“Gay films have been the unspoken, unheralded leader in the social acceptance of gay men in America, the changing of laws, and of pushing gay society out of the closet around the world. And don’t you ever fuckin’ forget that.”
I don’t know about you, but that gave me a bit of a boner.
Chuck Holmes was one of the most pivotal figures in the history of gay pornography and a major player in the gay rights movement. As a professional in this industry, and as a fan, I really want to see this documentary made. But the only way it’s going to happen is if we all pony up and pledge whatever we can to the Kickstarter project.
One of the backer rewards includes this absolutely kick ass poster by Jayde A. Cardinalli for the Bold Italic.
(I am DYING to see the original Falcon logo on a white t-shirt.)
It was an unidentified Falcon scene that first introduced me to gay porno and changed my life forever, so I have to thank Chuck for bringing that studio to life.
From the project homepage…
“When Chuck Holmes moved to San Francisco in 1971, the city was known not only a gay mecca, but also the “Smut Capital of the United States” because it allowed the legal sale of pornography. For Chuck, the two rights were always inextricably tied. Within the year, with the help of brothel-owner John Summers, he’d started Falcon Studios. For Chuck, gay rights and sexual speech were inextricably tied.
While mainstream media churned out gay characters that were tragic or menacing, Falcon portrayed them as vibrant, healthy and unabashed. But porn, especially gay porn, was controversial. Chuck fought and won obscenity prosecutions across the country and then reaped the benefits. By the early 80s, Falcon was the largest and most influential gay media company in the country
As Chuck’s wealth grew, so did his social status. From San Francisco to Studio 54, Chuck mixed with a new generation of gay cultural figures: men like Halston, David Geffen and Calvin Klein. Like them, Chuck understood that positive representation was crucial to the gay rights movement. Unlike most of them, Chuck was out.
Business boomed in the 80s, but all was not well. Under President Reagan, porn became an increasingly risky business, punishable by federal prison; the AIDS crisis threatened to decimate both a community and an industry. Chuck battled drugs and alcohol, and ultimately his own mortality after discovering he was HIV positive.
But with crisis came rebirth. And after getting sober, Chuck began actively using his fortune to become a political force, raising money for openly gay local politicians and gay-friendly national ones Bill Clinton. But Chuck lived in fear of having his money returned — a fear that was sometimes justified. Still, with his vast resources, he became an active fundraiser for the LGBT Victory Fund and later helped found the Human Rights Campaign. But while his money was welcomed by gay causes and politicians, Chuck himself often wasn’t, a fact would dog him even after his death.”
Once again, here is the link to the kickstarter project for “Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story”. If you’re unable to donate, please at least pass along the link wherever possible!
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