John Scagliotti

Författare till After Stonewall {1999 documentary}

5+ verk 94 medlemmar 3 recensioner

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Documentary/Historical retrospective of the Gay Rights movement from the 1969 Stonewall riots to the present.

Director: John Scagliotti
Stars: Anita Bryant, Melissa Etheridge and Barney Frank
UT_WCC | 1 annan recension | Jan 6, 2011 |
This documentary gave sizeable presentation to gay men, lesbians, and transgendered people. The topic covered Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Interviewees were English-speaking and non-English-speaking. (It was amusing to hear such heavily British-influenced English and how people would stress the "ed" in past tense verbs, as if they were all pronounced like 'learned' or 'affected.')

There is a big argument among gay academics about whether all gays are alike or different; it's called essentialism versus constructionism in academese. Most experts favor the latter and go into detail about how gays abroad or in the past differ from those in the West today. However, this documentary shows numerous gays of the developing world saying how happy they were to hear the word "gay" or "transgendered" instead of epithets, how pleased they were to meet other gays for the first time, or how excited they were to see gay films. This is very similar to the coming-out stories of modern, Western gays. Further, many gays and lesbians of color in the West have suggested that white culture may promote or enforce homophobia in communities of color. (You can hear this in the independent documentary "Our House: Gays and Lesbians in the Hood.") Here, one Pakistani man notes that homophobic laws were not in Islamic legal books, but were handed over by the British. Several commentators wonder if the West is to blame for homophobia, rather than for gay rights.

This documentary does tend to suggest that what is happening now in the developing world happened in the West 30 years ago. The Cairo 52 controversy is portrayed as the Egyptian Stonewall Riots. However, this idea is worked against because homoerotic art from Ancient Egypt, India, and Japan is shown. Gay rights may be new in this region, but not gay desire or relationships. I hate to contradict myself, but whereas Western gays can join gay-exclusive activist organizations, this documentary mentions that AIDS activism, feminism, and the Internet are often the only ways, though circuitous, that gays in this region can fight for freedom.

Unfortunately, too many people, in the West and outside of it, think that gay rights is just ephemeral, nebulous, marginal politicking. Especially in nations worried about starvation, civil war, and lack of health care, gay rights often take a back seat. However, this documentary shows how homophobia is no joke. It focuses upon people that have been arrested, almost raped, and lashed just for consensual, non-violent behavior. Furthermore, it shows how the bigotry of leaders often floats down to the masses to make the lives of everyday gay men, lesbians, and transgendereds dangerous.

There are small comments from IGLHRC staff members and Congressman Frank. Still, this documentary is wonderful because gays and lesbians from the developing world got to speak for themselves. To be truthful, Janeane Garofalo's narration gives a straight, white, Western stamp of approval. However, I thought she was being a pro-gay ally by performing here. Also, she is not seen whereas non-Western gay activists are.

When the documentary ends, it notes that many gay rights activists in the developing world have to migrate to the West. (They show many individuals now in Canada or the UK, but rarely in the US, CIS officials wake up!) They do note that most gays and lesbians from those regions will not be able to immigrate. I wish they would have added that some developing countries do have strong gay rights laws. South Africa and Ecuador are examples.

I was incredibly moved by this documentary. I want to thank the makers for putting it together. This work must be publicized more than it has been. This will make you want to write a check to Amnesty or IGLHRC in a second. All gay men and lesbians of color, regardless of their citizenship, should buy this work and share it with their allies. All progressive individuals, regardless of sexuality or nationality, should peep this piece as well.
… (mer)
lgbtugacenter | Nov 7, 2007 |

88 min
lestat25 | 1 annan recension | Feb 25, 2011 |


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