The Lavender Scare

September 18, 2018
Posted in
September 18, 2018 Duc Tinh

The Lavender Scare Film Screening

Thursday, October 25
6:30 p.m.
Founders Hall Auditorium
Free and Open to the Public

The Lavender Scare is a compelling story of one man’s fight for justice. And it is a chilling reminder of how easy it can be, during a time of fear and uncertainty, to trample the rights of an entire class of people in the name of patriotism and national security.

In 1953, President Eisenhower declared gay men and lesbians to be a threat to the security of the country and therefore unfit for government service. In doing so, he triggered the longest witch hunt in American history.  Over the next four decades, tens of thousands of government workers would lose their jobs for no reason other than their sexual orientation.  Careers were destroyed and lives were ruined.

And then, from a community under siege, a hero stepped forward.  In 1957, after thousands had lost their jobs, a Harvard-trained astronomer named Frank Kameny became the first person to fight his dismissal.  His attempts to regain his job evolved into a lifelong fight for the rights of LGBT people. But the actions of the government had an unintended effect.  They inadvertently helped ignite the gay rights movement.

This documentary film was produced by Josh Howard, a producer and broadcast executive with more than 25 years of experience in news and documentary production, who has been honored with 24 Emmy Awards, mostly for his work on the CBS News broadcast 60 Minutes. Josh began his career at 60 Minutes reporting stories with correspondent Mike Wallace. He was later named senior producer and then executive editor of the broadcast.  Following that, he served as executive producer of the weeknight edition of 60 Minutes. Josh then joined NBC Universal as Vice President of Long Form Programming for CNBC.

This screening of The Lavender Scare is funded through the Diversity Committee, Northwestern Community College Foundation, and the Peggy Andl Fund.  For more information about this event, please contact Karen Hunter, LGBTQIA+ Advisor, at, or Professor Todd Bryda, History Club Advisor, at