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LGBT Studies
University of Arizona
1731 E. Second St., #201
Tucson, AZ 85721-0014
Office: (520)626-3431
Fax: (520)626-1181
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SUNDAY, APR 2, 2017
Doors open 1pm for gathering, networking and resources
PROGRAM: 2-4pm
Jewish Community Center
3800 E River Rd., Tucson
(Arthur Dong, 1994)
IN PERSON: Director, Arthur Dong
WWII Wave. Still from Coming Out Under Fire by Arthur Dong


Based on the ground-breaking book by MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient, Allan Bérubé, Coming Out Under Fire features nine gay and lesbian veterans who recount how they joined the patriotic war against fascism in the 1940s only to find themselves fighting two battles: one for their country and another for their right to serve. They first remember warm and entertaining stories of finding each other in a compulsory heterosexual environment and reminisce over tales of first love and deep friendships. Their good times were short-lived, however, as they became targets of newly created anti-homosexual policies which called for witch hunts, dehumanizing interrogations, involuntary psychiatric treatments, and the incarceration of suspected homosexuals into “queer stockades.” The final humiliation was a dishonorable discharge which stripped a soldier of all veterans benefits as well as being officially branded a “sex pervert” for life.

COMING OUT UNDER FIRE integrates compelling on-camera interviews with declassified military documents and archival footage on sex education, mental health, prison compounds, and court martial hearings. It probes the origins of the military’s anti-homosexual policy to document how pseudo-psychiatry, erroneous medical theory, and misplaced ethics masked a policy based on prejudice.

This classic film won a Special Jury award at Sundance, and has been screened in festivals worldwide and broadcast in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Following the film, Robert Bell will introduce Erin Russ, Director of Programs for Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA) and Jennifer Dane from the American Military Partner Association. They are LGBT veterans, who will tell their stories of serving before, during and after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

More info: email or 520-312-8923 or the Southern Arizona Senior Pride website.

This event made possible thanks to the LGBT&S Alliance Fund and Southern Arizona Senior Pride; co-sponsored by Lesbian Looks

Arthur Dong

Among Dong’s over 100 film excellence awards are an Oscar® nomination, the George Foster Peabody Award, three Sundance Film Festival awards, the Berlin Film Festival’s Teddy Award, Taiwan’s Golden Horse Award, two consecutive GLAAD Media Awards and five Emmy nominations. His numerous honors for public service include the OUT 100 Award from OUT magazine, which was presented to Dong “for waging a one-man anti-violence project with his documentary on convicted murderers of homosexuals, Licensed to Kill".

Dong’s feature-length documentaries have been theatrically distributed throughout America and his films have and continue to be featured in hundreds of festivals worldwide. In addition to domestic broadcasts on PBS, the Sundance Channel, and Comcast, his films have been televised in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. Retrospectives of his work have been presented at the Human Rights International Film Festival in Warsaw, Poland, the Walker Art Center, the Hawaii International Film Festival, and Outfest. Funding for Dong’s work has been received from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Soros Documentary Fund, the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program and Fund/John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Initiative, the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the Center for Asian American Media, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, American Documentary, the Hugh Hefner Foundation, Cal Humanities, the American Film Institute, the Unitarian Universalist Association, among many others. Dong has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Film and two Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowships.


THURSDAY, FEB 2, 2017 / 7:30pm / FREE
(Deborah S. Esquenazi, 2016)

Southwest of Salem - Festival Trailer from Deborah S. Esquenazi on Vimeo.

After being wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls during the Satanic Panic witchhunt era of the 80s and 90s, four Latina lesbians fight against mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor in their struggle for exoneration in this riveting 'True Crime' tale.

In 1994, four women were accused, tried and convicted of the heinous sexual assault of two young girls--as one newscaster puts it, "the modern version of the witchcraft trials." Twenty years later, the four women have maintained their innocence, insisting that the accusations were entirely fabricated, and borned of homophobic prejudice and a late-90s mania about covens, cults and child abuse. A riveting and layered story that explores the web of prejudices in a contentious trial and the interrelated political and personal forces that work to convict those thought guilty, trampling the innocent in the process.

"Has your blood pressure been sufficiently raised by shows like "Making A Murderer" and movies like the "Paradise Lost" trilogy? Buckle up, because we've got another unbelievable true crime story that will leave you equal parts fascinated and furious."
— INDIEWIRE, April 2016

More reviews of Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four

Rolling Stone: Inside Case Behind Wrongful Conviction Doc 'Southwest of Salem'

AfterEllen: Guilty of being QWOC: The San Antonio Four on being wrongly accused

New York Magazine: Director Deborah Esquenazi on What Drew Her to a Satanic-Ritual Abuse Trial in Texas

Curve Magazine: San Antonio Four Exonerated


Co-sponsored by THE INSTITUTE for LGBT STUDIES and Puertas Abiertas


TUESDAY, NOV 15, 2016 / 6:30pm / FREE
(Shaleece Haas, 2016)
Still from Real Boy

REAL BOY is the coming-of-age story of Bennett Wallace, a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice—as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man. As he navigates the ups and downs of young adulthood, he works to gain the love and support of his mother, who has deep misgivings about her child’s transition. Along the way, Bennett forges a powerful friendship with his idol, Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician with his own demons to fight.

"Bennett Wallace, a trans teenager facing heartaches and charming, funny and insightful throughout." —Chicago Tribune

"A multifaceted coming-of-age narrative that never succumbs to sensationalism."—HeadStuff

"An uplifting journey of discovery and self-awareness"—Austin 360

"Rich with realness, struggle, triumph, and love. Hands down the best doc I’ve seen about a boy’s transition into manhood."—Ian Harvie, comedian and actor, Transparent

Co-sponsored by the Honors College, Pride Alliance, and the Office of LGBTQ Affairs


THURSDAY, SEP 29, 2016 / 7pm / FREE
IN PERSON: Barbara Hammer
Welcome to This House
(Barbara Hammer, 2015)
Still from Welcome to This House

Lesbian Looks opens our 23rd annual season with Barbara Hammer's 2015 lyrical documentary Welcome To This House (2015). The film explores the homes and loves of poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)--her life in the shadows, and the anxiety of art making without full self-disclosure. Hammer filmed in Bishop's 'best loved homes' in the US, Canada, and Brazil believing that buildings and landscapes bear cultural memories. Interviews with poets, friends, and scholars provide "missing documents" of numerous female lovers. Bishop's intimate poetry is beautifully performed by Kathleen Chalfant, with the creative music composition by Joan La Barbara.

Post-screening Q&A with legendary filmmaker Barbara Hammer!

"Hammer weaves together anecdotal fragments and imagery to build a portrait of a poet as a lesbian at a time when nobody talked of such things openly. Elizabeth Bishop had told Robert Lowell, whom she met in the '40s, that she was "the loneliest person in the world"; in Welcome to this House, Hammer crafts a vivid picture of how loneliness worked as a driving force in Bishop's life and work. The film explores the ambiguity of relationships when things were about the "love that dare not speak its name," necessarily fraught, hidden, and ambivalent."
Ruth Novaczek

"a layered portrait of the person behind the poet"
—Monica Nolan, Frameline
»Read full review

"a sensorial experience of Bishop's work and chosen habitat, which at its best becomes a polymorphous evocation of the sonorous affects permeating Bishop's physical and psychological milieu"
—Clayton Dillard,
»Read full review

»Read interview with Barbara Hammer in the Paris Review

Presented by the UA Poetry Center, and co-sponsors the UA Institute for LGBT Studies, Gender & Women's Studies, Exploded View Cinema, and Joe and Janet Hollander.