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Gay Usa

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Gay U.S.A.

by Arthur Bressan

Wow, again. When I first saw this I thought of what a fun, exciting way to express one's identity-at a parade. All I could think about was when and where the next would be closest to St. Louis. So many people, so many smiles. An old lady immediately caught my attention: "When one group is oppressed, all groups are oppressed". This reminded me of the material we read, The Common Elements of Oppression, in that there is no hierarchy of oppressions. To eliminate one oppression successfully, a movement must include work to eliminate them all or else success will always be limited and incomplete. She is completely right, when the L/G/B community needs help-we all need to take action and do something. This parade signifies that action in so many ways.

L/G/B activism in the late 70's showed a diverse optimistic community moving closer to unity. Arthur Bressan very creatively put together footage from every big gay pride parade happening in June 1977. This film hit people alike everywhere, not just hidden gays in need of support to come out. This brought attention to the rich, white conservatives in helping them to wake up and pay attention to the civil right violations and the need for adequate gay human rights.

According to one man who was there from the beginning, the first parades were entirely political, "aimed at gay liberation." Now they have moved beyond that. Human Rights-Gay civil rights were and still are a must under basic human rights.

Unfortunately, there is much discrimination among and between the gay communities. One of the issues of the '70s was the rejection of drag queens as encouraging misogynist images. These feelings were expressed harshly by several of the women in Gay U.S.A. This conception is compellingly rejected by the film's drag queens, who see their



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