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Tuesday, June 09, 2009


June 6, 2009.
Good news! Film director and community activist Glenne McElhinney (pictured below on the right) of Impact Stories (
http://www.impactstories.org/) and her editor, Philip Harrison, contacted me a couple of days ago to get permission to include a picture of me in a documentary they are making about early Los Angeles’ LGBT activism.

Philip told me, “I am editing a film (On These Shoulders We Stand) about GLBT history in Los Angeles. We are trying to include a short section about a protest that was held in Los Angeles as a result of your firing from the States Steamship Company (in 1969 San Francisco). I am writing to request to use the photo of you included on your website as part of the film with a title mentioning your name. This is an important moment in GLBT history and we very much want to include it in the film. One of the points of doing the documentary is to make it clear that there was a vibrant activist community in California before Stonewall. Everyone always says that was the birthplace but there was so much going on out here before that.”

The documentary is called On these Shoulders We Stand and is due to be screened at LA Outfest July 11 and 18.
Notorious 1969 Berkeley Barb photo of shirtless me (Gale Whittington) with Leo Laurence for which I was fired
Here's a blurb from http://www.impactstories.org/ about the film: “Not everything began with Stonewall. On These Shoulders We Stand portrays an historical account of early gay life and activism in Los Angeles told by the people who lived it. (The documentary) chronicles the lives of ten elders, from their early years to their coming out, to their groundbreaking activism for the rights of all LGBT people. Contrary to popular belief that the struggle for gay rights was confined to New York City and San Francisco, the film profiles several Los Angeles activists who helped change the course of both California and LGBT history.”

Recent photo of gay pioneer Rev Troy Perry, founder of MCC
The LA activist linked to me is Rev. Troy Perry, who founded the world’s first gay house of worship, Metropolitan Community Church (MCC). In 1969, when I was fired in San Francisco, he and his congregation took to the streets to form a picket line in front of the LA division of States Steamship Company a.k.a. States Line in solidarity with our SF protest. All of this happened before Stonewall, mind you!
Glenne, best known for her involvement with Dykes on Bikes, told me that this is only the first of several films to come. She also said Impact Stories will be working to inform LGBT youth about the legacy of gay elders through Facebook, etc.
I am thrilled that someone is finally documenting the activism of California’s gay pioneers. Check out the project’s website: http://www.impactstories.org/

I watched Comedy Central’s new TV show Tosh.O last night, which is supposed to be all about Web videos. I love the humor of Daniel Todd, but so far, this show sucks! Even an appearance by Dave Attell couldn’t save the show. The problem? The videos Daniel picked were either gross or stupid. We have ten more weeks of this program on the summer schedule, so let’s hope it gets better!

Photo of Karen Williams on LOGO's Laughing Matters
Funniest Line Ever: Lesbian comedian, Karen Williams, on LOGO’s Laughing Matters: “People say gays want special rights. I don’t want special rights. I just want discounts. I want to walk into the supermarket and say, ‘I’m a lesbian mom. Bag ‘em up!’”
Photo of gay actor/singer/dancer Gavin Creel
Be sure to watch the Tony Awards Sunday night on CBS at 8:00 ET/PT, hosted this year by openly gay actor Neil Patrick Harris, star of How I Met Your Mother. Gay heartthrob Gavin Creel is nominated for his performance as Claude in HAIR. Creel came out of the closet a couple of months ago. I’ll post a profile and more photos of Gavin in my June 7th column. In the meantime here's a link to his blog.

Photo of Aladdin's Lamp Hemerocallis Daylily from the author's free flower photo website http://www.freefishcaretips.com/photos134

Also visit http://www.galechesterwhittington.com/ for free short stories, poems, and book excerpts from the award-winning gay author

==copyright 2009==

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