As the co-creator of the groundbreaking drama Pose, Steven Canals has brought the ballroom scene into living rooms all over America. As we all know, being a member of any “house” is a dynamic form of activism, and now Canals is about to bring a very different story of activism to America. Deadline reports that FX has put 81 Words into development, from Canals, Pal Pictures and 20th Century Fox TV. The limited series will be written by Canals, and based on Alix Spiegel’s award winning episode of the must see This American Life episode 81 Words, as well the the soon to be released PBS documentary Cured, directed by Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon.
81 Words will tell the story of Frank Cameny and Barbara Gittings, who made the historic effort to change the American Psychiatric Association’s definition of homosexuality from being classified as a mental illness. It is well documented that throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, LGBT citizens were seen as both sexually deviant members of society, and diagnosed as “mentally ill” by the medical establishment. Kameny and Gittings challenged the establishment and along with GAYPA (a small group of closeted psychiatrists), worked to change this antiquated definition for these citizens, who were already striving and starting to push for their own equality, a battle that continues today.
Rachel Maddow profiled Frank Kameny several years ago, documenting his fight to demand dignity for LGBTQ citizens everywhere;
“81 Words” has no premiere date yet;
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