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WATCH: An Untold History Of Gay Persecution, “The Lavender Scare”

In this exclusive clip from the forthcoming documentary The Lavender Scare, one man tells of his interrogation by police, who made a surprise visit to a private home where a Christmas party was underway.

The story seems almost unbelievable today, but the fear experienced by gay men and lesbians during this period was all too real.

The Lavender Scare uncovers a homosexual witch hunt started in 1953 when President Eisenhower ordered the firing of all federal employees discovered to be gay or lesbian. Thousands and thousands of gay men and lesbians lost their jobs after government agents were assigned to pry into their private lives.

These agents made surprise middle-of-the-night visits like the one described in the clip above, coercing innocent people into turning over the names of their friends. For more info on this documentary and to donate to their Kickstarter, which helps with production costs, click here.

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           May 24, 2013
Tagged: , , ,

  • 9 Comments
    • Ruhlmann
      Ruhlmann

      Fear of the authorities and maybe shame would have worked for the people doing the investigating and I’d like to think that even then I would have told them to fuck off and not betrayed friends but really who knows? This took place in Canada as well and the tactics were the same. It’s difficult to imagine today how dark those times were for so many.

      May 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KentonForshee
      KentonForshee

      And Christians think that they are the ones persecuted…

      May 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      This is what christians want to return us to

      May 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Taliaferro
      Taliaferro

      In 1969, just months before the Stonewall riots, I left my first gay party via the bathroom window as local police broke down the front door. We all lived in fear in those days. Coming out just after Stonewall was the best – and bravest – thing I ever did. I have lived an open and honest life since then and I have been happy and healthy. Staying in the closet not only damages the individual but all of society. Imagine being so feared that a government persecutes you to this extent.

      May 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stfallon1028
      stfallon1028

      And here we have conservatives trying to convince we don’t live in a police state. More than one chapter of the Christian American Empire has some truly despicable footnotes. If this documentary and the recent bashings against homosexuals in New York City show us anything, its that its a step too far campaigning for marriage equality when in many populations, worldwide we still have to fight for the right to merely exist

      May 24, 2013 at 10:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ruhlmann
      Ruhlmann

      @Taliaferro: I was 14 when the Stonewall riots occurred and it was a year after our Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau made his “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. ” and “what’s done in private between adults doesn’t concern the Criminal Code” comments. I came out to my mother during Stonewall. I wanted to go to New York to join in the rebellion.

      May 24, 2013 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @Ogre Magi: Absolutely, they’re trying to force through laws every single day that bring us back to those times.

      The sad part is that the religious genuinely think they are victims when all they’ve been in genocidal murderers for thousands of years, and literally nothing else.

      May 25, 2013 at 10:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles175
      Charles175

      This movie and the other one in progress “Second Class Citizens”, the religious right doesn’t want anyone to know of. This so history has it’s chance of repeating itself. Too bad that these were not available for the Supreme Court Justices to see. I have hopes that all of us make an effort to share these two documentaries with as many straight people as possible.

      May 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charli Girl
      Charli Girl

      A normal human being will watch this,and think”geez I’ll never use the word dyke or fag again”and i will never vote AGAINST their rights again,A right wing nut will work tirelessly to recreate those days.

      May 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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