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/

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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.

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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.

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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

Got Milk!

Harvey Milk: His Lives And Death by Lillian Faderman. (2018) Yale University Press is a concise, well-written biography. A more satisfying work than either the Randy Shilts book or the Gus Van Sant feature film.

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Faderman’s book chronologically follows each phase of Milk’s life beginning with his childhood in an upper middle-class Jewish family on Long Island.

Intergenerational differences and conflict are there at the very start and remain as unresolved elements throughout his life.

Milk’s realization that he wasn’t quite like other boys and young men was a factor he dealt with in numerous ways. Homosexuality was almost universally condemned when he first realized he was gay. It was one of several important aspects that defined who he was and how he related to the world around him.

He tried various approaches in pursuit of a career he hoped would bring an overall sense of purpose in his life before settling on the one that was most challenging, satisfying numerous parts of himself, and leading eventually to his tragic death.

Harvey Milk is Lillian Faderman at her best and a valuable resource of LGBT history alongside her previous hefty publication, The Gay Revolution (2015) Simon And Schuster.

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

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

 

What’s Left

Has The Gay Movement Failed? by Martin Duberman, University of California Press, 2018 evaluates the status of Gay Liberation Front radical politics today.

what'sleft

Duberman is an academic with a prodigious body of work but this book begins with three dubious assertions. He says that Gay Liberation Front spread to a half dozen cities and college campuses, that the Gay Revolution Party began in London, and Gay Activists Alliance broke from GLF in November 1970.

Out Of The Closets edited by Karla Jay and Allen Young, Douglas Books, 1972 lists over 75 Gay Liberation Front groups. I was one of the founding members of Gay Revolution Party in New York. And Wikipedia marks 21 December 1969 as the founding date of Gay Activists Alliance.

Fortunately none of these errors are necessary for the main thesis of Has The Gay Movement Failed? Duberman correctly cites Gay Liberation Front that began in New York following the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 as a touchstone of gay left politics.

Marriage equality is certainly the antithesis of the ideals espoused by GLF because it involves acceptance of and inclusion into a flawed institution rather than demanding its dismantling and replacement by a more just and equitable social arrangement.

The book concludes with examples of current straight left attitudes relating to LGBTQ issues that seem not to have changed much over nearly half a century. Ignored, trivialized, denigrated. And at the end the question in the title remains unanswered.

Has The Gay Movement Failed? Is an interesting read but not the definitive work about an important subject that merits more comprehensive study.

I’d like to see a closer look at Gay Liberation Front politics and strategies, including both its successes and failures. Also a more detailed analysis of other radical and progressive LGBTQ groups and individuals outsides the mainstream.

It’s obvious to me that within weeks of its founding, there were individuals in GLF eager to abandon the ideals of transformative personal and societal liberation for the comforts of mere rights and acceptance of the status quo.

Our current challenge remains how to achieve the benefits of a better world for everyone instead of continuing to privilege just a few.

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

www.nikosdiaman.com