Denver Gay Revolt title image

Note: Views expressed are those of the individuals only; publications, organizations, and institutions are listed solely for identification.

Dear Jerry: Your documentary is extraordinary.

I watched it last night with mixed emotions of joy and tears.

We have never officially made aquaintaince but I am very familiar with you and your accomplishments in the community.

As a young man in the 1970s I volunteered at The Center when it was a small duplex on Lafayette. We had one phone line, and Carl Lease was the Director.

One day a young man called the line saying he was minutes from killing himself. Carol helped me trace the call, and we saved him from himself. A couple of months later, a young man walked into The Center and asked to speak to me. He wanted to thank us for being there for him.

I went on to be a Board Member twice, and remember when Carol mentioned GRID—to be known as AIDS—at a Board Meeting. The rest is history.

I have so many other memories, and am truly honored to be a member of the Denver Gay Community.

Again, Congratulations and Best Wishes.

—Orie A. Thompson

I happened across the DVD from the Denver Public Library…

…after it was mentioned in a PFLAG newsletter. It was right after I was elected to Denver City Council, and a cherished historic look at my own body and what paved the way for my election as the first out member of Council.

I have asked several protest groups, professors, and other activists seeking change from the City to watch it as a lesson in why having concrete goals, allies, and using a range of strategies including legal and policy advocacy was as important as being “in the streets” (in my view, an incomplete strategy for truly changing laws, policies or priorities in a way that will last institutionally).

—Councilwoman Robin Kniech

Thank you for producing the DVD.

I show this video in my class on Denver Politics, and might show it in my urban social movements class in the future. In terms of context, my classes focus on grass-roots activism to reshape urban life, so your video fits well. I like to teach about the way cities foster transformational political movements, counter-cultural communities, and an expanded spirit of diversity and progressivism (as opposed to rural areas), so your work fits well.

—Tony Robinson, Associate Professor and Chair, University of
Colorado Denver, Department of Political Science

A well-presented, educational, and thought-provoking film…

…that would be of interest across several genres. The film contributes an important perspective to overall scholarly research on gay history, gay civil rights, and gay liberation movements in the U.S.

—Erin M. Hess, in The Oral History Review

I really enjoyed the Denver Gay Revolt DVD…

…and I want to congratulate you on doing a great job of preserving our fragile gay history of those early years after Stonewall.

—Brandon Wolf, Writer and Activist, Houston, Texas

Gay Revolt is a powerfully important account of gay civil rights.

Viewers become witnesses to that night, when the city council treated gay activism as a joke. We get to listen as though we are a fly on the wall, and we watch as the tide changes. Illegal roundups, entrapment, and a reckless vice squad make for a riveting heroic narrative of the people who stood up to the injustice in Denver.

This is a testament to our heroic gay brothers and sisters, who bravely paved the way for future rights around the country.

Gay Revolt is suitable for any library and audience where gay history is important. It is a documentary that must be seen if we are to understand our past and to stay focused on our goals for the future of gay rights.

—Johnnie N. Gray, on page 7 of the Spring 2011 newsletter of the Gay, Lesbian,
Bisexual, Transgendered Round Table of the American Library Association

In this deserted land of Italy…

…we never had any news of it! Thanks to the web, and a warm hug to the Author. God bless You.

—“melinasparta43,” after viewing the documentary on YouTube

What a magnificent production!

I think it was extraordinary: gripping, inspiring, very educational, and a valuable historical document.  Many moments in the DVD brought tears to my eyes…. It imbued me with a deep sense of history, awe, respect and gratitude.

—Clemmie Engle, Assistant Attorney General, State of Colorado and
former Board member of the GLBT Community Center of Colorado

Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your documentary.

I had intended to watch a few parts of it, but the story was so compelling I found myself unable to stop clicking for the next installment, until I had gone through the entire thing. I was moved to tears on several occasions, having lived through that period myself in Berkeley as a grad student at UC. Although we’ve come a long way—thanks to people like yourself and your Denver co-conspirators—I find myself longing for the “good old days,” when being gay had passion and purpose and innocence compared with today.

