Of all the major milestones in LGBT history, perhaps one of the most significant, but least known, was the firing of thousands of gay and lesbian government employees by executive order of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. Now known as The Lavender Scare, the systematic discrimination enacted during this time ruined numerous lives, but also led many LGBT people to eventually fight back against the bigotry and ignorance that had for too long been taken for granted. Now a new documentary based on David Johnson's book, The Lavender Scare, aims to shed light on this dark chapter in America's political past through interviews with those who were the victims of such witch hunts as well as some of the hunters themselves. You can view the film's trailer below.
The film is well-timed, since the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was finally reintroduced in congress yesterday after years of stalling, though it's already facing legislative challenges. Meanwhile, a recent survey found that a surprising majority of Americans mistakenly believe that LGBT people are already protected under federal law. In fact it remains completely legal to fire someone for being gay in 29 states and for being transgender in 34 states.
The Lavender Scare's filmmakers have already completed principal photography thanks to grants from the Ford Foundation, among others but have turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds needed to for final editing. They're off to a good start, with over $15,000 raised out of their $50,000 goal, and 29 days yet to go. You can visit the film's Kickstarter page here to see all the various incentives on offer and help preserve important lessons from our history with your donation of 1$ or more.