Gay Rights | News | Ryan James Yezak

The Gay Rights Movement: VIDEO


Ryan James Yezak (you may remember his recent message to TI or one of his music video projects, below), has compiled an incredibly moving set of clips from mostly recent events for a kickstarter trailer  for a documentary project, 'Second Class Citizens' he's launching.

Watch it and be moved, AFTER THE JUMP...

Here's his kickstarter page.

Previous Yezak productions you may have missed...
Watch: Britney's Hold It Against Me Gets an Unofficial Video [tr]
Watch: California Gays Show You Katy Perry's Peacock [tr]
Watch: Katy Perry's California Gays [tr]

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  1. "Watch it and be moved" ?
    Unfortunately I felt as if I was yelled at.
    I found it rather annoying.

    Posted by: Oliver | Jan 17, 2012 7:25:26 AM

  2. I can't wait to check this out in its full version...

    Posted by: George F | Jan 17, 2012 8:38:44 AM

  3. Wow, lots of good stuff in there. Really makes you appreciate how far we've come, what some of the major cultural and historic milestones were, and how invaluable some of our allies have been.

    Posted by: Dback | Jan 17, 2012 9:00:16 AM

  4. i am old enough to have been present for every last bit of that collage, and you would think i would become inured to the pain. i have not.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jan 17, 2012 9:12:54 AM

  5. Wow! I honestly didn't think I would start my day out crying! That was a moving video.

    Posted by: William | Jan 17, 2012 9:45:13 AM

  6. when i tell 18 year olds that my partner and i have been together for 24 years, it's now met with a smile and "congratulations, that's really great!"

    Posted by: h | Jan 17, 2012 10:06:18 AM

  7. great video. but it quite telling about this country's lgbt community, that you hardly see any lgbt minorities in the video of gay rights movement.

    Posted by: jason | Jan 17, 2012 11:16:28 AM

  8. There were 8 black people in that entire thing. What about Bruce Nugent, James Baldwwin, Billy Strayhorn, Tim-M, Andre Leon Tally, Kevin Aviance, Alvin Ailey, Sheryl Swoopes, Billie Holliday, Bessie Smith, Ru-Paul, Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, Wanda Sykes, Tracy Chapman, Meshell Ndgeocello, Octavia Butler and Audre Lourde? Are all these people worthless of comment?

    Posted by: J | Jan 17, 2012 11:22:55 AM

  9. Lots of great content, but I guess addressing intersectionality was beyond the scope of his project? I'll hope that he addresses more than just the struggles of LGBT white folks in the film and not choose to do what so many others do and just lump the experiences of people of color in under the umbrella. True, they share a common thread, but we really need to stop white-washing history if we ever want to escape oppression.

    Posted by: Jesus | Jan 17, 2012 1:01:34 PM

  10. I saw a lot of white people in those clips. Where's the representation for gay blacks, latinos, asians, middle easterners, pacific islanders, native americans, etc.? Are we leprechauns; do we not exist? You wouldn't know it by the way the media (and clips like this) represent lgbt people.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 17, 2012 8:06:50 PM

  11. Sheesh. It was a trailer, not the film. Blame the media for under-representation of LGBT people of color, not the filmmaker - who has simply compiled famous news clips for the most part. Get a grip.

    Posted by: Zlick | Jan 17, 2012 8:17:36 PM

  12. Well, first of all I did blame the media and this trailer is a piece of media. I was mostly objecting to the end where he had about 50 flashes of different faces and nearly all of them were white. Zlick, if you're white then I'm guessing you've never had to worry about being (racially) underrepresented in America so before you push back against our completely legitimate comments, you should try taking a walk in our shoes. I'm sure you know that gay people of color get very little representation you probably just don't care.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 17, 2012 11:17:22 PM

  13. @Oliver It requires a depth of human emotion. Perhaps you weren't around when compassion was passed out.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 18, 2012 1:04:49 AM

  14. You know, I get a little tired of the "why aren't gay people of color being represented?" argument. Why aren't they represented in the gay rights movement indeed? Why assume the ONLY possible reason is racism? Maybe it's because people of color don't COME OUT as often as Caucasians do. Ever think of that or is it just too uncomfortable to admit? There was a recent article written by a black woman, encouraging other black women to give white men a try. Her #1 reason was that more white gay men come out so there's less of a chance you'll end up with a man on the "down-low."

    Here's exactly what she said. "1. They open wide instead of down low

    Gay White men tend to be more forthcoming about their sexuality with family and friends. The down low phenomenon is less prevalent, which preserves the battery usage on your gaydar and relieves the stress of dissecting every male relationship."

    IF black people are underrepresented as the "face" of gay America, why is that necessarily the fault of white gays? Are gays of color being kept down or are they just not stepping up? Like almost everything it's probably somewhere in the middle, a little of both. But while there's plenty of criticism out there of those allegedly racist white openly gay people, where is the criticism of closeted black people, men especially?

    OK, Wanda Sikes would have been a good addition to that montage, but who else? Queen Latifah? Nope. Not out. John Amaechi? He's British and the documentary seems to only be about America. There are tons of black celebrities who are rumored to be gay, but how many are out?

    NONE of this is intended to be a criticism of out gay people of any race, BTW. But if you want to start slinging accusations around don't just focus on ONE side of the picture.

