So far, I’ve only made it through the first two parts of this documentary–but it’s so good, I had to share. Usually, most of us in the LGBT/queer community know all about Stonewall and the organizing in the East. It’s more rare to really know anything at all about the organizing in the West, much less organizing that queer Latin@s and people of color did. This is fabulous. Espcially stay on the look out for Nancy Valverde!
On These Shoulders We Stand tells the stories of 11 older members of the Los Angeles lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community from the 1950s into the early 1980s. According to the filmmakers, the documentary, showing at film festivals around the country, “brings to light Los Angeles’ significant, yet hidden, role in U.S. gay history by interweaving first-person accounts with narration and seldom-seen archival materials.”
The producers want to spread the word that “not everything began with Stonewall.”
The 11 participants in the film, directed by Glenne McElhinney, are:
Dr. Maria Dolores Diaz: Activist in the Chicano and Feminist Rights Movement.
Nancy Valverde: A barber who was arrested and jailed many times.
Kevin Thomas: Los Angeles Times writer and film critic.
Dr. Marsha Epstein: Founding physician at the Herself Feminist Women’s Health Center.
Dale Reynolds: Hollywood actor, founder of Gay Actors Rap in Los Angeles.
Margo Strik: A graphic artist, active in Southern California Women for Understanding.
Miki Jackson: Friend of Morris Kight, early volunteer at the Gay Community Services Center.
Ivy Bottini: A founding member of the National Organization for Women.
Don Norman: Came out at a very early age in Los Angeles, Chemical Dependency Counselor.
Troy Perry: A Pentecostal Preacher, founded Metropolitan Community Church, in Los Angeles.
Mia Yamamoto: Attorney, Los Angeles Public Defenders Office.
ETA: Apparently there are only two clips! I thought that the whole documentary was online, I guess not! Anyway, the two clips are really good–they point to a really important time in our history and they highlight non-white folks, which I think is especially important. If white LGBT folks don’t know much about their history, non-whites know even less. So it’s good that they have multiple communities highlighted.