Monday, October 18, 2010

Seen at the London Film Festival, Sept. 2010

I clearly remember seeing this wonderful film, in London, in the 70s. At the time I was struggling with my Gay self and those people spoke to me at a deep and lasting level.

I have just seen it again, today, at the London Film Festival, and was moved beyond words.

I imagine that many of those men subsequently died to AIDS. The trauma to our community, in losing so many wonderful people, exists today.

To those men and women still living, thank you. I hope you are healthy and happy.

I was struck by the shared sense, then, of a tide of change and optimism, in the face of institutionalised persecution and oppression.

Today some of us have more rights (primarily thanks to these brave Queers) but also less politicisation and optimism. I wish that every Queer person would take the time to witness this excellent film and let those stories fill their hearts.

Thanks to Outfest and their partners for bringing this gem back to life.

I will always remember the absolute sincerity, authenticity, humour and courage of all the subjects. You are sources of inspiration for me. God bless you all.

Steve Ryan

Ps I hope a region 2 version of the dvd will be made available to us Europeans!

[editor: The WORD IS OUT dvd is region free so it can play in most countries around the world.]

Thursday, October 14, 2010

From Pompano Beach

We celebrated our 55th last month; we married legally in the Trinity College Chapel (Hartford) during our 2009 50th class reunion. A biography "Soul Mates ...." written by a straight grandmother/author is available on our Scrapbook /. Weird: we were born 3 days apart in 1937 - at about 100 miles distance. As Gemini, does that mean there are four of us in this family?
We'll be seeing the film in November, when we participate in a panel of a Palm Beach County college.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Richard T. Nolan, retired Episcopal priest
Robert C. Pingpank, retired CT public secondary school educator
John Knox Village
Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thanks to TCM and UCLA

I saw the film in 1979 when it was released in a handful of theatres and on the "Z" Channel later on in the early 80's.
I was already out at that time, but never had the problems of coming out to my family that a lot of indivial
had during that time. It was a difficult and glorious period in the history of the Gay movement with Anita Bryant
making her anti-gay rampage. I am happy that TCM broadcasted this historic film and for UCLA in
their restoration efforts.

MItch Walker
Long Beach, California
I stiil am not comfortable being (bi-sexual ). Could have used you and your support up here. much love to you all.anj xoxo

Thursday, September 2, 2010

From Santa Fe

Word Is Out was the first gay themed film I ever saw. When I was 11-years-old, the film was broadcast on PBS and my parents, who are both sociologists, watched it and I was strangely drawn to watch it with them. I remembered how the film had played earlier that year at the Orson Wells Cinema in Cambridge where I grew up and had never heard of a feature length film being made about "those people" before who intrigued me.

I was glued to the TV for two hours. My parents were fascinated by the exploration of race among the gay culture, two stigmas for these people as they saw it. However, I remember my mom thinking that the subject who was the actor wasn't as interesting because he was too queeny. Seeing the film 30 years later, I'm amazed at how much I remember these people's faces and even some of the their stories; the woman asking to share a pillow with another women whose house she slept over, the man kissing in a boat another boy when they were 7-years-old, the haunting song "Where you There?" performed in the film.

It's amazing how not dated the film is today, and that's what makes the experience almost tragic in watching it. Gay couples are still losing custody of their children. Families are still not accepting of their gay offspring. Gay couples in most states still can't get married. I was also moved by the filmmakers including themselves in the interviews of their subjects, even allowing themselves to be seen in a mirror in one interview.

I'm curious if the filmmakers ever thought of doing a follow-up to the film to see where the subjects are today and to record how far visibility has improved for gays and lesbians and how much it has also stayed the same. I'm so impressed by the importance of the work that the Legacy Project from Outfest is doing by watching this landmark piece of history.


Aaron Leventman, Santa Fe

Dear Aaron,

Yes, on the DVD release, there are several bonus features where the filmmakers have created new short films following up on the people in the film thirty years later as well as talking about the experiences themselves.

