Esther Newton Made Me Gay
Jean Carlomusto
Documentary : 90' / Activism, Lesbian, Gender Studies, Politics

Esther Newton Made Me Gay explores the life and times of cultural anthropologist Esther Newton. Throughout her career, Esther was a pioneer—questioning and challenging status quo assumptions on gender, sexuality, and anthropological methods. Her work inspired generations of scholars to pursue research in what would eventually become the field of LGBTQ & Gender Studies. The film tells her story of awakening to gay life in the 1950s, the women’s liberation movement and lesbian-feminism, drag culture, and forging a butch identity which for her is now in conversation with trans-masculinity. Keenly attuned to the cultural and societal forces that shaped her life, Esther guides us through an anthropology of herself, a study influenced by her love for a sport—competitive dog agility—that pairs her aging butch body with her beloved dog teammate on an obstacle course that is constantly changing. In her persistent efforts to train her body back into shape after numerous health setbacks, we see the intense drive that has helped Esther navigate a lifetime of obstacles she faced in her quest to become who she wanted to be: a butch lesbian, scholar, and athlete.


December 01 | 21h30 | Teatro Rivoli - Pequeno Auditório Buy Tickets
Special Screenings

/ Details

Year: 2022

Country: USA

Language: english

Subtitles: portuguese

/ Direction

Jean Carlomusto


Jean Carlomusto is a filmmaker, activist, and interactive media artist whose work explores the complex nature of unique individuals and marginalized populations. Her work has been exhibited internationally in festivals, museums, and on television. Jean was an early pioneer in the AIDS Activist video movement. In 1987, she started the Media Unit at Gay Men's Health Crisis. She was a founding member of DIVA TV, a video affinity group of ACT UP. She is a Professor in Communications and Film at LIU Post.


2022 - Esther Newton Made Me Gay (Documentary)

2015 - Larry Kramer in Love and Anger (Documentary)

2010 - Sex is an Epidemic (Documentary)

1991 - L is for the Way You Look (Short Documentary)

1989 - Current Flow (Short Film)

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