Gay Revolt at Denver City Council

Posted by Tracy_Nectoux on May 16, 2011

Gay Revolt at Denver City Council (Oct. 23, 1973) and the Beginnings of an Organized Gay Community. Dir. Jerry Gerash, 2010. DVD. $20.00.

Gerald Gerash is an integral part of gay civil rights. Through this documentary, he narrates the events that led up to a confrontation with the Denver city council on October 23, 1973, where impassioned activists spoke for basic rights. Just a few years after Stonewall, this remarkable event changed the course of Denver’s treatment of gay and lesbian citizens. Gerash uses personal accounts, photos, and actual recorded testimonies to depict the events on that evening. Viewers become witnesses to that night, when the city council treated gay activism as a joke. We get to listen as though we are a fly on the wall, and we watch as the tide changes. Illegal roundups, entrapment, and a reckless vice squad make for a riveting heroic narrative of the people who stood up to the injustice in Denver.

Throughout the documentary, viewers are given a sense of the times and are struck aghast with the similarities to the harassment black people endured in the South just decades before. This is a testament to our heroic gay brothers and sisters, who bravely paved the way for future rights around the country.

Gay Revolt is a powerfully important account of gay civil rights. It is suitable for any library and audience where gay history is important. It is a documentary that must to be seen if we are to understand our past and to stay focused on our goals for the future of gay rights.

This DVD is available for purchase here.

Reviewed by, Johnnie N. Gray
Director of Media Services/ ILL Librarian
Christopher Newport University

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Categories: Adult,Documentary,Film

2 Responses to “Gay Revolt at Denver City Council”

  1. Bill Olson says:

    I was there. This account really takes me back. Jerry has put together an accurate and complete account of that time in Denver’s City and County Building in 1973. Although we have a way to go, we have come a long way in 38 years.

  2. Sergio Marcial says:

    Recently had the chance to watch it and it’s a must see.

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