The Pye-Harris Project announced the third in its COMING OUT series. The film is COMING OUT IN THE 1970s and includes interviews with three activists from the 1970s reflecting on their coming out experiences at the time.
Three young activists interview older gay, lesbian activists who came out in the 1970s. They explore how the spark of the Stonewall enabled people to come out and organize, and fight for rights. The subjects talk about early gay pride marches, the American Psychological Association’s acceptance of gay people, Anita Bryant anti-gay crusade, the creation of Gay Community Centers, the Disco Era, Harvey Milk and the Gay Games. Topics covered also include: the challenges of finding and nurturing the community; compare the journey of gay men versus lesbians; discuss how just appearing in public and coming out was a political statement that could change the world; early images of gay people in the mass media; and discuss how the 1970s actually set the groundwork for the response to the AIDS Crisis.
The three subjects include a poet and author active in the building of the women’s literary movement who was at the early marches in New York, a man from the Midwest who came out during the disco era and was propelled to activism by the ant-gay crusade of Anita Bryant, and a southern California woman who was on the forefront of the creation of community centers around the country.
This is the third of a series that will explore how society has changed the coming out experiences over the decades. The first in the series premiered at Frameline in 2011, and focused on the early formation of a gay community in the 1950s and how just finding one another was lonely frustrating, and potentially dangerous. The second film highlights the underground gay community that was taking place and how the social climate of the time – from civil rights to the women’s movement to the anti-war protests — changed the attitude of the young people
The films are distributed to GSAs at California Middle and High Schools, along with an accompanying curriculum that offers a broad overview to young people about the modern LGBT movement
The films and curriculum were developed by the Pye Harris Legacy Project, to get young people involved in LGBT activism through learning history from those who lived it. The Project was founded by the late Edgar Pye, to honor the memory of his partner of 60 years, Bob Harris.