Conservatives, in general, aren’t exactly known for their love of PBS, especially lately with recent attempts to get all public funding for it removed. But June is especially when they–especially the most vocal homo-haters among them–go insane over public television because this is the month is when the new gay-themed specials and documentaries get the most air time.
So do your part to be a thorn in the side of the culturally outraged by sitting down comfortably in pajamas with a snack and watching one or more of the following…
Claiming the Title: Gay Olympics On Trial — Concerns the origins of what are now known as The Gay Games and how, back in the 1980s, the actual Olympics–while not bothering to take, say, the Police Olympics to court–were pretty adamant about suing a group of homosexuals who decided to appropriate that word while ignoring every other group that did exactly the same thing. San Francisco filmmakers Jonathan Joiner and Robert Martin have created a fascinating portrait of an era when even the highest courts in the land routinely saw gays and lesbians as second class citizens, with little or no protection under the law, overlooking clear constitutional guarantees. The interviews with judges, lawyers and advocates sparkle with insight and passion.
Two Spirits — The story of the tragic, brutal murder of Fred Martinez, a 16 year-old Navajo nádleehí (“one who constantly transforms,” a person born in a male body who possesses an essentially feminine nature, considered a spiritual gift in ancient Navajo culture) and the aftermath of his loss.
Out In America — Filmmaker Andrew Goldberg’s documentary starring a variety of LGBT Americans, some famous (Andy Cohen, Armistead Maupin, Chely Wright) and a heavier emphasis on non-famous folks, some of whom happen to be Muslim lesbians, ranchers, trans police officers and gay Latino rappers.
June is also the month on PBS when they air repeats of older specials like the art bio Emile Norman: By His Own Design and new episodes of the ongoing series In The Life. Check your local listings, then go politely bother your area affiliate station if you don’t find anything. They’re used to it by this point.