ATLANTA (AP) — Leaders of an Atlanta museum want the space focused on modern and historic civil rights to contribute to a national push to ensure LGBT rights, particularly in southern states.
Wednesday marked the formal launch of the LGBT Institute, housed at the Center for Civil and Human Rights less than 15 months after the museum opened.
The museum includes galleries on LGBT issues and connects its history to the civil rights movement. But officials heard from LGBT organizations and individuals who wanted more, and they began planning the new project last fall.
LGBT Institute interim executive director Ryan Roemerman said organizers hope to perform research in cooperation with universities and host events connecting independent groups already working on LGBT rights beyond same-sex marriage.
“It’s the perfect time and the perfect place to shine a spotlight on issues that don’t often get a platform,” Roemerman said.
The project’s programming board members are a mix of researchers and people with a background in personal or professional LGBT advocacy. Member Tracee McDaniel, who founded the Juxtaposed Center for Transformation and identifies as a transgender woman of color, said she’s pleased with the group’s diverse members and the Center for Civil and Human Rights’ involvement.
“It lets other people know that this is about human rights for all people — whatever identity you have or labels others associate with you,” she said.
Tim’m West, a board member, said the LGBT Initiative will address a broad variety of issues.
“Marriage does not make life wonderful for all,” said West, a gay man who works with Teach for America to improve classroom environments for LGBT students. “For some, it’s the one box to check. For others, there are four or five more that we need to work on.”
Details still are in the works, but organizers have settled on three broad areas of focus: education and employment, public health and wellness, and criminal justice and safety. A new exhibit inside the museum details Atlanta’s LGBT community since a 1969 police raid of a New York bar sparked the Stonewall Inn riots, considered the start of the modern gay rights movement.
This summer’s Supreme Court ruling establishing same-sex marriage has prompted organizations working on LGBT rights to focus on “lived equality,” said Beth Littrell, an Atlanta-based senior attorney for Lambda Legal. Littrell said LGBT people may be discriminated against for their gender identity or sexuality, but also feel targeted for their race or income.
“We’re all, to a certain extent, underfunded and under-resourced,” Littrell said. “Having a space that is dedicated to highlighting injustices in all incarnations can only help us become a stronger community.”
Kathleen Foody can be followed at http://twitter.com/katiefoody
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3220068/New-project-Atlanta-museum-focuses-LGBT-civil-rights.html#ixzz3kfMQ7DR6
A documentary about Chuck Holmes, who founded Falcon Studios, uncovers the risks (and adventures) of making sexy films for a gay audience.
Few men have had as much an effect on gay culture as Vaughn Kincey, Jack Dufault, Jim Hodges, and Chuck Holmes. In the late 1960s and early 70s, they — under the pseudonyms John Summers, Matt Sterling, John Travis, and Bill Clayton — helped pioneer what would become the gay pornography industry. Gay films made by gay men for a gay audience. Driven by the exuberance of gay liberation and profit, they delivered to millions of gay men the first vision of what an out, unashamed gay life might look like.
But 40 years later, they and the risks they took are still largely unknown and unacknowledged. While working on Seed Money, a documentary about Chuck Holmes — who founded Falcon Studios, and went on to become the most commercially successful of the four — I kept coming back to the risks and adventure of those first years post-Stonewall. Some of these stories made it into the film, which screens this summer at dozens of festivals, including Outfest in Los Angeles on July 13. But some of the best did not. Here, in the words of those who were there is how it all began.
(Interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.)
VAUGHN KINCEY (“John Summers”, co-founder Falcon Studios): It was just a very small group of us when we started. It wasn’t that many. At first, it started off me and John Travis. We were just shooting pictures and running whorehouses. And then next came Matt Sterling, which was Jack Dufault. And then came Chuck [Holmes].
I was working on Sutter Street at an art gallery. I was a curator, and every lunch time we’d go to Union Square to eat lunch and shop at I. Magnin’s, and you know — sissy shit. This one guy was a school teacher and I think he was holding up stores — you know, he had a gun and he was holding up stores convenience stores to raise money. He told me this story about a place on Castro Street that was a place of frequency: a whorehouse. And mmmmmm… I was interested.