—Robert Samson, Los Angeles, California

The DVD compels the viewer, tells the story well, and makes both a thoughtful and emotional impact. Congratulations.

Not only the story itself and the words of the participants, but your narrative tone, conveyed the beauty of the ideals as well as the humanity of the people affected. You did a great job of making it clear that this was much more than an impersonal legal/civil/human rights struggle, and I found that especially compelling because it brought back to mind why I felt I had to get involved in the first place.

—Lester L. Tobias, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychologist), one of the speakers at the 1973 hearing

This DVD is a rare collection of grass roots voices from the gay community as they sought justice in Denver.

This historical compilation captures the emotional aspect of historical change. This DVD, as well as the development of the gay community it describes, is a significant event in the search for justice under the law.

—David L. Pivar, Professor Emeritus History and American Studies,
California State University, Fullerton

What we see and hear is reminiscent of the way Blacks were once treated in this country…

…and it made me sick to watch this even when I understand how important it is for us to know how things were and how they have changed. … The film is a very strong look at how our rights came to be and is a very important part of who we are.

Amos Lassen, from his blog Reviews by Amos Lassen, May 31, 2011

Before there was Pride, there was a revolt; what every gay Denverite needs to know before celebrating Pridefest.

In just 10 days, Denver will be covered with rainbows. Drag queens will be walking on stilts. Lesbians will cover their breasts with duct tape and sexy boys will be running around in nothing but a speedo. There will be plenty of cocktails and glitter for everyone. But it wasn’t always like that. Denverite Jerry Gerash reminds us of the Gay Revolt of 1973.

P.S. If you’re a gay man living in Denver, you shouldn’t just watch this documentary. You must.

gayzetteblog.com, June 9, 2010

Thanks to La Gente Unida for this supercool bit of information!

A very important project that is the result of much time and unrelenting devotion by Gerash, the professionally-made DVD is a consciousness-raising tool and historical piece that can be valuable to people seeking to learn the origins of modern-day activism in Denver.

MileHighGayGuy, from La Gente Unida Newsletter Update, June 15, 2010

I just watched all 12 parts. Wow!

What a history lesson—every gay person in Denver should watch this series! I’d heard about the “Johnny Cash Special” from older friends who are now passed. THANK YOU GERRY? FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE FOR THE CAUSE! You have lots to be proud of…

—“mikebdenv,” after viewing the documentary on YouTube

I’m a South African activist and scholar, and would like to request

a copy of your DVD, so that we can use it for political education in Africa. You may know that our struggles are particularly challenging here at present, and only a very few of us have been arguing for radical nonviolent action, like you did in the 1970s. I think your DVD would go a long way to inspire our people to take agency, to take our own power, and effect the changes so necessary in our countries, to protect ourselves from violence like curative rape and other forms of gay bashing, and to compel our legislators and policymakers to enforce South Africa's inspiring Constitution.

—Bernedette Muthien, Executive Director, Engender

This is exactly the kind of thing I hope people in towns and cities across the country are putting together.

History happened in our lifetimes, and we should be recording it like mad. These are people who actually had to argue that homosexuals could live productive and decent lives, and saw their arguments falling on some deaf ears.

But they also fell on ears that were willing to hear, and one of the best parts of this series is when you begin to see council members standing up for the lesbians and gay men in the audience. It takes a long time, but it happens.

—David Link, Independent Gay Forum, June 13, 2010

“Nic and the City”: The Man Who Liberated Denver

Early in June, I received an e-mail about a YouTube video with “Gay Revolt at Denver City Council” in the title. At first, I was afraid I had missed some sort of huge protest the night before. I frantically followed the link, curious to know what had happened.

Turns out I did miss something. But, the modern day medium didn’t deliver me news of today, but rather, a history lesson I’ll never forget.

—Nic Garcia, gayzette, July 2010