Equal, Episode 3: Black Is Beautiful, Gay Is Good!

Director: Stephen Kijak
2020 | USA | 40m
GENRE: Activism | Aging/Elders | Biography/History | Black/African American | Documentary | Drag | Gay | Lesbian | Local Interest/Subjects | Queer
SECTION: Documentary Features | Episodic | Famous Faces
Expected Guests: Features Q&A with director Stephen Kijak, actor Jai Rodriguez, and actor Keiynan Lonsdale; moderated by Jewelle Gomez.

Frameline is proud to partner with HBO Max to present a sneak preview of Equal, a documentary series on the LGBTQ+ pioneers who helped change the course of American history through their activism. Join us for two of the series’ episodes, each followed by a discussion.

Lorraine Hansberry (Samira Wiley)—who became famous for her groundbreaking play A Raisin in the Sun—was a queer revolutionary hiding in plain sight. She was a radical voice for Civil Rights, who fiercely confronted a society that oppressed her by race, gender, and sexuality. While not on the frontlines of the gay rights movement, she wrote extensively about her homosexuality under pseudonyms. We present her story framed as if by a play—looking at the collision of the personal and the political in her complex and intersectional life.

Meanwhile, against the backdrop of The March on Washington, the event’s intrepid organizer Bayard Rustin (Keiynan Lonsdale) stands slightly in the shadow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. aware that his homosexuality is a constant threat to the stability of the Civil Rights Movement, yet he lives openly and proudly at a time when it was dangerous to do so. While in San Francisco, José Sarria (Jai Rodriguez) makes a run for county supervisor, years before Harvey Milk will eventually hold that seat. José is perhaps more known for his local activism, performing comic operas in drag at The Black Cat, creating hope and defiance in a community besieged by the police. And lastly, at the Black Cat in Los Angeles, on New Year’s Eve 1967, a violent police raid inspires the largest gay rights demonstration against police brutality in history on the streets of Los Angeles.

Equal is executive produced and led by Scout Productions’ Emmy Award-winning team - Academy Award® winner Michael Williams (The Fog of War), Joel Chiodi, David Collins (Queer Eye), and Rob Eric (Queer Eye) along with Emmy nominated Berlanti Productions’ Greg Berlanti (Love, SimonArrowRiverdale, The Flash) and Sarah Schechter (SupergirlRiverdale), Emmy and Golden Globe® winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang TheoryThe Normal Heart, The Boys in the Band) and Emmy nominee Todd Spiewak (SpecialYoung Sheldon, A Kid Like Jake) as well as Eric Norsoph from That’s Wonderful Productions, Jon Jashni (Lost in Space) from Raintree Ventures, and Mike Darnell and Brooke KarzenWarner Horizon Unscripted Television. Diane Becker and Melanie Miller of Fishbowl Films serve as producers.

Equal, Episode 2: Trangender Pioneers is also streaming as part of Frameline44. Special Pricing (per episode): $6.00 for general public / $5 for members, students, seniors, and people with disabilities

Buying Note: This digital screening is available to view between 12:00pm Monday, September 21 and 11:59pm Sunday, September 27. We suggest watching it at 6:30pm Thursday, September 24 followed by the Q&A.


San Francisco Pride

  • Premiere Status: World