situation comedy, which ran from 1977-1980 and the first sitcom to be produced for PBS.. The program explored the trials and tribulations faced by the Peñas, a Cuban-American family living in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, as they struggled to cope with a new country. Along the way the sitcom tackled pressing social issues such as homophobia, addiction, women’s liberation, and sexual freedom.
The “Is Joe Gay?” episode was filmed in 1980 and is as relevant today as it was then.
Decades before Matt Bomer, Neil Patrick Harris, and Zachary Quinto there was a young man named Lance Loud who brought gay awareness, lifestyle and culture to millions of homes across America at a time when it was unheard of.
On January 15, 1973 Lance Loud came out on the PBS “series” An American Family. He was the first person to come out on national television.
Am American Family was a 12-episode Cinéma vérité reality documentary series broadcast in 1973 on PBS. The directors, Alan and Susan Raymond, were the first to install cameras into a real-life situation. They documented hundreds of hours of the lives of the Loud family of Santa Barbara, California. During the course of the filming, the marriage of Bill and Pat Loud imploded, they separated, and Pat filed for divorce. The documentary became a real-life soap opera and the progenitor of ”reality television,” in which private lives were captured for a national audience.
An American Family also delved into the lives of the Loud children, Delilah and Michele and brothers Kevin, Grant and oldest son Lance.
Lance was the first openly gay person depicted on television, and was shocking to an audience that had rarely witnessed frank portrayals of homosexuality on television. Lances scenes were of his true self, wearing blue lipstick, moving to the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan, and introducing his mother to the gay underground music and art world of transvestites, hustlers and types of gritty New Yorker’s that were never seen on television before and made an American Family a groundbreaking series first. (In 2001 Pat Loud stating that the family were all probably aware of Lance’s sexual orientation beforehand. )
After the show ended Lance remained in New York for 10 years living in a Lower East Side apartment writing for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine and performing in a semi-successful rock band called the Mumps.
How could we not hear about the scandalous anti-gay witch hunt beginning in 1919 in Newport overseen by then assistant secretary of the Navy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt? As detailed in historian John Loughery’s 1998 book The Other Side of Silence, Navy sailors were recruited to entrap other men to have sex with them, with the undercover “operatives” engaging in sex to orgasmic completion — oral, and yes, some anal — with the men they entrapped, and logging all of this in their own reports.
And what about the bi-erasure of his right-hand man, Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles?
“He was FDR’s school chum — and page boy at Eleanor and FDR’s wedding — and he was also bisexual and quite sexually active, something about which FDR apparently looked the other way. Eventually, though, Roosevelt reluctantly accepted his resignation in 1937 after one of Welles’s rivals in the state department seized upon information that Welles had sex with two black men, Pullman porters on the same train that carried the president from the House Speaker’s funeral in Alabama, and threatened to provide the details to a GOP Senate enemy unless Roosevelt dumped him.”
And during a recent discussion in Chicago Burns himself dismissed the mention of Eleanor’s “close” friends as too “tabloid”
“Burns treats all of this is to discuss Eleanor and Hickok as close and intimate “friends” — he has Doris Kearns Goodwin telling us Hickok was “in love” with Eleanor, almost as if it was one-sided — but never using the “L” word, or even raising the possibility of sex, seeming to view that as sleazy…”
I myself could argue that Eleanor’s rumored lesbian relationships may be debatable. But what is not debatable was the anti-gay navy witch-hunts and not including them in the 14 hour series was a huge mistake. That was real documented history that would be critical to later civil rights struggles and also speaks to FDR’s character and not including it speaks volume of Ken Burns character as well.
Notoriously anti-gay GOP North Carolina Senate President Phil Berger, has appointed radical homophobe, former (?) NOM board member and science fiction writer Orson Scott Card to the board of trustees for UNC-TV, the University of North Carolina’s PBS affiliate that broadcasts that into four surrounding states.
We are pleased to welcome Mr. Card to the UNC-TV Board of Trustees,” said Robb Teer, chairman of the UNC-TV Board of Trustees, in a written statement. “We are grateful for his willingness to serve and look forward to working with him to continue providing the people of our state with enriching, life-changing television in these challenging times.” Not mentioned is recent controversy around Card’s political writings, published in Greensboro’s Rhinoceros Times. A May 2013 column compared President Barack Obama to Hitler and Stalin. “Obama is, by character and preference, a dictator. He hates the very idea of compromise; he demonizes his critics and despises even his own toadies in the liberal press,” Card wrote.
And so the Republican hostile takeover of North Carolina continues using one of the most despicable and detested writers in America at this moment to poison the well.
Even before the end of the presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had concluded on October 3 when Romney pledged to end the U.S. federal government’s subsidy for the Public Broadcasting Service despite his professed “love” for Big Bird, Michael Bellavia, 43, an animation executive from Los Angeles, and Chris Mecham, 46, a university student in Idaho were already working on a way to save Big Bird and PBS from possible extinction in the form of a puppet-based protest next month dubbed the “Million Muppet March.”
Coming from rural Idaho, Mecham said he was aware how important public broadcasting was in sparsely populated areas that receive no other signals over the air.
“Romney was using Muppets as a rhetorical device to talk about getting rid of public broadcasting, which is really so much bigger than Sesame Street,” Mecham said. “While he was still talking I was thinking of ways I could express my frustration at that argument. Before the debates were over I had put up the Million Muppet March Facebook page.”
The demonstration is planned for November 3 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., three days before the general election.
The Muppets vs. The GOP. My money is on Miss Piggy.
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. That night the street erupted into violent protests and street demonstrations that lasted for the next three days. The Stonewall riots marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.
Click HERE to watch PBS’s American Experience :”Stonewall Uprising” in its entirety
Tonight the PBS’s American Experience will air “The Stonewall Uprising,” a documentary that revisits the 1969 showdown between New York police and the gay community that effectively changed our culture
Filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner start by digging out “educational” films that reflect the conventional wisdom of the day. Gays in these films are insidious, promiscuous and predatory, out only to seduce innocent young boys
To be publicly identified as gay was to be ruined, which meant among many other things that gay social life often was reduced enjoying a diluted, overpriced drink at a dingy bar like the Stonewall, which was mob-owned and could pay off the cops and still they would raid the bars and harass and jail the customers.
Until on the night of June 28, 1969 when the patrons said “no more.” and resisted, a crowd formed, and suddenly six cops were no match for thousands of angry LGBT and straight citizens.
Police and the original activist involved are interviewed for this documentary, and they all seem to agree now that even if the night was scary, it helped launch long-overdue changes in the way society regarded gay folks.
Hopefully watching this will recharge you and it does show how different life is today from back in 1969. But that was over 40 years ago and still we have not achived our goal for Equailty.
Lets just hope that it doesn;t take 40 more years.