Gay History - Online Documentaries
November 23, 2009 1:42 PM   Subscribe

A treasure trove of gay and lesbian documentaries to watch online. Our course begins with a brief overview. (9m05s)
Before Stonewall
Phyllis Lyon and Dell Martin started a newsletter for lesbians. (9m49s) Other women read dimestore lesbian novels [Forbidden Love - Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10unavailable (approx 75m)]. Gay bikers held rally weekends (silent, 2m30s). Life, pre-Stonewall, as told by gay seniors who lived it. (6m55s)
Stonewall
The setting and events of Stonewall, told by Phil Davis. (36m04s) Stonewall veterans share their stories. (6m12s) The first march, as told by gay seniors who lived it. (6m31s) GLBT groups began to organize and create community centers. (8m06s)

Bonus movie: 1971 Gay Activist Alliance takeover of the NYC Wedding Bureau after City Clerk Herman Katz threatened to crack down on MCC gay union ceremonies. (5m preview, 47m34s with Veoh Player install)
The First Decade After Stonewall
Gilbert Baker designed the Gay Pride Flag. (27m46s) A pride parade from the mid-70s. (10m0s) The Times Of Harvey Milk (1h28m0s) [used by Sean Penn to study for his portrayal]. Harry Hay (Mattachine society founder) starts the Radical Faeries. (1m56s) The early years of the Radical Faeries, told by Jerry the Faerie. (10m0s)

The Age Of AIDS Part 1 2 3 4 (approx 3h30m) [not strictly gay]

Black, White, and Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe (1h12m)

Twenty Years After Stonewall (including speeches by Harry Hay and Harvey Fierstein, amongst others) Part 1 2 3 4 (approx 68m)

Paris Is Burning [NYC Vogue "Houses"] Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 (approx 1h10m)
Gay in the Twenty-First Century
Radical Faerie Sanctuary at Short Mountain. (28m19s) Gay Conversion Therapy (21m06s) [sound is out of sync at beginning, gets better]. 30 Days: A Straight Man In A Gay World (45m44s) I Have Gay Parents. (40m19s) Gay media figures examine the forty years since Stonewall. (1h21m)

Forty Years After Stonewall (34m00s)

Bonus films: Gay Hollywood: The Last Taboo Part 1 2 (approx 47m) and The Lavendar Lens: 100 Years of Celluloid Queers (1h57m52s)

Plus: Fellow Travelers Part 1 2 3 (approx20m30s) - Photographer Mark Thompson narrates his portraits of gay leaders.

Also: Saint Of 9/11 (1h31m) Story of Fire Department Chaplain Father Mychal Judge, first recorded casualty of the terrorist attacks. [note: Sept 11 footage]
posted by hippybear (38 comments total) 119 users marked this as a favorite

 
Jesus. This is how you do an FPP.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:43 PM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm sure that Jesus can do an FPP without YOUR help, Astro Zombie.

But seriously, this is great, and I am going to be spreading the love to lots of my friends and colleagues.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:50 PM on November 23, 2009


I'm just gonna dump this here : Ill Doctrine: Christopher Street Boy.
posted by boo_radley at 1:50 PM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thank you for this!
posted by Nattie at 1:53 PM on November 23, 2009


Awesome post. I guess that turkey really is gonna have to cook itself.
posted by pearlybob at 1:56 PM on November 23, 2009


hippybear - thanks for posting the Fellow Travelers videos - great bios.
posted by garnetgirl at 2:10 PM on November 23, 2009


Does this mean i can watch gay "themed"/related stuff without it being absolutely god-awful?

Thank you hippybear!
posted by litleozy at 2:16 PM on November 23, 2009


See also the great 1998 gay history doc "Out of the Past" (trailer). Youtube has a 10-minute clip about civil rights strategist Bayard Rustin, with an emphasis on his essential role as MLK's right-hand man during the 1963 civil rights march, and also points out how homophobia helped erase his memory.

Wonderful post, thanks!
posted by mediareport at 2:17 PM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Awesome, thanks.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:19 PM on November 23, 2009


Does this mean i can watch gay "themed"/related stuff without it being absolutely god-awful?

I watched everything I linked to, and tried to supply a curated list which is of quality. Some of it may seem dull at first, but everything really held my attention and seems worthy of sharing.
posted by hippybear at 2:22 PM on November 23, 2009


This is brilliant, hippybear. Thank you so much!
posted by headspace at 2:38 PM on November 23, 2009


This post is amazing. Will share.
posted by humannaire at 2:40 PM on November 23, 2009


This is incredible. Thank you so much. I'm going to start making my way through these tonight.
posted by treepour at 2:42 PM on November 23, 2009


Also, The Celluloid Closet Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Thanks for a wonderful post, hippybear.
posted by greekphilosophy at 3:34 PM on November 23, 2009


Also, The Celluloid Closet Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Which are especially wonderful if you speak french!!!

(I wanted to badly to link to those, but all the narration is in NotEnglish!)
posted by hippybear at 3:53 PM on November 23, 2009


Thanks for the great post!
posted by creeky at 3:57 PM on November 23, 2009


Great. This is what Metafilter and streaming video were made for. I'm probably going to be busy with this for a few weeks.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:51 PM on November 23, 2009


Stellar post.
posted by Decimask at 5:26 PM on November 23, 2009


Mais les MeFites tout parlent français, non?

Oops.
posted by greekphilosophy at 5:36 PM on November 23, 2009


> Mais les MeFites tout parlent français, non?

