History Tour

In 1989 I was impressed by the extensive LGBT exhibition at the 42nd Street New York Public Library, which included several items related to organizations or projects I was involved with nearly two decades earlier.

Returning thirty years later I felt very removed from three Stonewall 50 exhibits I visited at Leslie-Loman Gallery, New York Public Library, and New York Historical Society Museum. Having returned to San Francisco nearly half a century ago, my East Coast ties are now in the distant past.

historytour

We Are Everywhere by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown published 2019 by Ten Speed Press covers more than a century of LGBTQ activism in the US. The huge collection of photos immediately drew my attention. More than a few are of people I know or knew starting with the one of Marsha P. Johnson on the front cover.

Reading the four-part history was a more demanding experience. I felt I was in a queer studies class. Interested in new material, impatient to get through the parts I already knew, and saddened by the reoccurring instances of infighting and acrimony documented. This isn’t unique to our struggle by any means.

I recommend We Are Everywhere for anyone wanting to learn about the setbacks and progress of queer liberation in the US, in a book profusely illustrated with images of individuals associated with that struggle.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

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Family Values

Mama’s Boy by Dustin Lance Black, (2019) Knopf is a compelling memoir by the screenwriter of the award-wining film Milk.

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It ranges over three generations, including the author’s maternal grandmother, who barely managed to overcome poverty and an all but hopeless future, through the courageous and exemplary life of his mother, who rose above a physically debilitating chronic condition to give birth and nurture three children, as well as his own rise as both a creative artist and dedicated activist for justice.

Lance’s mother shines in this loving portrayal of her and his admiration for her amazing courage and resolve. Aware of his homosexuality at an early age, he knows it distances him from the traditional Southern values of the one person whose love and acceptance he fears losing.

The key to understanding and compassion lies in the many personal stories of both him and his friends. It’s where connections are made and healing begins. Mama’s Boy is a rare gem of a book!

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

World Pride

New York is hosting one of the biggest celebrations of the century with three or four million people expected to attend.

worldpride

The World Pride NYC Stonewall 50 website lists a myriad of events scheduled during June 2019.

There are exhibitions at the 42nd Street New York Public Library, Leslie-Lohman Gallery, and New York Historical Society Museum along with several marches and a grand parade.

While the Stonewall rebellion is lauded as the start of the LGBT movement, it was one of many acts of resistance to oppression and injustice both in the US and in other countries as well.

My own radicalization and subsequent activism occurred a few months later following the Snake Pit raid. My involvement in the Gay Liberation Front was a significant part of my evolution and changed my life forever.

More information available at World Pride.

Image and text copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman.

http://nikosdiaman.com/

Now Generation

Sell By directed by Mike Doyle (USA) 2019 premieres at Frameline 43.

nowgeneration

This delightful modern, romantic comedy is centered around a young couple trying to balance their relationship and careers in New York City.

Close friends also face challenges in their daily lives.

The film is very much in the present and will strongly appeal to young gay professionals seeking to find a place for themselves in the world.

It screens Wednesday night 26 June 2019 at the Castro Theatre during Frameline 43.

For more info and tickets contact frameline.org

Copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman.

http://nikosdiaman.com/

Country Boy

Kanarie directted by Christiaan Olwagen (USA) 2018 follows the adventures of a naive young Afrikaner serving in the military.

countryboy

A fan of Boy George with a passion for women’s fashion, who is caught parading through the streets of his small hometown by the local minister, receives his draft notice and manages to gain a place in the army church choir. What begins as light comedy turns more seriously.

The inductees are humiliated from the moment they first arrive in boot camp by a sadistic officer who preys on the most vulnerable among them, a chubby, effeminate recruit.

The issue of apartheid, the hypocrisy of religious morality being used to condone killing, and the turmoil of sexuality are women throughout the film.

