Homosexuality was a mental illness to be “cured” until LGBTQ activists fought the Establishment—and won.
Despite his achievements in the Civil Rights Movement, Bayard Rustin was silenced and imprisoned due to being an openly gay man in a homophobic era.
Nancy D. Kates is a filmmaker and writer based in Berkeley, California. She is a graduate of Stanford University’s documentary film and television program, where she created a number of short films; her M.A. thesis film, Their Own Vietnam, received the 1995 Student Academy Award in Documentary. She is a former producer of Computer Chronicles, the PBS… Show more series, and has worked as a producer, writer, and story consultant on various documentary projects. Kates is a former staff writer at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and also works as a writer, consultant, and futurist. Show less
Bennett Singer has been making social-issue documentaries for more than 25 years. He co-directed Electoral Dysfunction (PBS) and Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (PBS’ POV) and won a duPont-Columbia Award for his work on Eyes on the Prize II (PBS). He is the former Executive Editor of TIME Magazine’s education program.
During his 60-year career as an activist, organizer, and "troublemaker," Bayard Rustin formulated many of the strategies that propelled the American civil rights movement. His passionate belief in Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence drew Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders to him in the 1940s and 50s; his practice of those beliefs drew the attention of the FBI and police. In 1963, Rustin brought his unique skills to the crowning glory of his civil rights career: his work organizing the March on Washington, the biggest protest America had ever seen. But his open homosexuality forced him to remain in the background, marking him again and again as a "brother outsider." Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin combines rare archival footage — some of it never before broadcast in the U.S. — with provocative interviews to illuminate the life and work of a forgotten prophet of social change.