Pop Matters review of WORD IS OUT and other films

Word is Out review in Click here.

'Word Is Out''s Historical Importance Cannot Be Underestimated...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stage and Cinema review by Harvey Perr

New review of the DVD of WORD IS OUT can be found at Stage and Cinema by clicking here.

This is a film that should be in the library of every gay man and lesbian in the world. But it should also be seen by every American who can never be told enough or too often that the people who want equal rights are their friends and their family members and are very much like themselves. Word Is Out is essential, even – and perhaps especially – after thirty years.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

From Dominique Bremond

I saw "Word is Out" in France where I was living at the time, shortly after it came out in 1977 or 1978. It was a breeze, a gulp of fresh air to hear all of these very different people share theirs lives, theirs stories and their views.

Word is Out had a tremendous impact on my life.

When I moved to san Francisco in 1981, one of the first persons I ran into on the street was one of men interviewed,
then, shortly after, I saw Pat Bond at Bagdad Cafe on Market Street. It seemed surreal at the time.
A big heartfelt thank you to all of you who participated in the making of Word is Out. You touched so many lives in many countries.

Dominique Bremond
The French Class

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cincinnati CityBeat review!

Cincinnati CityBeat review of WORD IS OUT can be read here!

Excerpt: "Word Is Out allowed late-’70s gay filmgoers to see themselves on the screen not as caricatures or idealizations, but as real people with unifying experiences. It was a powerful moment. The film also functioned beyond affirmation to impact the mainstream, showing a world beyond stereotypes where gay men and women lived lives the same as any straight person — a universality that moved Word Is Out beyond gay cinema to become human cinema.

This restored 30th anniversary DVD release is exquisite with several bonuses that truly complement the film, especially a then-and-now documentary that brings the interviewees into the present. Revelations that many succumbed to AIDS are absolutely devastating, hanging a haunting specter over the film’s hopeful histories. Grade: A"

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cinemaqueer review of WORD IS OUT

Cinemaqueer review of WORD IS OUT can be read here.
"Word Is Out is not a dry time capsule; it is a vital and entertaining document that hasn't lost its edge, even after more than three decades."

Friday, July 2, 2010

David Gillon interviewed in Hartford Courant!

You can read David Gillon interviewed by Susan Dunne in the Hartford Courant here.

An excerpt: "I never imagined that there would be a serious effort behind something like this. I just knew it wasn't going to go anywhere [laughs]. But the most powerful thing you could do at the time was to speak out. Speaking up, which I had been doing at the time in little ways, was the most powerful thing you could do to combat homophobia, to really change things."

Monday, June 28, 2010

TCM -- updates on the participants and the directors

I just saw this on TCM for the first time. I wish I had seen it back then when I just coming out.
Hats off to TCM for bring this to a larger audience!!!!!!!
I wonder if there is anyplace where it says what became of the lives of the wonderful gay men and lesbian women?
Enrique Sanchez

Thanks! Yes, the new DVD we brought out does have several films updating many of stories of the directors and participants. You can buy it here online!

Word is Out on TCM

Good morning,

I had never heard of your movie before finding it on TCM last evening. I found it remarkable on so many levels, mainly because I as a young teen in the 70s when it was made, and was apparently oblivious to all that was going on with gay activism. I found the stories to be so moving and the interviewees to be profoundly diverse.

But hands down, the best part of the “viewing experience” was coming to your website today to find what these remarkable people are doing today. Strangely, it was like seeing a dear, old friend after many years, even though I had “just met them” last night on my television.

Kudos to you for your groundbreaking work so long ago. I will definitely be buying the commemorative DVD.

Mark Newsome

Word is Out music

I am looking forward to the updated “The Word...”, the original of which I just viewed on TCM network, can I get any/ALL the great music from that great flick.

