News Releases

Ithaca College to Screen Documentary on Pioneers for Gay Rights

ITHACA, NY—The Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen series at Ithaca College will host a showing of the documentary “Gay Pioneers” on Wednesday, Oct. 2. Telling the story of the first organized “homosexual” rights demonstrations held in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, the film will be shown at 7 p.m. in Textor 101. It is free and open to the public.

In a time when few would publicly identify themselves as gay, 40 people gathered in front of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on July 4, 1965, to demand their civil rights. Over the next four years, the annual march grew in numbers and expanded to Chicago and New York. The 1970 demonstration encouraged activists to stage the first gay pride parade in New York City, an act that was emulated in large and small cities across the country and helped catapult a national movement.

Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Glenn Holsten, “Gay Pioneers” weaves together archival footage from these seminal demonstrations, interviews with participants about the protocol for the protests and how they impacted the movement, and FBI investigative files and surveillance footage obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

The Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen series is sponsored by the Ithaca College Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Education, Outreach, and Services. For more information, visit