Category Archives: Vito Russo

June 20, 2011, 9:20 pm

Mr. DeMille, He’s Ready For His Close-Up: Vito Russo And Gay Liberation

Michael Schiavi, Celluloid Activist:  The Life and Times Of Vito Russo (Madison:  University of Wisconsin Press, 2011).  361 pp. Index, illustrations.  $29.95 hardback.

It is June, otherwise known by Presidential proclamation as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, a time when major cities and resort towns around the country have parades and sell beer.  What we are celebrating, other than the success of GLBT entrepeneurship, is the Stonewall Riots.  An iconic event, it began on June 28 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York, following a raid on the Stonewall Inn, and continued on for days as roving groups of queers provoked, and resisted, the police.  This, it is said, was the birth of gay liberation, which is technically true.  Activists subsequently formed the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), a group that made a definitive break with homophile politics.  For those of you who…

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