Best regards,
C.K. Favreau

Thanks for the kind words! I'm sorry to say, that the music for the film is a bit scattered now. You would have to find the original Trish Nugent LP and I believe there are MP3's of some of Buena Vista's music up on websites. There's a little interview with the writer of the song "It's Okay" (in the film, "He's Okay"). You can read it here
and here.

Female Singer in Word is Out

Who sang the beautiful haunting song that opened the film?is there a recording? Did she record anything else?


That would be Trish Nugent whose album FOXGLOVE WOMAN contains the song "Were You There" that's found at the beginning of WORD IS OUT. It was published by Olivia Records. More information can be found here.

Word is Out seen on TCM

Wow, I just happened to see the beginning of this movie last night on TCM! ( I had to check the schedule to verify I wasn't watching LOGO or DOC channel---for some reason, TCM was a surprise channel for this, at least to me!) This movie was terrific, both heart-wrenching in an understated way, and even hilarious---especially the vignette when the guy told his dad to get a whole pack of cigarettes when the dad told him he'd have the serious chat after he got a cig! I felt so bad for the people who were so scared for so long, and who have felt scared all their lives. We are a pitiful bunch of creatures to our fellow humans. My younger son came out to me at age 15, and I am so glad I did not chastise him. Honestly, I did not mind him being gay---it's just another way of being human! His friends have, some of them, been disowned, subjected to abuse, and other hideous treatment. That grieves me to no end.
Well, enough about me---but the movie brought out so many emotions. I was a college girl in 1977, and I will say now that gay discos were the place to be---better sound systems and play lists than the regular discos in our area of Madison, Wisconsin! I used to go to them with my best friend, and we may have been perceived as a couple, so we danced together like mad and had a blast. Sadly, one night after we left, we encountered a fellow looking for his retainer that had been knocked out of his mouth when some self-righteous frat boys smacked him in the face. We helped him find it---it had been broken. My friend and I were so angry for him, and also felt helpless to give him any hope. Have things improved at all? I hear such negativity by people in power.
Sorry to ramble, but that movie brought back so many feelings from that time. Sincerely, Nancy Huber

Word is Out

The movie was enlightening...still fresh after all these years. I am very curious about the lives of those chosen for the documentary, where are they and what have they done with themelves over the past thirty years?
To all ....Thank You,
Michael W.

Word is Out seen in Hartford

In Hartford, where I live.

I was six years old in 1977, and while I knew some of the culture of
that era from books, from talking to women at Michigan Womyn's Music
Festival or in potluck circles, it's so immediate seeing it on the

Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing this work, and I'm so glad
it's being redistributed for new audiences.

As they said so often in the film, it was 'right on!'


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lucy Massie Phenix in COLOR Magazine

Color Magazine. Click here to read the interview with Mariposa Film Group's Lucy Massie Phenix.

"At the time we just knew there were stories in the gay community that weren't being told, but that needed to be told. It was a very exciting time, and it's just as exciting all these years later to think people are still watching the movie and finding something they can identify with from these wonderful people. It's thrilling."

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Word is Out maintains its power by presenting its subjects as neither heroes nor martyrs -- just regular folks trying to make their way in the world."

Hollywood News review

Hollywood News: "You must see this movie. You must!"

GreenCine review

GreenCine review: "This terrifically produced new DVD... offers an equally terrific package of Bonus Features (you could spend a whole day with this DVD!): Word is Out, Then and Now: Thirty Years Later, featuring both the filmmakers and some of the participants, is a must. Seeing and hearing these people now is a lovely experience and, at the end of this feature, seeing those lost to AIDS and time, is a particularly moving one."

Word Is Out in Bay Area Reporter

Bay Area Reporter review is here.
"What is especially admirable about each person is his/her courage."

How Word Is Out helped make history...

Read about Word Is Out's moment in history when it showed 30 years ago in the Netherlands. Click here.

