Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives | Chicago Reader

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Created by the Mariposa Film Group (one of whose members, Rob Epstein, went on to make The Times of Harvey Milk and The Celluloid Closet), this remarkable 1978 documentary weaves together testimony from 26 men and women as they speak frankly about their experiences growing up homosexual in America. Their ages range from 18 to 77, but the majority of them came of age in the 1940s and ’50s, an era when (as one man memorably puts it) doctors told them they were sick, lawyers told them they were criminals, and ministers told them they were wicked. Running 133 minutes and constructed almost entirely of talking-head interviews, the movie becomes less riveting as the storytellers progress from the past to the present day, but it’s still an exceptional oral history of the love that dared not speak its name—and how it finally spoke.

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