Find Your Pride

Here comes your Pride PSA for the year: Sure, parades and parties are great fun and an important part of our community, but equally important (if not more) is the history behind it. A little perspective on why we celebrate Pride can go a long way, and this summer presents quite a few opportunities for our community to check in. And that doesn’t mean boring history lessons or lecture, either. So we picked three happenings this summer that serve dual purposes—entertain and engage with our community.  

Marriage Equality 10th Anniversary Portraits
Before Proposition 8 made it’s way out of California and to the steps of the Supreme Court, there was one state in our union that kicked off the marriage equality movement years before anyone thought it would be possible. And this year Massachusetts celebrates 10 years of marriage equality, which inspired photographer Joel Benjamin to check in with some of those trailblazing couples married in 2004. The result is a beautiful new exhibition, currently on display at the Boston Center for Adult Education, which includes portraits of all seven couples in the landmark Goodridge v. Massachusetts Department of Public Health suit, as well as many other loving, married pairs in the state. Exhibition open through June 30; bcae.org or joelbenjamin.com

The Case Against 8
A year after the historic Supreme Court rulings that not only led to same-sex marriage being restored in California but  the denouncement of the federal Defense Of Marriage Act, filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White bring us inside the defining case in an emotionally stirring documentary. With thousands of billable hours behind them, the legal team and plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger take us through the process of achieving that equality—from Election night 2008 and bringing together the unlikely duo of attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson to last year’s weddings of Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, Sandy Stier and Kris Perry. The remarkable access granted throughout the four-year process brings rare and unique perspective into the creation of a game-changing lawsuit. Even those who followed the trails closely will be amazed to hear what went on inside the war room, from witness vetting to media strategy. But possibly the most moving part of the film comes from the plaintiffs themselves, rereading their testimony and recalling feelings from those days in court. Hearing these couples in their own words take on the weight of our entire community is nothing short of inspiring. Opens in select theaters June 6, debuts on HBO June 23; thecaseagainst8.com

Burning Blue
DMW Greer’s acclaimed ’90s play finally gets the big-screen treatment, with a limited theatrical release (and Video On-Demand option) available this June. Of course when the work debuted on the London stage in 1995, the world—and particularly the American military, as the subject at hand—was in a very different place. The discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was alive and doing unfortunately well then, forcing dedicated members of the U.S. armed forces out of service because of their sexual orientation. The film follows the same timeline and plot as the original work, examining a close-knit squadron of Navy pilots who fall under investigation after a series of accidents. But when an affair between two of the servicemen is exposed in the process, the government ends up pursuing a much different investigation than previously expected. Based on Greer’s own experiences as a Naval Aviator, Burning Blue brings to light the DADT witch hunts that plagued thousands in the military and the scar they have forever left on our community. Opens June 6; burningbluefilm.com