I hope no one ever holds out on great content because it's not in English. Granted, you can't really build a post around it, but MeFi is a global community. Merci. :D
posted by Decimask at 5:53 PM on November 23, 2009


I hope no one ever holds out on great content because it's not in English.

Oh, it's such a wonderful movie. I spent nearly 2 hours looking for an English edition of the film posted online. Apparently it used to be available, but has been removed in the advent of the DVD release.

I could have included it, but I eschewed non-English for the rest of the post, and it would have been too much of a bad match for the post. I'm glad greekphilosophy linked to it in the comments!
posted by hippybear at 5:56 PM on November 23, 2009


Ozzy Goes to Gay Pride
posted by jonp72 at 6:05 PM on November 23, 2009


Bravo!
posted by General Tonic at 6:46 PM on November 23, 2009


Here's a contribution from Canada, which I haven't seen (hope it works abroad):
Open Secrets
José Torrealba, 2003, 52 min
This provocative documentary uncovers a lost chapter in Canadian military history: how the Armed Forces dealt with homosexual behaviour among soldiers, during and after World War II. More than 60 years later, a group of five veterans, barely adults when they enlisted, break the silence to talk about how homosexual behaviour "was even more unmentionable than cancer." Yet amidst the brutality of war, instances of sexual awakening among soldiers and officers were occuring. Initially, the Army overlooked it, but as the war advanced, they began to crack down: military tribunals, threats of imprisonment, discharge and public exposure. After the war, officers accused of homosexuality were discharged. Back home in Canada, reputations and careers were ruined. For the young men who had served their country with valour, this final chapter was often too much to bear. Based on the book Courting Homosexuals in the Military by Paul Jackson.
posted by Decimask at 7:14 PM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It'd be nice if more of the histories were GLBT, instead of GLBT, but yes, great collection of links.
posted by jiawen at 7:23 PM on November 23, 2009


Hmm. Well. That is, GLBT equally, instead of almost entirely G, a little L and a smattering of T and B. (Preview isn't as accurate as I thought, I guess.)
posted by jiawen at 7:25 PM on November 23, 2009


All of this is so important to preserve and be aware of, but I feel we also need to keep what's going on in the rest of the world in mind. E.g., They Want Us Exterminated.

We're creating history as we go, and it's my hope that the scope of this history can increasingly extend beyond our cultural boundaries. On the other hand, I have absolutely no idea what to do or say about such horrors, and I have no idea how to help, but I can't shake the question whenever discussions of GLBT history/politics come up.
posted by treepour at 7:49 PM on November 23, 2009


Well done. No links handy, but interested parties should also seek out Paris is Burning.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:57 PM on November 23, 2009


That is, GLBT equally, instead of almost entirely G, a little L and a smattering of T and B.

I was going exclusively for quality online video which had good content and was available for free viewing. I watched some ridiculous amount of video, and linked all the best I could find. There's a lot of movie previews, which isn't actually informative, but there's surprisingly little good content for the transgender or bisexual community available online. I wanted to find something good about the Compton Cafeteria riot, but there wasn't anything very complete or that didn't assume a great deal of knowledge on behalf of the viewer to begin with.

If you have any good links to share, please provide them in this comment thread. There's a real dearth of material out there aside from the gay stuff, at least, online. (There's a lot of great material on DVD, but there's no point in linking to that stuff here.)
posted by hippybear at 8:42 PM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, this is why I'm marking you as muse.

And while it's not streaming, Mississippi Queen is definitely worth a watch if you can get it.
posted by ikahime at 8:58 PM on November 23, 2009


Thanks so much hippybear! My partner and I always joke about reading through the gay primer, and I think you've actually created it here in video form. I'm going to be busy for weeks!
posted by This Guy at 5:21 AM on November 24, 2009


Fantastic post, thank you hippybear.
posted by jokeefe at 6:30 AM on November 24, 2009


"Well done. No links handy, but interested parties should also seek out Paris is Burning."

look again, it's right there in the post.
posted by ts;dr at 8:04 AM on November 24, 2009


Hippybear, I wasn't blaming you; it was more a general hope that there were more stuff related to bi and trans experiences, and that people who make supposedly "GLBT" documentaries wouldn't just give lip service to letters after G.

The only thing I could find on YouTube that's in English is Susan Stryker on Transgender History in the US; her talk is quite informative and interesting.
posted by jiawen at 8:07 AM on November 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Speaking of Susan Stryker, her doc Screaming Queens: The Riots at Compton's Cafeteria will shake up understanding of the LGBT history timeline. The riots at Compton's Cafeteria took place in August 1966, a good three years before the rebellion* at The Stonewall Inn.

*rebellion is the preferred term by the Stonewall Veterans
posted by kuppajava at 8:23 AM on November 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is awesome. Can I humbly recommend The Gender Project, a series of documentary shorts that a colleague of mine has been creating? They're interview-based pieces about the lived experience of gender, from queer and straight, trans and other folks. I really like them.
posted by Tesseractive at 9:20 AM on November 24, 2009


Is this a reasonable place to ask, IF anyone spots still photos or video of the 1973 Christopher Street parade, NYC, showing the FRONT banner, please send me an email? From around half way to the end, I was one of the guys carrying the lead banner (me, age 16! w00t!).

Caveat: That day was the first time I met a fellow gay male that was my own age. Weird times.
posted by Goofyy at 9:57 AM on November 24, 2009


Thanks hippybear for taking the time to put this post together.
posted by Sailormom at 7:57 PM on November 24, 2009


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