Film: The Lavender Scare

A documentary exposes the campaign against gays in the 50s and 60s

Even today, LGBT people can still be fired from their jobs just for being gay in many states in this country. But never was it as much of a threat as it was in the 1950s and 60s when the U.S. government began hunting down and terminating gay employees.

It was 1953 when President Dwight Eisenhower first declared homosexuals to be a threat to the security of the United States and ordered the immediate firing of every gay man and lesbian working for the government, but not before they could be subject to humiliating interrogations and threats to turn in their own friends and lovers.

A new film by Emmy winner Josh Howard – The Lavender Scare – chronicles the real people behind one of the most intense and shameful witch hunts in American history. It explores the lesser known chapter of the pre-Stonewall era of gay life in America, one in which gay bars were routinely raided and someone could be arrested just for having a copy of a beefcake magazine tucked into their underwear drawer.

The late Frank Kameny, one of the most notable activists for gay rights during this time period, also appears in the film. And while the documentary is still in production, we wanted to give you a preview so you can look for it at film festivals and theaters near you.

Check it out: