Documentary Explores Origins of Homophobia


HomoSayWhat Graphic

​Craig Bettendorf, an LGBTQ+ activist, early signatory on the 1996 National Freedom to Marriage Resolution and author, has parlayed his unique perspective into a TV series, Treading Yesterday, and now a feature-length documentary. HOMOSAYWHAT explores the origins of homophobia that became institutionalized in the 1950s and how that continues to negatively affect all genders and sexualities to this day. The feature-length documentary, which won awards at film festivals including South Texas Underground, Colorado International Activism and Queen City, will be out on DVD and Streaming on June 2, 2020.

The film will premiere online on Monday, June 8, with an in-depth “live” discussion following with the filmmakers, cast and special guests, followed by similar screenings on consecutive Monday nights during PRIDE month. The June 8 event starts at 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET and will feature writer/director Craig Bettendorf, producer Kai Morgan, cast members Steven Scholz and Sean Bowe and special guests: Dr. Chris Donaghue (host of LOVELINE, former host of Logo TV’s “Bad Sex”), Dr. Eli Sheff (Author of “The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-partner Relationships and Families”) and Jody Rose Helfland (Author of “Transforming Yourself”.)

Synopsis:  Homophobia didn’t just happen. Orchestrated campaigns by cultural institutions and public figures have systemically instilled anti-LGBTQ prejudice into American culture by shaping public opinion.

In the 1960s, propaganda films warned parents of “predatory characters” at local parks under the guise of public service announcements. Anita Bryant’s Save Our Children campaign in the ’70s galvanized a coalition of conservative religious groups that spread the idea that sexual abnormalities would corrupt the nation and its children. The '80s AIDS pandemic further exacerbated fears about homosexuality and “making fun” became a way to marginalize those who were different, which subsequently generated anger, fear, violence and even murder against targets deemed inferior.

Although the LGBTQ+ community has witnessed progress since the passing of Marriage Equality and award-winning LGBTQ+ shows and films have been embraced, the psychic damage to gay people is deep, and events like the tragedy that struck the Orlando PULSE night club remind us that hateful propaganda can sometimes lead to deadly outcomes.


Written & Directed by:           Craig Bettendorf 

Producers:                                Kai Morgan

Featuring:                                  Jax Buresh, Steven Scholz, Sean Bowe and Rusty Smith 

Run Time:  76 minutes | Language: English |Rating:  Not Rated

Source: Cinema Libre Studio