Kanarie is now available on DVD and VOD by Breaking Glass Pictures, a distributor of LGBT media.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Homosexual Purge

The Lavender Scare, a documentary by Josh Howard (USA) 2017 based on the book by historian David K. Johnson, premieres nationwide on PBS 18 June 2019.

homoxesualpurge

In 1953, soon after taking office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the firing of all homosexuals from government jobs. Most left quietly when confronted by investigators.

One man waged a life-long battle to regain employment as an astronomer and end the discriminatory policy for all while another committed suicide because he didn’t want to bring shame to his family.

It was indeed a very dark time for gays and lesbians, leftists, nonwhites, and independent-minded women excluded from fulfillment of their human potential and the promised benefits of the American dream.

Copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman.

http://nikosdiaman.com/

American Designer

Halston directed by Frédéric Tcheng (USA) 2019 documents the rise and fall of American fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick.

americandesigner

He worked in millinery at the Fifth Avenue luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman before launching his own fashion label in the 1970s.

While the fashion house he founded revolutionized the industry, its sudden success eventually spiraled out of control.

Halston accomplished much during his lifetime and was unapologetic about his extravagant lifestyle. Loved by many of the people who worked for him and with him.

However even some of his closest associates left him because they couldn’t deal with the extreme demands he made in order to personally control every detail he envisioned.

The film is currently showing at the Landmark Opera Plaza, San Francisco and Landmark Shattuck, Berkeley. Also Quad Cinema, New York and Music Box Theatre, Chicago.

Copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman.

http://nikosdiaman.com/

Frameline 43

Vita & Virginia directed by Chanya Button (Ireland/UK) 2018 is the opening night film of Frameline 43 screening at the iconic Castro Theatre in San Francisco 20 June 2019.

frameline43

This stylish period drama is about the love affair between two of the luminaries of the Bloomsbury Circle a century ago. While highly progressive at the time, the participants were not entirely free of the prevailing moral strictures and guilt

This year’s festival runs from 20 – 30 June 2019 with programs at not only the Castro Theatre but also the Roxie Theater, the Victoria Theatre, and M. H. de Young Museum in San Francisco. The two East Bay venues are Landmark Shattuck Cinema and Landmark Theatres Piedmont.

Contact Frameline.org for more information and tickets.

Copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman.

http://nikosdiaman.com/

Syrian Handyman

A Moment In The Reeds directed by Mikko Makela (2017) Finland deals with immigration from a gay perspective.

syrianhandyman

A Finn studying literature in Paris and a Syrian architect resettled in Finland meet in a small rural community.

Leevi is visiting his widowed father, who’s renovating the summerhouse in the woods before selling it, when Tareq arrives to help out with the project.

Both young men are estranged from their families because of their sexual orientation. While they are drawn to one another, the circumstances of their lives make an ongoing relationship a nearly impossible achievement.

A Moment In The Reeds is a Wild Beast Productions release available 4 December 2018 in the US and Canada on VOD and digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube Movies.

Also available in the US on DVD and Blu-ray through Amazon.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Compassionate Care

San Francisco was a major epicenter of the HIV/AIDS pandemic that ravaged the city in the Eighties.

compassionate care

5B directed by Dan Krauss (USA) 2018 focuses on the legendary AIDS ward of San Francisco General Hospital and its pioneering effort to provide holistic medical care and comfort to the many young gay men and others hardest impacted by a frightening new deadly disease.

Nurses were at the heart of this humane endeavor that included touch and hugs for the suffering rather than the impersonal approach that was standard procedure for the profession. Helped by dedicated physicians, partners, friends, volunteers, and family members.

While the decade of the Seventies involved the struggle for liberation, the following decade was one of death and devastation as well as rampant homophobia nationwide.

However, even here in this very liberal city and inside its prime public health facility, there was fear and strong resistance to the pioneering approach of the 5B staff. Ultimately the radical ward principles prevailed and 5B became a model of care for other cities and countries.

5B was the closing night feature of the 2018 San Francisco Documentary Film Festival at the Castro Theatre.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com