Friday, July 23, 2010

Know Your LGBT History - Victim

I have never seen Victim (1961) but I've heard of it so many times. It was a landmark in lgbt cinema.

From Wikipedia:

Victim is a 1961 British film directed by Basil Dearden, starring Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms. It is notable in film history for being the first English language film to use the word "homosexual". The world premier was at the Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square on 31 August 1961. On its release in the United Kingdom it proved highly controversial and in the United States it was initially banned.

. . . Until the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which implemented the recommendations of the Wolfenden report, homosexual acts between consenting adults were illegal in England and Wales. There were prosecutions and Sunday newspapers gave space to the court reports. Yet, by 1960, the police were as relaxed as possible over the old laws. There was a feeling that the code violated decent liberty. But police restraint did not deter the menace of blackmail.

When the team of producer Michael Relph and director Basil Dearden first approached Bogarde, they warned him that a lot of people had already turned down the script because the material might be considered dangerous or unwholesome. In 1960, Bogarde was 39 and just about the most popular actor in British films. He had proven himself playing war heroes (The Sea Shall Not Have Them; Ill Met by Moonlight); he was the star of the hugely successful Doctor film series; and he was a reliable romantic lead in movies like A Tale of Two Cities. He was flirting with a larger, Hollywood career—playing Liszt in Song Without End. Bogarde was suspected to be homosexual, living in the same house as his business manager, Anthony Forwood, and was compelled every now and then to be seen in public with attractive young women. He seems not to have hesitated over the role of Farr. Similarly, Sylvia Syms never flinched from the part of his wife, though apparently several actresses had turned it down.

Other gay cast members included Dennis Price and Hilton Edwards. Though it mostly treats homosexuality in a non-sensationalized manner, there is one rather catty aspect to the film-- Price's character (a prominent gay theater star) would have been fairly easy for contemporary audiences to identify with Noel Coward.

Past Know Your LGBT History postings

Know Your LGBT History - The Color Purple

Know Your LGBT History - Making Love

Know Your LGBT History - A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge

Know Your LGBT History - Noah's Arc

Know Your LGBT History - Ode to Billy Joe

Know Your LGBT History - Adorable Adrian Adonis

Know Your LGBT History - The Night Strangler

Know Your LGBT History - All in the Family

Know Your LGBT History - Tongues Untied

Know Your LGBT History - The Celluloid Closet

Know Your LGBT History - Querelle

Know Your LGBT History - Theatre of Blood

Know Your LGBT History - Strange Fruit

Know Your LGBT History - Designing Women

Know Your LGBT History - The Children's Hour

Know Your LGBT History - Sylvester

Know Your LGBT History - Once Bitten

Know Your LGBT History - The Boys in the Band

Know Your LGBT History - Christopher Morley, the crossdressing assassin

Know Your LGBT History - Midnight Cowboy

Know Your LGBT History - Dracula's Daughter

Know Your LGBT History - Blacula

Know Your LGBT History - 3 Strikes

Know Your LGBT History - Paris Is Burning

Know Your LGBT History - The Women

Know your LGBT History - Soul Plane

Know Your LGBT History - The Player's Club

Special Know Your LGBT History - Fame

Know Your LGBT History - Welcome Home, Bobby

Know Your LGBT History - Barney Miller

Know your lgbt history - The Jerry Springer Show

Know your lgbt history - Martin Lawrence and that 'gay guy' on his show

Know your lgbt history - The Ricki Lake Show

Know your lgbt history - Which Way Is Up

Know your lgbt history - Gays in Primetime Soaps

Know your lgbt history - Boys Beware

Know your lgbt history - The Boondocks

Know your lgbt history - Mannequin

Know your lgbt history - The Warriors

Know Your LGBT History - New York Undercover

Know Your LGBT History - Low Down Dirty Shame

Know Your LGBT History - Fortune and Men's Eyes

Know your lgbt history - California Suite

Know your lgbt history - Taxi (Elaine's Strange Triangle)

Know your lgbt history - Come Back Charleston Blue

Know your lgbt history - James Bond goes gay

Know your lgbt history - Windows

Know your lgbt history - To Wong Foo and Priscilla

Know your lgbt history - Blazing Saddles

Know your lgbt history - Sanford and Son

Know your lgbt history - In Living Color

Know your lgbt history - Cleopatra Jones and her lesbian drug lords

Know your lgbt history - Norman, Is That You?

Know your lgbt history - The 'Exotic' Adrian Street

Know your lgbt history - The Choirboys

Know your lgbt history - Eddie Murphy

Know your lgbt history - The Killing of Sister George

Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda

'Know your lgbt history - Cruising

Know your lgbt history - Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones

Know your lgbt history - I Got Da Hook Up

Know your lgbt history - Fright Night

Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil

The Jeffersons and the transgender community

Bookmark and Share

Did gay marriage 'kill' the penguins? and other Friday midday news briefs

In Memphis, Greatest Opposition to Non-Discrimination Ordinance From Pedophile-Protecting Pastor - Definition of an ugly irony: a pastor who kept quiet when he knew a child was being molested now opposing an lgbt-positive ordinance on the grounds that it may harm children.

Avoiding NOM's Trap - Pay attention, folks.

New Zealand researcher reports correlation between sexual behavior and childhood abuse - Another study we need to get ahead of before the religious right has a chance to exploit it.

Gay Marriage Killed The Penguins - There are no words.

Right-wing conspiracy: Sherrod controversy "orchestrated" by the White House to "smear Breitbart" - If the White House is that diabolical, I would rather have them for a friend rather than an enemy (sarcasm alert).

Bookmark and Share

Andrew Breitbart 's smear of Sherrod resembles his attack on Kevin Jennings

The lgbt community would do well to remember that what Andrew Breitbart tried to do to Shirley Sherrod is the same smear job he attempted on Obama appointee Kevin Jennings. Through his websites and via writer Jim Hoft, Breitbart pushed a disturbingly large amount of lies on Jennings. From Media Matters comes this listing:

Blogger Hoft's smear campaign against Jennings. Writing for the website Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft has authored a series of factually dubious attacks on Department of Education staffer Kevin Jennings and the organization Jennings founded and previously led, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Hoft's Jennings posts -- which he has labeled "Fistgate," even though many of those allegations have little or nothing to do with the sexual practice of fisting -- often draw upon the work of MassResistance, a Massachusetts based anti-gay organization that has been labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Even conservative commentator Dean Barnett has stated that the organization "verges on being a hate group."

Breitbart eagerly embraced and promoted Hoft's false attacks on Jennings. Hoft's "Fistgate" attacks on Jennings and the GLSEN have been faithfully cross-posted on, and Breitbart himself has used Twitter to promote Hoft's work. Among the smears and distortions Breitbart has embraced:

  • Hoft deceptively linked Jennings to "fisting" workshop he criticized. Hoft claimed that a 2000 conference sponsored by the Boston branch of GLSEN included "a workshop where GLSEN activists promoted 'fisting' to 14 year olds," citing a recorded exchange that occurred during a "Queer Sex and Sexuality" workshop at that conference. In fact, Jennings reportedly criticized some of the workshop's content when the recordings were first released in 2000, and the people involved in conducting the controversial discussion were state employees and contractors, not GLSEN employees.
  • Hoft falsely claimed high-school students received "fisting kits" at 2001 GLSEN conference. Hoft falsely claimed that "fisting kits" -- which he placed in quotes -- were distributed at the 2001 GLSEN/Boston conference. But Hoft has presented no evidence that the kits distributed by Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts were actually intended for fisting. Indeed, while the conservative newspaper Massachusetts News -- cited by Hoft -- reported in 2001 that the kits were "intended for 'fisting' or oral sex," the paper described the kit's contents as "a single plastic glove, a package of K-Y lubricant and instructions on how to make a 'dental dam' out of the material" and offered no support for the claim that the kits were "intended for 'fisting.' " Even has reported that Hoft "alleged that Jennings and GLSEN were involved in Planned Parenthood's purported distribution of 'fisting kits,' " but that the kit "was actually for making a 'dental dam' -- designed to prevent STD transmission during oral sex."
  • Hoft falsely suggested Jennings' organization handed out explicit safe-sex booklet to children. Hoft falsely suggested that that GLSEN had distributed to children an explicit safe-sex booklet that included "a list of the local gay bars" and "Pushed Anal S*x in Parks With Strangers." In fact, a community health group -- not GLSEN itself -- reportedly said that it had mistakenly "left about 10 copies" of the booklet on an informational table it rented at a 2005 GLSEN conference at Brookline High School in Massachusetts; the group reportedly apologized for doing so; GLSEN stated that if it had known the booklets had been at the conference, it would have demanded they be removed; and the Brookline school superintendent reportedly said he believed no students had actually taken the booklet.
  • Hoft falsely claimed Jennings "Pushed Books That Encouraged Children to Meet Adults at Gay Bars For Sex." Hoft falsely claimed that Jennings "Personally Pushed Books That Encouraged Children to Meet Adults at Gay Bars For Sex," citing MassResistance's falsehood that a book Jennings recommended to high school and college students, One Teenager in 10, "encourage[s] teens to, among other things, go to gay bars and have sex with adults to see if they like it." Media Matters for America has reviewed the book, compiled all references to gay bars, and determined that the book at no point encourages teens to "go to gay bars and have sex with adults." In fact, a majority of the youth testimonials included in the book that mention gay bars refer to them negatively. also smeared Jennings. An October 6, 2009, post grossly distorted comments Jennings made to a GLSEN audience in 2000 to claim he "criticize[d] schools for promoting heterosexuality." In fact, in the audio files posted at, Jennings promoted a curriculum that demands "respect [for] every human being regardless of sexual orientation, regardless of gender identity, regardless of race or religion or any of the arbitrary distinctions we make among people," and said that efforts to promote a specific sexual orientation through schools were ineffective.

The irony is that in this particular case, the Obama Administration did not capitulate to the right-wing hatchet job. Jennings still has his job and the faux controversy faded away. 

Editor's note - Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters covered the entire smear campaign on Kevin Jennings and has an extensive listing of all the attacks - The War on Kevin Jennings - Chronology of a Failed Smear Campaign  Hoft and Breitbart's lies are in section 2 of that piece.

Bookmark and Share