On June 28, 1970, thousands of New Yorkers assembled to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising—an event that kindled the modern-day LGBTQ-rights movement. For many Americans, the days-long riot in 1969 and the aforementioned 1970 "Christopher Street Liberation Day” march was the first time they were made aware of the plight of LGBTQ+ people. Protestors chanted, “Say it loud, gay is proud!” as they marched through the streets of New York City on that day in June 1970. No longer were they willing to be relegated to the closet or living behind the scenes in seedy underground establishments. The revolution had begun.
With the outbreak of novel coronavirus and our current national focus on racial injustice, Pride 2020 has looked a little different. Events have been cancelled, celebrations have morphed into Black Lives Matter protests, and activism has moved online.
In light of these changes, we’ve highlighted just a few ways in which you can celebrate Pride online—featuring the talents of your fellow Interlochen alumni. Because in 2020, the revolution will be livestreamed.
LINDA HUNT & BARRETT FOA
Oscar-winning actor Linda Hunt (IAA 62-64) stars in NCIS: Los Angeles as ”Hetty Lange” alongside fellow alum Barrett Foa (IAC 92-95) as ”Eric Beale.” Hunt married her longtime partner Karen Kline in 2008. In Feb. 2019, Foa announced on his Instagram that he was gay ahead of a guest star role on NBC’s Will & Grace. “Tonight I am an out, proud gay man playing an out, proud gay man,” Foa said. Earlier this year, CBS renewed NCIS: Los Angeles for a 12th season. You can catch the first 11 seasons on CBS All Access.
During the height of the Reagan-era AIDS pandemic, Bill Sherwood (IAC/NMC 67-68, IAA 68-70) released his first and only film—Parting Glances. The film stars Steve Buscemi as a 20-something gay New Yorker living with AIDS. As part of their Pride 2020 recognition, The Criterion Channel added Parting Glances to their streaming service. Criterion calls Sherwood’s film “remarkable,” noting that Parting Glances is, “...groundbreaking in its sensitive, nuanced depiction of gay relationships in the midst of New York’s AIDS crisis.” Sherwood himself died of AIDS related complications in 1990.
OUR LADY J
This month, Netflix added the second season of FX’s POSE to their streaming service. The critically-acclaimed series follows the lives of members of New York City’s African-American and Latino LGBTQ drag and ballroom community. Series writer and producer Our Lady J (Jonnah Speidel [IAA 94-96]) joined development on the show early on, and has even guest starred as Sherilyn in the season one episode "Love Is the Message.”
If you’ve already watched season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race, then you’ve already met Interlochen alum Alexis Michelle (Alexander Michaels [IAC 97-00, IAA 00-02]). This incredibly talented drag performer, actor, and singer is currently back on television as the star of TLC’s Dragnificent!. Available on Hulu, this series follows four drag queens as they make over men and women ahead of important upcoming life milestones.
Kit Williamson (IAA 02-04) is currently hard at work adapting Lev Rosen’s new queer young adult novel, “Camp,” into a feature-length film for HBO Max. However, in the meantime, you can catch all four seasons of Williamson’s Daytime Emmy Award-nominated dark comedy series EastSiders on Netflix. The series stars Williamson as one half of a Los Angeles-based gay couple as they cope with infidelity and substance abuse.
Drag artist Meatball (Logan Jennings [IAA 06-08]) was a contestant on season one of The Boulet Brothers’ DRAGULA, which you can stream now on Netflix. Jennings also co-hosts the Sloppy Seconds Podcast with rapper Big Dipper. The podcast provides an unapologetic look at life, food, and culture from the perspective of two LGBTQ+ Los Angelians.
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