A new documentary called “The Lavender Scare” explores the government witch hunt of LGBT government employees in the 1950’s and 60’s. Directed by Josh Howard and based on the book by David K. Johnson, this film documents the stories of former Federal employees and the outing down by the FBI to force them out of their jobs.
From the website:
While the McCarthy Era is remembered as the time of the Red Scare, the headline-grabbing hunt for Communists in the United States, it was the Lavender Scare, a vicious and vehement purge of homosexuals, which lasted longer and ruined many more lives.
Before it was over, more than 10,000 Federal employees lost their jobs. Based on the award-winning book by historian David K. Johnson, THE LAVENDER SCARE shines a light on a chapter of American history that has never received the attention it deserves.
It examines the tactics used by the government to identify homosexuals, and takes audiences inside interrogation rooms where gay men and women were subjected to grueling questioning. These stories are told through the first-hand accounts of the people who experienced them.
THE LAVENDER SCARE shows how the government’s actions ignited an anti-gay frenzy that spread throughout the country, in an era in which The New York Times used the words “homosexual” and “pervert” interchangeably, and public service films warned that homosexuality was a dangerous, contagious disease.
While the story is at times infuriating and heartbreaking, its underlying message is uplifting and inspiring. Instead of destroying American homosexuals, the actions of the government had the opposite effect: they stirred a sense of outrage and activism that helped ignite the gay rights movement.