So he took me over. The place was just dark and dingy. And the sissies were flying around there like birds and I thought — My God! Who would want to buy one of these fucking sissies? So we talked and said why don’t we come partners — I can bring in art and sheets and beautiful towels… Two months later we opened our place.
I met Bob Damron [of the Damron Gay Travel Guide]. He used to shoot boys, some of the guys in my business, to put into his catalog. J. Brian was the one that was the architect of it. It was calledGolden Boys.
JIM HODGES (“John Travis,” co-founder Falcon Studios): I was probably one of the first in the business. Bob Mizer [publisher of [of Physique Pictorial] was down here on West 11th Street in Los Angeles. We were shooting posing straps. And then it went from posing straps to ‘soft’ nudes [with flaccid penises]. And then it went from ‘soft’ nudes to piano wire holding the penis back — but hard so it would stay down, not go up. It was a lot of magazine publishing back then. That is really where it all started.
JOHN WATERS (“Pope of Trash,” director Pink Flamingos): When I was young there was no legal hardcore porn. What was thought of as porn back then was pin-up magazines like Vim and Vigor and all those Bruce of [LA]. And I used to shoplift them because I was too afraid of buying them. If you call that porn, that was the first porn I saw. I read Candy and Lady Chatterly’s Lover and Henry Miller and I went to all the nudist camp and exploitation movies right up to when hardcore finally became legal.
VAUGHN KINCEY: Before you couldn’t actually see a penis, you couldn’t actually see it. There were about three guys that were shooting what they called beefcake. They started shooting boys with no clothes on and oh — the books were selling like you wouldn’t believe.
They fired J. Brian and brought Jim Hodges in, which is John Travis. So they introduced me to Jim and we just were friends right away. He spent most of his time at one of my houses and actually almost moved in. I don’t think he went home but once or twice a month. He just stayed there all the time.
J. Brian opened up another company called J. Brian Enterprises over on Folsom Street. He kept wanting to make a movie like a romantic love story but with two guys. He kept wanting to do it. So the Dean of the University of Oregon gave us the money to do it, and they were shooting — John Travis was running the camera. They were shooting and shooting and shooting. Pretty soon, they had spent up that $20,000 dollars, and [J. Brian] would get drunk every night.
In between shots at the evening, Jim would shoot a little hardcore. We didn’t know it was hardcore at that time. He just shot a couple of guys kissing and actually have sex, but the movie that J. Brian was making was not sex. It was just beautiful guys running around half naked. But this was hard sex. And Jim had shot three or four scenes.
When J. Brian found out what he had shot, they got into a fistfight. Like two bitches going at each other. I had to break them up. So we had to take the film away from J. Brian and have it edited because the guy had a lot of money [invested] in it.
JIM HODGES: I was traveling the country, checking into hotels, meeting interested customers that were interested in buying [hardcore] films. And I had what you call a demo, an 8mm film that I would run. It would take about twenty minutes. It would show four or five short subjects on eight or nine films I had available and they would buy them while they were there. And then we would talk and chit chat. And in one of my encounters back at Cincinnati, Ohio, I met Chuck. And we chit-chatted and talked. He said, “Oh, I want to get into the business! Oh, I would love to get into that business!” I said, “No, I don´t think you really want to deal with the Feds and Postal Inspectors and all the other shit involved.” “Oh, I want to get into that business and I want to make movies.” Blah, blah, blah, blah. Six or seven months later he moved out to San Francisco.
STEVEN SCARBOROUGH (director Falcon Studios, founder Hot House Entertainment): It was extremely closeted. As [Chuck] told it, he had some friends who were in it — I think he means Hodges and Vaughn… And he said: “Oh, I’m smarter than those guys are, and they seem to be making a good living so I know I can do it.” So, evidently, he borrowed $5,000 dollars from someone and that was how he started Falcon.