    Posted by: Codswallop | Jan 18, 2012 3:24:32 AM

  15. I'm a fair person. It is absolutely true that, percentage-wise, black gays are more closeted than white gays. The primary reason for that is that black communities typcially are more homophobic than white communities. If you're a gay black person living in a black community then coming out could potentially cost you your friends and family members. Not all black people are homophobic but, in general, the black community is worse on this issue than other racial groups. For this reason, I wouldn't go calling gay whites braver than gay blacks becuase we both seem to be in agreement that gay blacks have a much more difficult situation. I'm black and I was raised in Detroit so I grew up in a black community. After graduating high school I went to college in a predominantly white college town and was amazed at how much more accepting they were of homosexuality. I thought to myself "wow, if I had grown up around this, I would have come out in middle school." So, again, I wouldn't go blaming gay black men for being in the closet because if you were in that situation, you might be too scared to come out too. Gay whites are just born into an easier enviornment in my opinion.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 18, 2012 4:53:15 AM

  16. But anyways, I think you missed my point; I wasn't just talking about gay blacks, I was talking about gays of all strips. Where are the gay latinos, gay middles easterners, gay pacific islanders, gay Asians, gay native Americans and so on. You can't seriously be of the opinion that this is anyone's fault beyond the people who control the media. You're telling me that gay blacks just can't be found?? You're telling me that if you're a media exec and you're looking for gay black people then you just won't be able to find them? That's ridiculous and you know it. All you have to do is send someone to the gay black bars in town and you'll find gay black people to put in a gay themed movie or television project. It's that simple. The problem is, of course, that most hollywood/media writers, directors, producers, etc. are white and when they're putting together a movie or television project they do so with the white perspective in mind. We need more people of color like Lee Daniels and Dee Rees to produce movies where a black cast will even be hired.

    Blaming gay blacks for why whites are the face of the lgbt community is asinine and it doesn't at all address why latinos and Asians get so little representation.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 18, 2012 4:53:54 AM

  17. @jamal49, i'll just slit my wrists now (then again, i doubt any blood would come out).

    Posted by: Oliver | Jan 18, 2012 10:27:01 AM

  18. Have you ever watched those documentaries about people like Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny who came out in the 1960s? Yes, I do believe the black community is on average more homophobic but I seriously doubt it's worse than it was EVERYWHERE in the 1960s or still is for children of white religious folks or conservatives. Yet they still come out.

    And actually I think that due to accusations of racism, gay organizations are ACTIVELY SEEKING people of color to be upper echelon members of the board, leaders, etc. But they don't go door-to-door begging people to do it, they expect people to apply for the position. It's somewhat analogous to the situation with the Republican party and people of color. The GOP has (rightly, I believe) been accused of racism so if you're a black Republican you will move up through the ranks quickly, be in the center of every photo, because groups WANT to use them to refute accusations of racism, valid or not. Condescending? To be sure, but it's probably better than being ignored, as so many claim they are.

    Am I saying there IS no racism at work here? No. But that's not the whole story either, it's more complex than that, and it's unfair to only point in one direction when assigning "blame." I'd love to see people like Pam Spaulding in positions of power in gay rights organizations. She's very sharp. I firmly believe we NEED people of color to build bridges with communities that have so far been resistant to accept gays. But again, no one goes door-to-door to find activists, they have to step up to the plate initially on their own.

    Posted by: Codswallop | Jan 18, 2012 11:57:36 AM

  19. I want to see more people of color in this promotional video as so to create a true rainbow that is gay!! Some suggestions would include:

    Bayard Rustin

    Wanda Sykes

    Ricky Martin

    George Takei

    John Amaechi

    Sakia Gunn

    and the list goes on and on...

    Posted by: TrueWords | Jan 18, 2012 3:10:27 PM

  20. LGBT people of colour are oft disregarded. "no blacks or asians", anyone?

    think about this: we get a lot of people complaining that "there are no masculine gay male role models on TV"

    well.....for more than a decade openly gay actor BD Wong has played gay characters on hit TV series'. OZ. Law & Order: SVU.

    not remotely "stereotypical"...and yet people don't seem to think of him and his characters when they get their complain on.

    why? simple: because he's Asian, and to many insecure homosexuals Asians simply "don't count"


    i look forward to this project, and i look forward to its maker taking into consideration representations of minorities. genuinely.

    and i look forward to more people stepping up to be counted and making the effort to represent THEMSELVES rather than complaining that others are not representing them.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 18, 2012 3:28:03 PM

  21. How about the following people of color specifically black:

    Lee Daniels

    Alice Walker

    Marlon Riggs

    James Baldwin

    Bill T. Jones

    Keith Boykin

    Posted by: TrueWords | Jan 18, 2012 3:36:07 PM

  22. WOW, the message has been lost. How did this become all "race baiting"? I'm wondering if there is some puppet master sitting back grinning at how we are all devowering eachother

    Posted by: Dan | Jan 18, 2012 7:05:35 PM

  23. devouring

    Posted by: Dan | Jan 18, 2012 7:10:57 PM

  24. @dan there is no race baitng, there has been no devouring...just an honest discussion , who jumping off point was the video about the gay rights movement in America.

    I think this has been a rather respectful discussion of an uncomfortable subject.

    Posted by: Jason | Jan 19, 2012 12:15:17 AM

  25. It's so funny how the observation that people of color are missing in this video is reduced down to a black/white paradigm...America, including the gay community has a long way to go on the issue of race. How did an observation that Asians, Latinos and Blacks are missing from the montage get so quickly reduced to a discussion about black men being on the "down low"? As a Latino male, the subtle racism on Towleroad is extremely sad, yet enlightening to behold.

    Posted by: pedro | Jul 11, 2013 11:01:24 AM

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