Denver Gay Revolt title image



|Buy DVD|



Gerald Gerash photo image
Gerald Gerash speaks at Denver City Council in 1973; from the documentary.

Jerry Gerash Featured in
Rainbows & Revolutions
at History Colorado

Jerry Gerash is featured front-and-center on the web page announcing History Colorado’s new exhibit Rainbows & Revolutions, which “explores how LGBTQ+ people's very existence in Colorado has been a rebellious act beyond the rainbow, from quiet assertions of identity to loud and proud demonstrations for civil rights and equality.” The photo documents the first board of directors of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado (The Center today, on Colfax) at its 1977 opening.

SFPL Facebook image

Postponed: Jerry Gerash
to Screen Denver Gay Revolt
at San Francisco Public Library

Jerry Gerash has been invited to appear at SFPL’s Queer & Present program series at the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch. His appearance and screening of the documentary Denver Gay Revolt was to take place on April 19, 2020, but all events have been postponed due to the coronavirus emergency. (Five copies of the documentary also have been added to the SFPL collection.) Our hearts go out to those affected by tragedy and disruption during this pandemic. We’ll keep you posted when the screening is rescheduled, or check the branch Facebook page. In the meantime, scroll down…

SFPL Facebook image

Jerry Gerash Oral History
Streams at History Colorado

An oral history by Jerry Gerash, under the auspices of History Colorado, is now available for online streaming. The session, with historian Stan Oliner, was conducted twenty-five years ago, and until recently was thought to have been misplaced. See the catalog entry here.

History Colorado logo image

Denver Gay Revolt in
Colorado Heritage Magazine

Somehow we missed this… James Walsh, PhD, who included a segment on the Denver Gay Revolt in a performance by his Romero Theater Troupe, titled Semillas de Colorado: Stories From the Struggle (see below) also included the revolt in his scholarly article “Vagrancy Laws in Colorado History: Targeting and Removing Undesirables.” It was published in March/April 2016 edition of Colorado Heritage magazine, issued by History Colorado. Selective enforcement of vagrancy laws against gay men was the catalyst for the revolt in October 1974.

Colorado Heritage page image

Gay Life at UC Berkeley in the ’50s
by Jerry Gerash

UC Berkeley is famously the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement in the mid ’60s, but what was life like for a gay man a decade earlier? The Hidden History of the Berkeley Campus, a project of the Gay Bears! Collection in The University Archives, has collected the oral history of Jerry Gerash, which takes place twenty years before the Denver Gay Revolt. Read “Gay at Cal, 1954” at the project website.

Jerry Gerash photo image

Eulogy to Harvey Milk
by Jerry Gerash

It’s been forty years since Harvey Milk was assassinated in San Francisco. Milk was the first openly gay elected official in California history. Like Martin Luther King Jr., he was acutely aware of his mortality as a crusader for civil rights, as noted by Jerry Gerash in his “Eulogy to Harvey Milk” (written the week of Milk’s death). The piece was published in the Spring 1979 edition of RFD, A Country Journal for Gay Men—still in print since 1974.

RFD cover image

Jerry Gerash and Others Quoted by
Denver Post on Stonewall 50th and
Denver’s ‘Advanced’ Rights Work

Marking Pride Month, Denver’s PrideFest, and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion, The Denver Post interviewed several people with ties to Denver, including Donaciano Martinez and Jerry Gerash, for a story published June 14, 2019. “The Gay Coalition of Denver was instrumental in the 1973 gay revolt, which became known as Denver’s own Stonewall moment.” But it didn’t end there. Gerash explains Denver’s key place in history. “Although many people are no longer aware of it, he said Denver was a leader in the gay rights movement. ‘I call it the best-kept secret of gay liberation,’ Gerash said.”

Denver Post article image

Jerry Gerash Named
“Colorful Coloradan”

As noted below, Jerry Gerash’s inclusion in Denver Public Library’s “Colorful Coloradans” series of profiles was reported in the Rossmore News, the weekly published in Jerry’s adopted home of Walnut Creek, California.

Rossmore News article image

Jerry Gerash Bio
At Denver Public Library

“Jerry Gerash fought for the rights of gay people at a time when the police and local governments were fighting against them.” This is the leading line in a biographical profile posted on the website of the Denver Public Library as part of its Colorful Coloradans: Biographies for Kids. “What I love,” Jerry remarked, “is that it’s for young people (ages about 8 to 11) to learn about gay history, and how fighting for justice can result in momentous change for oppressed people.” From the profile: “He was born into a world in which even saying you were gay could land you in jail and lived to see a world in which gay couples have the federally-protected right to marry. It’s important to remember that none of these changes took place on their own.”

Denver Public Library Website screenshot image

Gov. Jared Polis Receives
Gerald A. Gerash Leadership Award

On March 14, 2019 The Center on Colfax, Denver’s LGBTQ resource agency, presented Colorado Governor Jared Polis with an award named for Jerry Gerash, who helped found The Center in 1976. The award honors the governor’s “leadership in promoting LGBTQ equity and inclusion in Colorado.”