JEFF STRYKER (porn star): Chuck was the business brain behind everything. He was the financial whiz. John Travis was the cameraman. He was the creative aspect of everything. He was the original pioneer. But Chuck knew how to capitalize off this. He was very, very good with money. So when they got together, it was Travis shooting them and Chuck marketing them and taking it from there. But in the beginning, it was a two man operation. Vaughn Kincey came in because he would sell them the mailing list that he got from this company, that company and the other.
VAUGHN KINCEY: I don’t even remember what we discussed. It was so unprofessional. It was like someone says “Hey, let’s do this.” I said I’m going to set you up, give you all the contacts. I want $5,000 and a little percentage of whatever. And we just started doing it. It just blossomed. You know sex sells. It just blossomed overnight.
MARTY ROSENTHAL (Le Salon bookstore, San Francisco): When I first got into the industry, they were selling anything at all. The 15 minute loops, those 8mm loops, were so poorly lit and people’s body hair was not manicured. Their hair didn’t matter. Dirty feet. This was straight and gay porn. It didn’t matter because it was sex, but sometimes you could hardly even what was going on.
As the industry matured, it became very professional and well-lit, extreme close-ups, beautiful models. I think Chuck was a major part in getting the industry to that point.
While sex had been filmed since the invention of the camera, the sale or exhibition of “porn” — actual sex on film — was illegal. In 1969, San Francisco had became the first city in the US to allow porn to screen in theaters, and the business flourished, leading the New York Times to proclaim it the “Smut Capital of the United States” in 1970. Demand for hardcore product increased nationally, with most of it coming out of San Francisco.
HABIB CAROUBA (owner, Market Street Cinema, San Francisco): On film we just kept pushing the envelope. Whatever you could do. Like, you could show a dick but you can’t show a hard dick — so one time you show him half-hard. But in the old days, with the gay films, we could show anything you want because the cops didn’t want to go [in]. And if you had a gay cop, then he liked it — so he didn’t bust it.
PHIL ST. JOHN (performer and director): San Francisco was wild when I got there in ’71. We went to San Francisco because we had had with the rest of America. We wanted to be free. We wanted to have sex. We wanted to be gay. We wanted to be queer, and we wanted to take a lot of drugs and party and listen to really good music… And porn was part of that. Porn is freedom.
I just started going back to school and one day I was walking on Market Street. and some woman came up to me and she said “Do you want to be in a porn movie?”
And I said “A gay porn movie?” And she said “Yeah, yeah, gay, gay.” I said okay. And I was in film school so I thought I kind of owe it to myself to see what it’s like on the other side of the camera. And much to my embarrassment, there was a guy right from film class, one of my straight buddies from film school, who was the cameraman.
He had the lens shoved up right on my ass with me getting fucked on camera. It was wild.
VAUGHN KINCEY: We weren’t making films so that people would say they are having good sex or they are showing how sex should be done. We were making them because we enjoyed it. We loved it, and that’s what we liked doing.
JOHN KARR (journalist, The Bay Area Reporter): They were very post-Stonewall. They were reflecting new gay freedoms. The ability to have sex — which had been clandestine and furtive. The explosion of gay men’s visibility: on the streets, in the world, in bars that no longer had their windows painted black and the movies quickly reflected this. It was an incredible explosion. How quickly the sense of freedom replaced The Boys in the Band era.=
PHIL ST. JOHN: I was living in the Castro and I had heard about this movie theater downtown. And they said: “It’s a mainstream movie but don’t be put off by that, there is like the wildest sex that you ever saw in your life going on there.” So I went to find it and I didn’t think it was as big as it was. It was a huge theater. I mean it held maybe six, seven hundred people on the main floor but then the balcony maybe was twice the size. I mean it was huge, and the bathrooms were wild, too.
There were soldiers. There were sailors. There were like leather guys. There were cowboys. There were even a few drag queens working the bathroom. I mean it was a really wild place.
It took me a while to find the balcony, but once I did, I never left. God, I spent like all my off days from film school in the balcony at the Strand theater. And it was great!
JOHN KARR: There were double bills that changed every other week. It cost $5 dollars to get in — that was expensive for me to have discretionary income. But I couldn’t deny I wasn’t in the theater every other week when a new movie opened.
