TOP STORY 
White House Invites Notables to See Gay History Film 
 
 
Barbara Gittings (right) and Kay Lahusen with GayToday's Jack Nichols
‘Out of the Past’ to be Screened at 5:30 p.m. Today 

Film Festival Winner Shown to Mark Gay & Lesbian Pride Month 
 

Compiled by Badpuppy’s GayToday
From The White House Invitation List
 
On White House stationery an invitation has been sent to notables to be present at 5:30 p.m. today to see a new documentary, the gay history film Out of the Past. (See GayToday’s review, Entertainment, March 2)  The exclusive invitation reads: 

Dear Friend: 

To mark the observance of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, we are pleased to invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of Out of the Past, an award winning documentary film about gays and lesbians in American history. The film won the prestigious audience award for best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in January. 

Out of the Past will have its theatrical release in theatres later this summer and will be shown on public television this fall. The film traces the emergence of the American gay and lesbian civil rights movement through the eyes of several participants (it features a particularly interesting segment on the life and work of civil rights leader Bayard Rustin), and examines the ways in which the stories of gay and lesbian Americans have been both obscured and reclaimed. Out of the Past explores how the construction of history informs both our individual and national identity and makes a strong case for an inclusive version of the American past.  

The film’s director, Jeff Dupre, an Executive Producer, Andrew Tobias, have graciously agreed to make the film available for viewing by a small group here at the White House on the evening of Tuesday, June 16th.  After the screening they will briefly take questions from the audience.  The screening of the one-hour film will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Room 450 of the Old Executive Office Building and will be followed by a reception in the Indian Treaty Room, co-sponsored by the Out of the Past Film Project. Please use the enclosed form to RSVP. 

Prior to this film, Jeff Dupre worked with Ken Burns on the eight-part PBS documentary The West, and Out of the Past is in some ways reminiscent of that film. Andy Tobias is known to many as a gifted financial writer and for the seminal coming out story The Best Little Boy in the World, which he wrote over 25 years ago under the penname John Reid. 

Events like the Pride Celebration help us to recognize anew that working in a spirit of community is not a hope but a necessity, and that our individual dreams can only be realized by our shared efforts.  This is an opportunity to renew our dedication to working for an America that celebrates our diversity, builds on our strengths, and fulfills our fundamental values of mutual respect and compassion. As the President has said, only by working together can we enter the 21st century as One America.  We hope that you  can join us. 
Sincerely,         Virginia Apuzzo         Richard Socarides 

Among those attending the White House screening will be Barbara Gittings (See GayToday’s People feature, June 23, 1997) who is also a principal figure in Out of the Past.  Ms. Gittings was the militant editor of The Ladder, America’s first lesbian movement magazine. Through the decades she has remained a stalwart activist whose extraordinary capabilities are celebrated in the film being shown at today’s White House screening.