During this Pride Month, it is important, nay imperative, to remember how much, just 60 years ago, the gay community had to fear for its very existence.
Indeed, the gripping new documentary The Lavender Scare looks chillingly back at how, at the height of Cold War paranoia, President Eisenhower declared all homosexuals to be “security risks,” promising to rid the federal government of all gay and lesbian employees. It was the start of a decades long witch-hunt, in which thousands were put out of jobs for no reason other than their sexual orientation.
The doc, based on the award-winning book by historian David K. Johnson, also enlightens as to how this action ignited protest rallies, that then served as the inspiration for what would become the greater struggle for LGBT equal rights – a fight, of course, which carries on to this day. It’s poignantly directed by Josh Howard, who boasts 24 Emmys, primarily for his work with 60 Minutes, and narrated by seven-time Oscar nominated actress Glenn Close.
At a time when the rights of LGBTQ persons are again very much under attack, the timing, certainly, could not be better.
The Lavender Scare airs throughout the month of June on PBS.