Over on Polk Street at California, there was the Laurel Theater. I’m in there watching a movie one evening — and the police arrive. And people were shivering and shaking and crying. And I said, “They just want us to leave. Just leave.” I don’t know what was really going on, but they were hassling the business.
TED SAWICKI (cameraman and editor, Delta Productions): You have to understand it’s before video and basically the dark ages. No one had ever done this before.
You are going to look at the history. There’s some nudity and some running around, and then it’s going to go to kissing. And it’s going to go to some full frontal — shocking! But as far as hard core sex coming on the scene, creeping in ’68, ’69, ’70, ’71, ’71, it had gotten hard core. Still very illegal. It was interstate transportation of pornography. It was a felony — and it’s equivalent to smuggling cocaine.
STEVEN SCARBOROUGH: They all hid. They all had noms de porn. At the first hint of a bust they’d all pick up their teepees and run.
There was a motel down there on Sunset [Blvd in Los Angeles], The Saharan, that they all used to shoot in. And there are stories about the FBI sitting out there in their sunglasses at the swimming pool and watching and shit like that! One time they had to get the tapes out, they couldn’t get the tapes out of the room — the FBI was downstairs. So Vaughn tied a towel on his head and got the laundry basket and went up there like the maid, and put the freaking tapes in the laundry basket and went like this, rode out past the FBI.
VAUGHN KINCEY: You had to be very careful. No one knew where they were going to shoot that day until they were going there. It was a secret. It was terrible. It was like the McCarthy Era for making sex films.
MARTY ROSENTHAL: You weren’t supposed to ship obscene materials across state lines. There were certain areas of the country where we knew we were not supposed to ship anything into. Any porn into certain parts of the South, like Atlanta or Florida. It depended on community standards.
STEVEN SCARBOROUGH: [Chuck] was indicted along with Matt Sterling. The trial was actually in Texas. I think it was a mail order sting.
They showed an interracial scene in the courtroom and one of the prosecutors said “Ladies and Gentleman of the jury — this could be your son!” and one of the women in the jury box threw up. And they went to the judge in chambers and said “Judge we don’t feel like we’re getting a fair trial.” And the judge said “Fair trial? Fair trial? Hell, not too many years ago we’d have taken those old boys out behind the courthouse and hung ’em!” That was what the legal climate was like.
Chuck delayed it. And eventually had it moved to San Francisco. But Matt Sterling wouldn’t spend the money and ended up going to prison [for three years].
JIM HODGES I decided to discontinue shooting for myself because I just didn’t want to deal with the entanglement of the Feds and postal inspectors, all that shit. So I let Chuck take the brunt.
The arrest and prosecutions would continue, but by the mid-1970s, there was no real way to put the genie back in the bottle — demand was too great, and the monetary reward matched the risk. What had started as a handful of men in San Francisco filming sex had grown into a massive industry and Chuck Holmes, as the founder of Falcon Studio, had become its godfather.
Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story, screens at Outfest in Los Angeles on July 13th, and across the country this summer and fall. For a list of upcoming screenings (more to come) visit the Seed Money official site.
9 July 2015
July 1916. The days were ticking closer to Roger Casement’s execution on a charge of high treason. By now, he was publicly vilified in Britain not just as a revolutionary but as a homosexual, stripped of the knighthood he had earned as a human rights campaigner.
In his cell, his thoughts turned to the haunting majesty of the Glens of Antrim, scene of his boyhood, and he expressed a longing to be buried there.
I just wanted to let you all know about an exciting new digital portal from the UCLA Film & Television Archive:http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/groundbreaking-television-coverage-of-lgbt-milestones-now-online
The portal contains freely available streaming video of the LGBT newsmagazine “In the Life,” which ran from 1992-2012, as well as some contextual readings. This launch is phase one of the project, and includes 15 of the show’s 21 seasons. More complete video content will be available this coming Fall.
Access to the resource is available via the Archive’s website: https://www.cinema.ucla.edu/collections/inthelife
The UCLA Library also holds the print archival records for the show: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8x350tk/
An exhibition of Nazi persecution of homosexuals goes on display in NYC.