Philip Martin in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Philip Martin in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives may be the most important movie you’ve never heard of, much less seen. It was the first feature length documentary about gay people, made by gay people, and one of the first to treat homosexuality as a naturally occurring phenomenon

WORD IS OUT playing in Hartford, CT this week!

WORD IS OUT playing in Hartford, CT this week!

View the schedule here.

Jeffrey Anderson in Combustible Celluloid

"Warmly, heartbreakingly human..."

Read the review here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rob Epstein interviewed in Windy City News

An interview with Mariposa Film Group's Rob Epstein to celebrate the DVD release of WORD IS OUT. Read it here!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today's review in The Onion's AV Club

Read the full review here.

Except: Word Is Out staggers its interviews with a few musical interludes and slice-of-life vignettes, and the interviews themselves are cut together so they flow as one long, engrossing narrative. But again, the personal moments and anecdotes stand out more than the attempts to find commonalities. It’s fascinating to listen to wry old lesbian Pat Bond talk about the butch culture of the army (before hundreds of lesbians were dishonorably discharged in one infamous sweep), and how for all the refreshing openness of the ’70s, she misses the illicit romances and clearly defined codes of the past. Similarly, George Mendenhall weeps while talking about the feeling of freedom when he discovered New York gay bars in the ’50s, and how his friends would stand up to the cops by putting their arms around each other and singing, “God Save Us Nelly Queens.” The Mariposa Group contrasts that with young people realizing that now, out in the open with their sexuality and relationships, they’ll have to make their own rules for what gay romances and gay families should look like. Thanks to Word Is Out, those kinds of problems were made just a little easier for the generations that followed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thank you for helping to bring this film back into my life

I picked up a copy of the DVD at Amoeba on Haight Street in San Francisco. Thanks!

Several times yesterday when I talked about the impact that the film had upon me tears came to my eyes. I also had cried when I told the film makers the same story after the movie was screened at the Gay And Lesbian Film Festival a couple of years ago. And that is how as a Gay man of 18 or 19 years I had seen the film in Minneapolis, on a local PBS station. I was blown away! I hoped that my future could be as bright and wonderful as what I saw in that film....then a friend said that he was moving to San Francisco and would I like to move with him. That was in late September or early October of 1978. I said yes. (I went to my first Gay bar in Des Moines, Iowa with that friend. That was the day that we first met, and after that we would become roommates, but never more than just very good friends.)
I would have to study the film to find out if there are stronger clues now, but I do not recall being struck by the fact that a whole lot of the film was shot in San Francisco. Imagine my surprise then when I started meeting and becoming friends with people in the movie. What came first was going to see Pat Bond in her one woman production about Gertrude Stein. And then Tede Matthews and I became very close friends next. Years later I would meet and become very close with Harry Hay and John Burnside.
How is that for tear inducing wish fulfillment?!!!

Thank you for helping to bring this film back into my life,

Bruce E. Beaudette

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DVD reviewed by Provincetown Banner

By Howard Karren

“Word Is Out,” the landmark documentary about the lives of 26 articulate gay men and lesbians — ordinary yet extraordinary, joyfully out, ethnically diverse and movingly candid. The film, put together by the Mariposa Film Group, a collective of gay filmmakers, was released in 1977 (and later broadcast on PBS) and had a profound and dramatic effect on the public perception of gay life. Now, 33 years later, it is finally being released on DVD, along with some remarkable bonus material, including interviews with many of the original participants today and memorials to those who have since died. “Word Is Out” is an unforgettable film, relevant to audiences young and old, straight and gay.

DVD Beaver review of WORD IS OUT

Click here to read the review and see frame clips in DVD Beaver.

"This remains impacting and viable piece of cinema and the DVD release is an important one that we wholly endorse."

Word is Out dvd reviewed in

"Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives (1977), then, is a gift, not just a film preserved and sold as product, but a piece of the 20th century that will now never quite fade completely from view."
To read the review, click here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

deg farrelly's story

Oh my ....

