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Sunday, March 22, 2015

4 Days Left for Our IndieGoGo Funding - Make a Tax Deductible Donation Today!

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7 days left! Please help us preserve our history and reclaim Jose’s rightful place in the LGBTQ pantheon of heroes and in our school’s curriculum.
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Nelly Queen Needs Your Contribution!

 

Time Is Running Out

Dear Friends,
 
I'm producing a feature documentary on the life of Jose Sarria, the first openly gay man to run for public office in 1961. 
 
Jose was not only a pioneer leader in the LGBT community, he was one of my closest friends. The 90-minute documentary revolves around personal footage I shot of Jose spanning 23-years from 1992 to 2013. Although Jose was a trail blazer, he's not as celebrated as other pioneer activists such as Harvey Milk and Harry Hay. My goal is to help preserve Jose's legacy and shed some light on this remarkable WW II veteran's major accomplishments.
 
Who Was Jose Sarria?
From 1951-1963, Jose stood in bright red heels on table tops at the Black Cat Café in San Francisco to sing torch songs accompanied by a honky-tonk piano. The diva performed one man opera parodies, replacing the straight love story with a gay one. 

Whenever the vice squad entered the café to entrap patrons, Jose exposed them by forcing his closeted customers to stand up and sing “God, Save Us Nelly Queens,” a takeoff on Britain’s national anthem as the vice retreated shamefully out of the café.


When San Francisco city officials vowed to shut down all the gay bars in 1961, Jose threw caution to the wind and campaigned for a seat on the Board of Supervisors. Jose lost the election, but garnered nearly 6,000 votes, proving for the first time in American politics that the LGBTQ community had a voting bloc.
 
Jose also started the first gay non-profit and in 1965, founded the Imperial Court System, the second largest LGBT organization in the country with 70 chapters that has rasied millions of dollars for AIDS and other charities.
 
Nelly Queen is not just an LGBT history lesson; it’s a triumphant story of the human spirit, a hero’s journey of fighting unjust laws 
and uniting a fractured community. Jose stands as a role model to people still struggling with their sexual identity and self-esteem.
 
Jose passed away in 2013 at the age of 90 and it was his wish to have a movie made about his life. I hope you can help me in preserving Joes's legacy with this film. No amount is too small to give.
 
Please go to to the Indiegogo page to see, read and hear more about Jose and the documentary.
 
Sincerely, 
Joe Castel
Executive Producer

 

learn about Jose Sarria and our documentary film »
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