JULY 06 2015 5:00 AM ET
The show tells the story of Nazi persecution of homosexuals during World War II: Hitler’s genocide resulted in the death of 6 million Jews and millions of other people, with an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 sent to concentration camps because of their sexual orientations — the vast majority of them being gay men.
The story of these victims, commonly known as the Pink Triangles, has begun attracting attention relatively recently. Despite noted works like the play Bent, which was adapted into a film starring Clive Owen in 1997, and memoirs by former camp prisoners Gad Beck and Pierre Seel, gay stories have largely failed to become part of mainstream Holocaust narratives.
“The exhibition explores why homosexual behavior was identified as a danger to Nazi society and how the Nazi regime attempted to eliminate it,” says exhibition curator Edward Phillips.
“The Nazis believed it was possible to ‘cure’ homosexual behavior through labor and ‘re-education.’ ” Phillips says. “Their efforts to eradicate homosexuality left gay men subject to imprisonment, castration, institutionalization, and deportation to concentration camps.”
Between 1933 and 1945, more than 100,000 gay men were arrested for violating Nazi Germany’s ban on homosexuality. The exhibition includes personal accounts, photographs, and detailed information spanning this dark period of LGBT history.
MJHNYC.org, through October 2, 2015.
#ProudToLove homes in on the individual, zooming in and out of the legislature and always maintaining a human element. 9/10Marking LGBT Pride Month and the Supreme Court ruling to recognise same-sex marriage across the US, YouTube has released a heart-warming #ProudToLove campaign, showing their support.
In just under two and a half minutes, audiences are drawn in emotionally through scenes of overwhelming positivity and love as top vloggers from around the globe come out to their closest friends and family.
Honest and truly intimate, the campaign is shot in a documentary style and exudes authenticity.
The video includes the likes of Orange Is The New Black star and LGBT advocate, Laverne Cox, as well as Ellen DeGeneres and Ellen Page, alongside regular couples.
The responses from both the cast and the audience are genuine and heart-felt, channelling messages of love and positivity. As one mother points out, “My son is not an issue. He is a person.”
Indeed, #ProudToLove homes in on the individual, zooming in and out of the legislature and always maintaining a human element.
YouTube has utilised its platform to the max, combining meaningful storytelling with a strong social campaign, with online news sources including The Huffington Post, sharing the film with its global readers and amplifying the message.
The video also includes beauty blogger, Ingrid Nilsen, who recently made the headlines after clocking up 9m views for her coming out video.
Here is a campaign that reaches vast audiences, capitalises on talent and engages viewers in a meaningful way.
On July 4, 1965, activists from the Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilitis held their first Annual Reminder – a demonstration calling for equal rights for gay people.
Protesters carried signs insisting that “Homosexuals should be judged as individuals”, calling for “an end to government hostility” and “equality before the law”.
The protest in front of Independence Hall took place at a time when the US government was still actively discriminating against LGBT people in employment and the law – meaning the protesters were taking a great risk.
A small protest was held outside the White House earlier in the same year, but the Independence Hall protest was the largest ever seen at the time.
Gay rights pioneer Frank Kamney, who was discharged from the Army Map Service in 1957 because he was gay, was key in organising both the protests. Barbara Gittings also pioneered the protests.
In contrast to the later Stonewall Riots, the Annual Reminders were calm and orderly – with protesters dressed traditionally.
A special ceremony is being held to commemorate the anniversary – with Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the case that brought same-sex marriage to all 50 states, laying a wreath at the site in a special ceremony.
A number of other gay rights heroes are at the event, including Judy and Dennis Shepard – the parents of murdered gay man Matthew Shepard – Bishop Gene Robinson, the first gay Episcopal bishop, and Edie Windsor, whose case struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Wanda Sykes and America’s Got Talent star Jonathan Allen are both set to appear.
Memorial site LGBT50 notes: “On July 4, 1965, a group of courageous gay and lesbian activists from New York, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia laid the foundation for the organized LGBT civil rights movement with demonstrations in front of Independence Hall.
