Connect with us

Local

D.C. premiere of film  ‘CURED’ set for Sept. 21

‘A change that transformed the social fabric of America’

Published

on

Disguised as "Dr. H. Anonymous" in an oversized tuxedo and distorted Nixon mask, Dr. John Fryer sent shock waves through the American Psychiatric Association's 1972 convention by describing his life as a closeted gay psychiatrist. (Photo by Kay Tobin; courtesy Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library)

The Washington, D.C. premiere of the award-winning documentary film “CURED,” which tells the story of how gay activists beginning in the early 1960s waged an historic but little-noticed campaign to have homosexuality removed from a psychiatric list of mental illnesses, will take place Sept. 21 at the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum.

The feature length documentary provides a dramatic inside view through archival images and interviews of how a diverse group of 24 lesbian and gay activists, including pioneering D.C. gay activist Frank Kameny, carried out a successful campaign to persuade the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 to remove homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders known as the DSM.

The activists who are portrayed in the film became the first to challenge the scientific validity of the mental illness theory on grounds that it was based almost entirely on observations of patients under psychiatric treatment. The film shows how the activists, through protests at APA conferences and TV talk show interviews, told of how the DSM classification of homosexuality was responsible for the persecution, discrimination, and stigmatization of LGBTQ people since it was first published in 1952.

The film’s D.C. premiere is scheduled to take place just under three weeks before “CURED” will make its U.S. broadcast debut on the PBS series Independent Lens on Oct. 11, which is National Coming Out Day. The nationwide PBS broadcast is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. EST.

 “CURED” was produced, directed, and written jointly by gay filmmakers Patrick Sammon of D.C. and Bennett Singer of Los Angeles. The American Historical Association has just named the film as a recipient of its John E. O’Connor Award for best historical documentary of 2021. It was selected last year as runner-up for the prestigious Library of Congress Levine/Ken Burns Prize for Film.

The Sept. 21 showing of the film at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum is being co-hosted by the Smithsonian Pride Alliance, an LGBTQ employee resource group whose members work at all the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, 21 libraries, nine research centers and the National Zoo.

Sammon told the Blade the film’s production team chose not to initially have a traditional theatrical run because of COVID and because they want to focus on the PBS broadcast. He said in the months ahead he expects there will be other in-person screenings in the D.C. area.

“While CURED is indisputably about science, medicine, and politics, at its core this is a film about activism and the process of social change,” according to a statement released by the CURED producers. “It features a diverse group of crusaders with stubborn dedication and big personalities who came together at a crossroads in LGBTQ history.”

“Their tenacity, resourcefulness, and ingenuity brought about a change that transformed not only LGBTQ people’s perceptions of themselves, but also the social fabric of America,” the statement says.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Local

Comings & Goings

Umana named associate with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

Published

on

Wolfgang Umana (Photo courtesy of Umana)

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected]

Congratulations to Wolfgang Umana on being named an associate with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN). He has been with them for more than five years and is currently its D.C. studio’s office manager. 

“I am honored to become GGN’s newest Associate,” Umana said.I have the glorious privilege of supporting GGN’s continuing dedication to progress, inclusion, social justice, sustainability, and beautification of the world we live in.”

Umana also works with NBR Computer Consulting as an LLC Computer Technician consultant. He has experience in social media, communications, outreach, and technical services, and provides a dynamic approach to the fast-changing world of technology. NBR Computer Consulting, LLC is a gay-owned business. 

Umana has also served as D.C. Army National Guard Director of Environmental Affairs and with EMS Consultation Services. 

He has his bachelor’s in Environmental Science & Public Policy, Human and Ecosystem Response to Climate Change, from George Mason University. 

Continue Reading

Local

Capital Pride bids for D.C. to host World Pride 2025

International event draws thousands of visitors

Published

on

Confetti rained down in New York’s Times Square at Stonewall 50 WorldPride New York’s closing ceremony two years ago. D.C. organizers hope to host the event in 2025. (Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

The Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes D.C.’s annual LGBTQ Pride events, announced on Sept. 21 that it has submitted a bid to host 2025 World Pride, the international Pride event that draws thousands of participants from throughout the world to the host city.

The announcement by Capital Pride says its bid to host the event in D.C. notes that the event, among other things, would commemorate the 50th anniversary of D.C.’s first LGBTQ Pride event in 1975, which began as a block party near Dupont Circle.

World Pride is licensed and administered by the international LGBTQ organization InterPride. The World Pride events themselves, which usually take place every other year, are organized by InterPride’s member organizations such as Capital Pride Alliance.

The Capital Pride announcement notes that World Pride “promotes visibility and awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) issues on a global level.” The announcement adds, “World Pride events include parades, marches, festivals and other cultural activities often enjoyed at Pride celebrations, along with other components such as a human rights conference and large-scale opening and closing ceremonies.”

The InterPride website says the deadline for submitting a bid for the 2025 World Pride has passed. It says D.C.’s Capital Pride and Kaohsiung Pride, located in the large Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung, are the only two remaining cities in competition for hosting the 2025 World Pride.

Ryan Bos, Capital Pride’s executive director, said InterPride was expected to make its decision on which of the two cities to select sometime in November of this year.

“A recent study conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton revealed that the annual Capital Pride Celebrations, during normal years, result in approximately $371 million in positive economic impacts to the region, a number that may be doubled if the organization is awarded the prestigious event,” the Capital Pride statement says.

The 2021 World Pride took place earlier this year in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 2019 World Pride was held in New York City to commemorate the 50th anniversary of New York’s Stonewall riots, which many activists consider the start of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

InterPride says the 2023 World Pride will take place in Sydney, Australia.

Continue Reading

Local

Va. county supervisors back resolution against ‘required’ pronoun questions

Unanimous vote in Stafford County allows school defunding

Published

on

What's Your Pronoun? review, gay news, Washington Blade
(Image courtesy of Liveright Publishing)

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution that gives it the authority to deny funds to schools that require students to give their pronouns and teach the 1619 Project and critical race theory.

The resolution denounces “the teaching of the 1619 Project and critical race theory (CRT) and related principles in Stafford County Public Schools,” and states the board does not support Stafford County Public School students “being required to identify their chosen pronouns.”

The approved document had been updated to change “requested” to give pronouns to “required.”

Republican Supervisor Gary Snellings told the board he brought the resolution forward, which passed by a 6-0 vote margin, in response to communication from parents. One supervisor was not present.

Snellings called critical race theory “racism.” He also called the New York Times’ 1619 Project published on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to the Virginia colony a “theory.”

Critical race theory is not taught in Virginia public schools, but a state law passed in 2020 requires local school boards to adopt policies that are more inclusive for transgender and non-binary students that follow, or exceed, guidelines from the state’s Department of Education.

Snellings said the problem with preferred pronouns was in requiring students to give them. He said that was not in the governing Virginia law.

“This (resolution) does not eliminate anything. It just follows state law,” Snellings said.

A Virginia court in July dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the Department of Education’s guidelines for trans and non-binary students. Equality Virginia and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia were parties to the amicus brief in support of the protections.

“We are deeply disappointed that these adults made such a hateful decision for kids in the community,” tweeted the ACLU of Virginia in response to the board’s vote.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular