Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride
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Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride

Canada, 2009, 85 Minute Running Time
West Coast Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Activism, Bisexual, Discrimination, Documentary, Gay, Homophobia, Lesbian, Politics
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Bob Christie

Protest, parade, political action or celebration: what is Pride? President of Vancouver Pride and parade organizer Ken Coolen knows what it means to him. But at the 2007 InterPride Conference in Zurich, Switzerland, he meets delegates from countries where a Pride event is a forbidden fantasy. Take Sri Lanka, one of eighty countries that still criminalizes homosexuality. There, rape is used to “cure” lesbianism. Or a man seeking asylum from what has been called the most homophobic nation in the world: Jamaica. Thirteen of his friends have been murdered.

In countries like these, Pride is less an occasion for partying than a daring act from which there is no turning back. Coolen travels to Warsaw, Poland, to take part in a tense march surrounded by antigay Catholics. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, he is overwhelmed by unruly crowds and alcohol consumption.

But most nerve-wracking is Moscow, whose homophobic mayor refuses to issue a permit or provide security. Coolen is warned that he’ll either be detained or physically attacked. It’s a relief to attend a drag march in Manhattan, but the old-timers there regale him with memories of the Stonewall uprising and all that he takes for granted today as he steers a Pride march half a million strong.

This rousing, often joyous documentary asks us to take a moment of silence from our celebration to “remember, you are not walking for yourselves but for the millions of people around the world who can’t.” — FRAKO LODEN

Text Voting Code: D326

Copresented by

San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee and San Francisco LGBT Community Center and Sistahs Steppin’ In Pride and Folsom Street Events

Official Film Website

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