Center Award photo image
Governor Polis’s husband Marlon Reis, center right, accepts the award on the Governor’s behalf. Read his remarks.

Pop Culture Classroom
Teaches Denver Gay Revolt

The Denver Gay Revolt documentary is the basis for a comic book created by Kris Barz Mendonça for Pop Culture Classroom, which uses popular media forms to engage students. (The people behind this project also are the founders of the Denver Comic Con event.) The comic, titled Unity Leads to Social Justice is Issue #28 in the Colo-centric series Colorful History.

Pop Culture Classroom comic book image

Jerry Gerash Oral History

Historian David Duffield interviews Jerry Gerash, creator of Gay Revolt at Denver City Council, October 23, 1973 and How It Changed Our World. Duffield, a guiding light behind the Colorado LGBTQ History Project, interviewed Gerash on January 12, 2012.

Colorado Experience: LGBT

Jerry Gerash is interviewed in this 27-minute Rocky Mountain PBS documentary, which aired on October 20, 2016. See also the documentary trailer.

IMRU – KPFK-FM Los Angeles Podcast

Vash Boddie discusses Gay Revolt at Denver City Council, October 23, 1973 and How It Changed Our World with Jerry Gerash in 2012. The interview is collected as part of the Colorado LGBTQ History Project.

Occupy Denver Teach-in Video

Gay Activism in Denver and Beyond: Jerry Gerash speaks on March 20, 2012 about how and why a closeted gay community in 1972, powerless and voiceless, began to organize. He addresses the formulation of the two pronged attack on the government’s oppression and humiliation of the gay community. He shares the rich history of gay activism here in Denver, in Colorado, and beyond.

Sister Who Presents

Gerald Gerash is featured in episodes of this talk show, hosted by Denver luminary Sister Who.

Past Events

How the Center Began: Meet the Founders
First Unitarian Church, 1400 Lafayette, Denver, June 13, 2016, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Jerry Gerash joined six other surviving founders of Unity, precursor to The Center, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016. On hand were founders Donaciano Martinez, Chris Sloan, Bill Olson, Richard Reed, and Bob Janowski, moderated by founder Phil Nash. Read the commemmorative memoir by the founders, United We Stand: The Story of Unity and the Creation of The Center.

Creating Change 2015
Sheraton Denver Downtown, 1550 Court Place, Denver, February 5–8

The Denver Gay Revolt DVD was offered at a special price in the exhibition area under the sign: “towards the queerest insurrection.”

An Adjunct at Ludlow (and other Colorado stories), A performance by Romero Theater Troupe
Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave., Denver, 7:00 p.m., March 13, 2014

One of the stories in the Romero Theater Troupe’s current play is about the city council hearing of 1973. The performers were inspired after watching Jerry Gerash’s documentary.

Semillas de Colorado: Stories From the Struggle, A performance by Romero Theater Troupe
Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave., Denver, October 24, 2013

One of the stories in the Romero Theater Troupe’s current play is about the city council hearing of 1973. The performers were inspired after watching Jerry Gerash’s documentary.

Sie FilmCenter
Free Reception and Screening October 23, 2013

Denver Film Society and a host of co-sponsors present a free screening of Gay Revolt at Denver City Council, October 23, 1973 and How It Changed Our World. This took place on the 40th anniversary of the Denver Gay Revolt. Director Jerry Gerash introduced the film and held a post-screening Q&A.

Two broadcasts on June 18 and October 23, 2013

Colorado Public Television Channel 12 broadcasted Gay Revolt at Denver City Council, October 23, 1973 and How It Changed Our World on Channel 12.1 in the Colorado/Cheyenne area. October 23, 2013 was the 40th anniversary of the Denver Gay Revolt.

Denver City Council Proclamation and Speeches by Jerry Gerash and Council Members
October 21, 2013

Streaming video of the adoption of a proclamation marking the 40th anniversary of a major event in progress of fair and equal treatment of Denver’s gay and lesbian people. (Look at the list below the video and click on the CP13-0737 proclamation  link; it’s the fourth link.)

Arbeter Ring
10'¢ Cinema Slam, April 17, 2012

Featuring the documentary film Gay Revolt at Denver City Council, October 23, 1973, and How It Changed Our World. See Q+A with filmmaker/gay liberation activist Jerry Gerash here.

Oral History Association Annual Meeting
October 12–16, 2011, Denver, CO

Gerald Gerash presented “Denver Gay Liberation And How It Changed Our World” on October 13. Donaciano Martinez, long-time gay and Chicano activist, and David Pivar, professor emeritus of history, joined Gerash on a roundtable discussion after the DVD was presented. Gerash also was featured the night before.

20th World Conference of GLBT Jews
August 13–15, 2010

Gerald Gerash presented selections from the documentary at a breakout session on August 15, on the campus of UCLA.