Court sketch by Carol Ruzicka.
We are excited to announce the world premiere of “Before Homosexuals: The Prequel to Before Stonewall” will take place on April 8th, 2017, 2:00 PM at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as part of the 33rd Annual Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival.
Emmy Award-winner John Scagliotti guides us in a wondrous tour of erotic history, poetry and visual art in this point-of-view documentary on same-sex desire from ancient times to Victorian crimes. He explores how the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the growth of LGBT political power in the 1990s cleared the path for artists and scholars to re-discover pre-20th century same-sex desires. With dozens of experts he revels in lesbian love spells from ancient Rome, censored chapters of the Kamasutra, Native American two-spirit rituals and more. A prequel to “Before Stonewall” (which he produced with Greta Schiller and Robert Rosenberg), “Before Homosexuals” unearths the garden of human sexual delights and the endurance and creativity of “an army of lovers”.
Scagliotti was news director at WBCN Radio Boston in November 1975 and was arrested. He brings the Boston arrest full-circle when he begins the film on the Greek island of Astypalaia. Standing over same-sex graffiti from 2,500 years ago, he points out the naturalness of homosexuality among the ancient Greeks, in contrast to his arrest and conviction for “soliciting to commit an unnatural act” in Boston in 1975. Scagliotti fought that conviction all the way to the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, where the ruling was overturned.
After being arrested and convicted for “soliciting unnatural and lascivious acts” in 1975, Scagliotti fought (with the help of the ACLU) and won to overturn the ruling at the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, 1977. Still from “Before Homosexuals: The Prequel to Before Stonewall”.
Representative Barney Frank at the time told Gay Community News that this is an important step forward for gays and lesbians. “This is binding,” he said, “In effect, it has amended the state’s laws against unnatural acts… Private consensual, homosexual sex is not convictable.”
Scagliotti will be presenting the film with a few people from both in front of the camera and behind the scenes for this special world premiere event. Tickets can be purchased starting at 10:00AM on March 23rd at the MFA Website or at the Wicked Queer Website. Price for tickets will be $11 or $9 for MFA members.
We hope to see you at the screening,
The “Before Homosexuals” Crew
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