Who would have guessed that the dawn of the gay and lesbian civil rights movement in San Francisco was jump-started by straight ministers at a dance? This little-known, yet pivotal event happened the first day of 1965, and it was an occasion like never before. For the first time, all the fledgling “homophile” organizations came together as one to put on a costume ball to publicly reveal their community in a thoroughly respectable, yet overtly political, and queerly fabulous fashion! The twist was, they were rallied by progressive straight ministers who had witnessed, firsthand, the brutal police violence against this community and they were determined to do something about it. So when the SFPD showed up to try and shut the party down, the results were explosively historic!
Lewd & Lascivious recovers for today’s audiences the landmark event in American history when just being perceived as homosexual was reason enough to discriminate, and being caught in gay sexual activity was “Lewd and Lascivious Conduct” and could result in years-long prison sentences.
“We realized that not understanding homosexuality meant that we didn’t understand sexuality in general,” said the Rev. Ted McIllvenna, one of the instigators of the party, who went on to found the world famous Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, “We didn’t see this as a ‘gay’ issue, per say, we simply saw it as a human rights issue.” Lewd & Lascivious spotlights in lively interviews a number of famous personalities who speak from eye-witness accounts.
“It may have taken seven years to complete the film, but it was worth it to have these important characters in our history tell their stories on camera, especially now that two of them are no longer with us.” Jallen Rix, Sexologist, Professor, and Director of Lewd & Lascivious. The film pulls together an accomplished set of creators behind the camera as well. The narrator of the film, Sylvia Chase, was one of the original journalists on ABC’s 20/20 and has three decades of experience in network and public television. Executive Producer, Chris Sinton, is a former senior director at Cisco Systems. Associate Producer, Susan Stryker, won an Emmy® for her film Screaming Queens; and many others.
With the Supreme Court making it’s landmark decision on gay marriage this month, how fitting it is that Lewd & Lascivious is having its world premiere at this years’ Frameline, the San Francisco LGBTQ film Festival at 1:30pm on June 22nd, at the Victoria Theater.
Lewd & Lascivious is sponsored by the GLBT Historical Society, and KQED. Dr. Jallen Rix: Producer, Writer and Director Executive Producer: Chris Sinton, Associate Producers: Brett Chatelain, Mark Hollenstein, & Susan Stryker.
For more information and to view the trailer, visit www.cometrueproductions.com.
SOURCE Mark Hollenstein