Saturday, August 29, 2009


At Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh I saw the documentary Outrage, directed by Kirby Dick (who made the acclaimed This Film Is Not Yet Rated) and starring Mike Rogers of PageOneQ and Michelangelo Signorile of The Gist.

Both Mike and Michelangelo are most well-known
for their involvement in the controversy about revealing the homosexuality of closeted homosexuals.

Mike Rogers outed U.S. Senator Larry Craig in October 17, 2006 several months before the Senator was arrested in a men's bathroom at the Minneapolis Airport.

Michelangelo Signorile is well-known for being the features editor at OutWeek magazine in the early 1990s, eventually outing celebrities such as David Geffen, Malcolm Forbes and Liz Smith, among others.

The movie Outrage is riveting. Using devastating actual audio and video footage of Larry Craig, Governor Charlie Crist and Rep. Jim Mcrery. Craig and Crist are actually shown on camera answering questions about whether they are gay or not. It is left up to the audience to evaluate the truthfulness of their responses.

Several LGBT activists appear as talking heads to show righteous outrage at the hypocrisy of closeted Republicans who actively worked against the needs of the broader LGBT community, or who were in positions of power to help and through inaction caused great harm to continue. Elizabeth Birch, Rodger McFarlane, Hilary Rosen, Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Jim Kolbe and Andrew Sullivan are just some of the members of the community who rain down scorn upon closeted homosexuals.

One curious aspect of the film is the attention it spends so much of its time on James McGreevey, the former governor of New Jersey who announced that he was "A gay American" and promptly resigned his post, and divorced his (second) wife. McGreevey is used to demonstrate the positive mental health aspects of politicians coming out of their own accord, but the more problematic aspects of McGreevey's story are not included in the film.

All in all, Outrage is required viewing for any gay person who is interested in LGBT politics, the debate over the ethics of outing and the media's role in both.

MPAA Rating: R for some language and sexual references. Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes.



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