Monday, June 25, 2007

I Could Be Who I Felt I Was

I first saw Word Is Out in 1981; I was a high school senior in small-town Essex Junction, Vermont, and was dating a Harvard freshman who was active in the gay student organization there. Word Is Out was one of the featured films at their annual G/L pride week.

The film had an incredible impact on me -- it was my first exposure to the diversity of our community, after having had the 'I'm the only one' feeling for so many years. It helped me realize I could be who I felt I was and did not have to be constrained by any one stereotype. Later, in my travels, I came across the Word Is Out book in a used bookstore, and snapped it up. Each portrait brought back memories of being seventeen years old and the expansive awe I had first felt when watching the film.

Zoom forward almost twenty years. I'm still living in Vermont and become friends with a local guy, Freddy, who, after one confusing connecting-the-dots conversation years into our friendship, I discover is Freddy from the film! 'I have a book with you in it!'

We recently celebrated his 60th birthday, at which I put up copies of his portrait from the book. I joke with him that I met him twenty years before he met me.

Jay Schuster,


LorraineF said...

Jay, can you say what the exact full title of the book was? and any other info about it (editors, date of pub, ISBN, etc.)? We are trying to track down a copy and to connect with Nancy Adair (one of the Mariposa Film folks) for a southeastern lesbian herstory book being put together.

Milliarium Zero said...

Adair, Nancy/Adair, Casey
Word Is Out. Sories of some of our lives.Based on the Award-winning documentary film about 26 gay men and women.
Publisher: New Glide Publications / A Delta Special, San Francisco, 1978

You can easily find a used-copy at or

As for Nancy's contact information, please contact us directly at