WOW reporter Damiana Garcia had a divine evening on Logo‘s 2013 NewNowNext Awards plum carpet. In addition to her interviews with the RuPaul’s Drag Race queens, she chatted with (in order of appearance): RuPaul, Fergie, Pauley Perrette, Andrew Rannells, Aisha Tyler, Tamar Braxton, Abby Lee Miller from Dance Moms, JWOWW and Vinny from Jersey Shore, Reza Farahan from Shahs of Sunset, Heather McDonald from Chelsea Lately, Michelle Buteau from Best Week Ever, singer Asher Monroe, David Burtka, band New Politics, Dan Bucatinsky and Jeff Perry from Scandal, Katherine Lanasa from Deception, Dougall Fraser from That Sex Show, Karl Schmid from Operation: Vacation, Lieutenant Gary Ross and his husband Dan Swezy from the World of Wonder doc The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, gay married couple Blair Late and Jeff Pedersen from Bravo’s Newleyweds The First Year, Johnny Anastacio from Bravo’s Kimora: House of Fab, the stars of the hit web series “Eastsiders,” singer/producer Sirpaul and celebrity event planner Wade Williams. In all, a fabulous and action-packed evening on the plum carpet!
Tag Archives: The Strange History of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
The 2012 News and Documentary Emmy Award nominees were announced this morning by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and World of Wonder’s historical look at the legacy of gays and lesbians in the military has been nominated for Outstanding Historical Programming. Congratulations to directors/producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, producers Mona Card and Gabriel Rotello, executive producer Sheila Nevins, and supervising producer Jacqueline Glover! The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live coast-to-coast on Sunday, September 23, 2012, on ABC, and will originate from the Nokia Theatre LA in Los Angeles. OMG YAY! See all the nominees here.
I attended the special screening of The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell at the HBO theater in NYC today. Both Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey were there, as well as several other activists and soldiers who appeared in the film, such as Aubrey Sarvis of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and gay soldiers, Mike Almy and Victor Fehrenbach. I sat next to Joe Jervis of JoeMyGod during the screening and stayed for the question and answer session that followed. I was happy to hear that SLDN plans to keep working with soldiers who were discharged through DADT to help them either re-enlist or be reinstated but I was saddened to hear that SLDN’s calls on President Obama to sign an executive order mandating the inclusion of sexual orientation protections under standing military E.O. policy, continue to go unanswered. Tomorrow marks the end of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, but sadly the work of achieving open and honest service by gay soldiers without the fear of discrimination or harassment has only just begun.
On Tuesday, September 20, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell goes into effect and HBO will be airing the premiere of the World of Wonder-produced documentary, The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. You can catch a sneak preview on Monday, September 19, at midnight. Read what the San Francisco Sentinel and the South Florida Gay News had to say about the film.
Yesterday, to promote WOW’s HBO documentary, The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which had its world-premiere screening last night at San Francisco’s Castro Theater, followed by cheers and a standing ovation, the doc’s co producer-director Fenton Bailey answered questions from TV journalist Andrea Mitchell, who termed the DADT passage a “sad episode.” If you like, you can read what Bailey had to say at NewsBusters. The doc airs on HBO September 20.
Says Randy Barbato: “OMG! Too Funny! Fenton has made it onto the Conservative Media Watchdog site!”
I was quite flattered that Randy and Fenton had ask that I be one of the first to preview their new documentary film, The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which will air on HBO September 20th. To be honest, I had some substantial trepidation about WOW’s production of this documentary. As a gay veteran of the Armed Forces who sadly has firsthand experience with the military gay witch-hunts that preceded the DADT policy, I was concerned that the documentary would be a puff piece that applauded politicians while ignoring the plights of gay and lesbian military servicemembers and the problems they continue to face.
The fact that Fenton and Randy would ask that I preview their film, knowing full well my strong views on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and my propensity to call a foul when I see it (consequences be damned), only speaks to the courage of their own convictions and the faith they have in their film. Instead of simply documenting the process of repealing the DADT policy, the film delves into the long and complex history of gay people in the military and the discriminatory views that led to the implementation of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, as well as documenting the historic effect gay soldiers had in helping to define the burgeoning ideals of gay self-identity and community in the pre-Stonewall era. While the film does highlight several politicians whose efforts were essential in the effort to repeal DADT, such as Senator Lieberman, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Rep. Patrick Murphy; the main focus stays on the activists and activist organizations, such as Aubrey Sarvis of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, The Log Cabin Republicans whose court case against DADT was pivotal, and activist soldiers themselves, including Col. Margarethe Cammemeyer, Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, and Lt. Dan Choi.
On two different occasions, I had to pause the film and regain my composure. The emotions this documentary evoked in me as a former servicemember are still quite powerful and my own memories of being marched past my fellow soldiers in handcuffs by military police on my way to be interrogated about claims of the “perception of homosexuality” bubbled to the surface, faster than I care to admit. I, like so many other thousands of gay soldiers, were never given a chance to defend ourselves or our honor. Our service and sacrifices were ignored -to be thrown out like trash. This film finally gives a voice to the countless numbers of gay men and women who were forced to serve in silence for decades. Randy and Fenton and the WOW production staff have every right to be proud of their efforts in producing such a powerful documentary.
And though it’s difficult for me to find any fault with this film, my only criticism would be that I would’ve liked to have seen a follow up on the activist soldiers depicted in this film, as well as the issues that openly gay soldiers will continue to face even after the repeal of DADT (but as a WOW blogger, maybe that’s my job):
Col. Margarethe Cammemeyer recently officiated Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach’s retirement from the military in a ceremony under the spires of the U.S. Air Force Memorial in Arlington, VA. The Obama administration continues to appeal the federal case against DADT brought by the Log Cabin Republicans that ruled the policy unconstitutional. The Obama administration also recently engaged in a federal prosecution of former Lt. Dan Choi, although the presiding judge on the case has made a preliminary finding that there is credible evidence to allow Choi’s attorneys to present a defense of “selective” or “vindictive” prosecution. And sadly, for the thousands of gay soldiers who were the real victims of the DADT policy, the repeal does next to nothing to remedy the loss of their careers, and The New York Times recently reported that soldiers discharged through DADT are facing hurdles just to start back at square one and re-enlist. Military leaders also continue to refuse to support the inclusion of sexual orientation protections under standing military E.O. policy.