“In 2015 we proudly commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Annual Reminders, the Gay Pioneers who staged them, and a half century of LGBT civil right progress.”
BY BETH ASHTON
OUT! will bring together the heritage trail and digital histories to provide a central place for all of Manchester’s rich LGBT history
Manchester Pride has been awarded funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a digital platform that will explore the history of LGBT life in Manchester.
OUT! will bring together the heritage trail and digital histories to provide a central place for all of Manchester’s LGBT past.
Visitors to the website will also be able to create their own personalised trails based on where they are in Manchester, a theme or a time period, giving them the ability to discover and explore without the need of a tour guide.
The trails will use the rainbow tiles, which mark historic occurrences around the city centre, that were installed as part of Europride and OUT! will bring together a variety of projects championed by organisations including Gaydio, LGBT Foundation, Archives+ and the LGBT Youth North West.
The platform will also allow users to contribute to the research, with opportunities for crowdsourcing and digital games that enable the public to engage with and contribute to the ever-growing resource.
Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive of Manchester Pride comments; “Two of the main aims of Manchester Pride are to celebrate LGBT life in our city and to create opportunities for engagement. With ‘Out!’ we aim to commemorate and unite the rich and vibrant past by providing a factual and insightful legacy resource in one single location.”
“Our vision is to enable communities, historians and researchers, tourists and locals to learn about these histories and encourage them to contribute to the content and engage more fully with and to understand this important part of Manchester’s past.”
Manchester Pride is currently recruiting a number of volunteer research pioneers for this project who will collate information from both the LGBT community and other sources. The funding will provide training for the research pioneers who will visit community groups, researchers and local history societies to introduce the digital tool, ’OUT!’, and gather content including videos, photography and stories.
Daniel Jessop, Project Manager on the OUT! Digital Histories project said, “It’s great to join the team and make sure that stories in the LGBT community are shared. The Heritage Lottery funded project will empower volunteers through training, collecting oral histories and encouraging people to question the past and find out more. ‘OUT!’ celebrates LGBT heritage and if anyone is interested in being part of this please do get in touch.”
Alongside the creation of the digital platform, ‘OUT!’, the funding will also provide:
The training of 40 volunteers to visit community groups, researchers, local history societies etc to introduce ‘OUT!’.
Training of local historians to investigate archives to examine them for LGBT content.
A stand at the Expo Stand at the Big Weekend 2015 to explain the project and demonstrate the digital tool.
A panel discussion during Manchester Histories Festival 2016 to help the wider community to understand the heritage of the LGBT Community in Greater Manchester.
32 individuals will be trainees in oral histories and interviewing skills throughout the life of the project. 18 will initially be trained at the start of the project (12 community volunteers, 6 Gaydio interns) to conduct interviews for the theatre piece, digital booths and during the Big Weekend from the Expo Stand. A further 14 will be trained as a part of LGBT History Month in January 2016 in order to collect stories to add to the resource.
A digital exhibition at Archives + during the Manchester Pride Festival 2015 creating a new strand to their “Radical Histories” unit.
A live performance based piece in conjunction with Hope Theatre in the Gay Village that utilises oral histories and heritage on the digital tool.
A digital game run through Twitter and based around the digital tool to encourage engagement and usage.
To get involved in the project or find out more email Daniel Jessop on firstname.lastname@example.org .
In 2001 London Mayor Ken Livingstone introduced a partnership registration service for same sex couples. The registrations recognised the partnership of the individuals but did not confer any legal rights. The new register was called the London Partnerships Register. The register was open to heterosexual as well as gay couples.
The first couple to take advantage of the scheme, which pre-dated Civil Partnerships and demonstrated the need and desirability of giving same sex couples rights, were Ian Burford and Alexander Cannell, who had been together already for 38 years.
They had a five-minute ceremony conducted by Rob Coward, a specially-trained officer with Greater London Authority.
Couples taking part in the ceremony received a certificate but the register was not made available to the public for confidentiality reasons. The register was designed to be self-financing, charging couples £85 to register their details.
The Greater London Authority was the first public body in the United Kingdom to recognise same-sex relationships as being on a par with heterosexual partnerships.