I was out... But not to my parents. I'd been active in the gay liberation movement for 6 years or so, having started the student organization at Illinois State University in November 1971. (By the way, the same group, after several name changes, is STILL there, and STILL funded by student fees.... I think it may be one of, if not the, oldest college/university gay organizations is continual operation.)

But I digress.

I was thru college, thru grad school, and living on my own in York, Pennsylvania in my first professional job when I heard of Word Is Out being released. I'm guessing I heard about it at the American Library Association Social Responsibilities Roundtable session at the ALA convention that summer....

Anyway, I learned that it was going to be aired on PBS. So I decided to use it as a means of coming out to my parents who lived in a Chicago suburb. I sent them a letter, telling them that the film would be on TV on whatever night it was being broadcast.... And asked them to watch, as I thought they would learn about me, if they did so.

I didn't hear from them after that.... For many weeks.... Eventually, I got a letter from my mom, that she and Dad had watched it, (and The Naked Civil Servant, which apparently aired immediately afterwards). And that they weren't surprised.

That's all I recall of the letter. We never discussed it, the film, the letter, or my being gay again.

deg farrelly, Phoenix, AZ

DVD Verdict reviews the WORD IS OUT dvd!

DVD Verdict reviews the brand-new WORD IS OUT dvd here!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Meeting Whitey

1977, I saw "Out" in S.F. and recognized Whitey. I had rub into her in New York City, in 1963 or was it 64? I was coming home from work and got off at Sheridan Square up town subway station. As I approached the exit turnstile, I heard a girl crying loudly. She looked like a 15-16 year old Whitey, w/ the same long hair and she ran from the turnstile toward the accelerating train. I stopped her and asked what was wrong. Over the noise of the departing train, I thought she said, "my mother hates me." Then clearly, "she told me how ugly I am."

I wanted to comfort her & offer her my apt, as a sanctuary but I was living w/ a fascinating bi dyke (10yrs older). While trying to think of what to do, an Italian straight looking man in his upper 20's took over. I wonder if W remembers me, a 5'6" Asian boy of 15.

BTW That station is across the street from the 1969 Stonewall, which was just around the corner from Village Voice, they did NOT cover 1969 historic event.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thank you...

I just made a donation, but I also wanted to send a thank you note. I have seen Word Is Out many times--I saw it for the first time the day it opened. All those brave, beautiful people, my people, telling their stories--it was lovely and moving and wonderful.

I look forward to receiving my copy. Thank you so much for your good, important, and wonderful work. Wendy Caster

Word is Out is on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show, 1/28/10

Listen to David Gillon and Veronica Selver talk about WORD IS OUT on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show.

Milliarium Zero to release WORD IS OUT on DVD

Milliarium Zero, the sister company of distributor Milestone Film & Video will be releasing the DVD of WORD IS OUT in late Spring, 2010. Contact Dennis Doros at for more information! Institutional sales are available now.

Come see Word is Out at the Anthology Film Archives, NYC!

Come see the New York theatrical premiere of the restored Word is Out at the Anthology Film Archive starting Friday, January 29, 2010!

Time Out New York article on January 27, 2010

Here is Beth Greenfield's article on Word is Out in the Time Out New York

New York Times article, January 24, 2010!

Here is Dennis Lim's article on Word is Out

Village Voice review, January 27, 2010

Here is a new article by the critic Melissa Anderson

Word is Out is now on Facebook!

Become a fan of "Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives" on Facebook!

Peter Adair at KQED

I have such fond memories of Peter when I worked at KQED with him. (Whenever I see a photo or film about rattlesnakes I always think of Peter and that terrifying scene in his anthropological documentary that he filmed in the deep south. I was so pleased and delighted to read about the rebirth of WORD IS OUT in the NY Times. And then I was overjoyed to be able to see Peter once again in the film clip promoting the movie. Blessed luck and congratulations to you all!

Hi Nancy!

Robert Zagone