Tag Archives: LGBT History

News & Updates

FOURPLAY: Interview with Director Kyle Henry by

Jose Villarreal in FOURPLAY 01

Few films could score a scene of a woman’s sexual awakening with a dog to a romantic, ridiculous Pino Donaggio-like synth score, and pull it off, but in Fourplay director Kyle Henry creates a moment that’s as sensitive as it is funny. 

In Fourplay, a feature anthology of four short stories of sexual intimacy, the protagonists  (half of home live in middle-class cities cities, like Skokie and Tampa, that have rarely been associated with sex), all face life-changing sexual encounters.


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Hiding in Plain Sight by

tina turner robinson

During a trip home to my native Memphis a few years ago, I was introduced to the photography of Jack Robinson. A gay Southerner whose meteoric rise in the 1960s and 70s was followed by a quarter-century of near-total obscurity, Robinson’s story immediately intrigued me, as did his unlikely rediscovery. During the last 25 years of his life, Robinson worked as an artist in a stained-glass studio, living alone in a Midtown Memphis high-rise and battling depression. He never shared with his employer or neighbors his glamorous past as a photographer of some of the most celebrated personalities of the twentieth-century. It wasn’t until many days after his death in 1997 that his employer ventured into his apartment and discovered an actual treasure chest of Robinson’s images—thousands of them. His work is now archived in a downtown gallery that bears his name.

A native of Clarksdale, Mississippi, Robinson honed his camera skills in the early 1950s, documenting bohemian gay life in New Orleans’ French Quarter. A regular of Dixie’s Bar on Bourbon Street, a watering hole known for its literary clientele (Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Gore Vidal among them), Robinson documented the city’s gay cultural scene, and its involvement in Mardi Gras. His depictions of gay men in costume and in various states of drunken frivolity captured at the same time the joy and freedom that the French Quarter afforded as a reprieve from the repressive South.


Gay New YorkNews & Updates

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP by

united in anger featured img

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP is a unique feature-length documentary that combines startling archival footage that puts the audience on the ground with the activists and the remarkably insightful interviews from the ACT UP Oral History Project to explore ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) from a grassroots perspective – how a small group of men and women of all races and classes, came together to change the world and save each other’s lives.

Keep the Lights On spoke with director Jim Hubbard a few months ago, just before the premiere of United in Anger at the MOMA. Tomorrow, July 6, it will open at the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village.


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A Pride PSA from Robot House by

It’s New York Gay Pride this weekend,  and  there are plenty of  film screenings (the hilarious Gayby at BAM CinemaFest and Rooftop Films), articles (an excellent piece by David M. Halperin) and parties (too many for parentheticals) to help celebrate.

For a narci, any communal event forces introspection (or more accurately, navel-gazing), and right now, I can’t stop thinking, and cackling, about Robot House, a place that for me as a college underclassman, felt like an  model for living, and the coolest continual Pride Celebration I had ever been too. It was an Evanston, Illinois flop house that felt worlds away from the Northwestern University campus. The upperclassman that lived there – Rachel, Jackie, Stacy, Anna – were film production majors unlike anyone else – mainly because they were always, always creating things and never asking for permission.

They had copies of BITCH Magazine on the table, and  made shorts like Ultimate Dino Remix 2005. It’s a lesbian love story about a nerdy girl in love with a cheerleader who tries  to woo her by wooing her with dinosaurs and a song called Put Your Ballot Inside My Box.

My favorite memory of their house is making this video , Maggie and Judi Make Flapjacks. I played Judi Dench and my friend, Paul, played Maggie Smith, and we made pancakes. It definitely bears the influence of  Jack Smith, without really understanding Jack Smith. At Robot House, I was free to camp, vamp, and eat purple pancakes. It felt like pride.

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Wizards, Spaceships, and the Queers Who Love Them by


I had never heard the term “queer” – in a positive context, at least – until I was a freshman in college. I never saw Paris is Burning until the year after that. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit collected dust in the back of my bookshelf, lest my Catholic mother catch a glimpse of it and keel over in shock. My exposure to queer art and media as a teenager was limited, to say the least. Even with the endless resource that is the Mighty Internet, the sheer volume of information out there overwhelmed me.

However, being a giant nerd, I went to the next best thing: slash fiction.

A fantasy and science fiction fan since I was a kid, I’d been reading fan fiction since the fourth Harry Potter book. Slashfic, which features same-sex characters in romantic pairings, was only a click away.

On a cloudy evening in 2009, over twenty-five women, including myself, crowded into a cramped hotel room in Philadelphia. In their day-to-day lives, they were housewives, college students, archeologists, lawyers, nannies, and sign language interpreters, but that night, they were all the same thing: fan girls. Specifically, they were gathered for MiniMerlin 2009, the first unofficial fan convention for Merlin, a new Arthurian legend-inspired show on the BBC. Out of desperation to gain some semblance of order in the midst of this gaggle of chattering fans, someone popped in a DVD and shouted above the din, “The vid show is starting!”

Gay New York

Dirty Looks: On Location Venue Portrait #1 – Everard Baths by

Every night this July, Dirty Looks: On Location will install a film and video work in queer social settings (like gay bars or community centers) or former sites of queer sociality (shuttered baths, bars, or sex clubs). An extension of the essential queer experimental screening series curated by Bradford Nordeen, On Location looks to bring the general public in contact with historically important queer artwork, and the history of queer New York.


Avery Willard


Exciting news!! IN SEARCH OF AVERY WILLARD has officially wrapped post-production and will begin touring festivals this summer! Produced concurrently and in partnership with KEEP THE LIGHTS ON, this companion documentary short chronicles the life and work of one of queer art’s most fascinating and elusive innovators.

We are proud to announce that IN SEARCH OF AVERY WILLARD will have it’s official world premiere at the 2012 New Jersey International Film Festival! The festival will take place from June 1-17, and ISOAW will premiere on Sunday, June 10th at 7:00pm in Vorhees Hall on the Rutgers University campus. For details and ticket information, click HERE.

Many more exciting festival announcements are on the way, and we are so grateful to have the opportunity to finally share this film with the world. However, in order to do so, WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We’re in the homestretch, but this final leg – the distribution phase – requires funding for travel and exhibition materials that exceeds our micro production budget. Today marks the launch of our 30-day Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds for our festival tour. We are asking YOU to help IN SEARCH OF AVERY WILLARD reach audiences around the world by making a donation. As a token of our gratitude, we are offering a variety of unique rewards for contributors.

Watch our Kickstarter video above and CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION!

Please help us spread the word by re-posting the campaign link on social media and sharing with family and friends. On behalf of the entire ISOAW team, thank you in advance for your generosity and support!

Cary Kehayan
Director, In Search of Avery Willard

Gay New York

The Stonewall Evolution by

In the first of a series of films documenting moments from LGBT New Yorker’s lives, director Onur Karoaglu chronicles the evening of Friday, June 24th, 2011, the night that the landmark marriage equality bill passed the state senate. A crowd of revelers had gathered in front of the legendary Stonewall bar after the annual Drag March through the streets of the village. When the news about the bill’s came across, there was much reason to celebrate. We’re eager to hear from you about how your life has changed since that night, a little over a month ago. Have you gotten married? Bought your friends wedding gifts? Or remain steadfastly single and ready to mingle? Leave a comment below!