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The Lavender Scare

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5:00 PM

TIFF Bell Lightbox - Cinema 2
350 King Street West
Toronto ON,

In 1953 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order declaring “sexual perverts” security risks who should no longer be employed in the federal government. A decision that ushered in decades of discrimination, the order resulted in thousands of LGBT public servants losing their jobs and helped shape the modern LGBT rights movement.

Josh Howard’s The Lavender Scare combines personal stories with scholarly interviews and archival materials to give voice to the various ways individuals responded to the persecution that began in the 1950s and continued, for some departments, into the new millennium. The result is a snapshot of queer life in 1950s Washington D.C., along with an inside look at the development of some of the earliest public LGBT activism in the United States.

The Lavender Scare shines a light on an often-forgotten period of American history and celebrates the resilience, strength and grace of those who refused to stay silent.