Share this project


Share this project

A film that exposes a shameful witch hunt that targeted gay and lesbian federal workers -- and gave birth to the LGBT rights movement.
A film that exposes a shameful witch hunt that targeted gay and lesbian federal workers -- and gave birth to the LGBT rights movement.
362 backers pledged $60,605 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

At last!


To our Kickstarter friends and supporters:

We're happy to let you know that we have some good news!

The Lavender Scare, our documentary about the U.S. government's decades-long attempt to purge all lesbians and gay men from the federal workforce is finally ready for the big screen.

In the next few months, the film will be in more than 50 cities around the country.  We will keep you posted on our schedule.  (Up next:  Miami, on April 23rd.)  Full details are on our new website,

Later in the year we will have news about a TV broadcast, DVD release, and more.

And of course, the best news is that we will now be able to fulfill those rewards that were dependent on us finishing the film!  More on that to follow.

Thank you again for your support for The Lavender Scare.  Your generous contribution helped make this project possible.  And especially, thank you for your patience!  The production obviously took a lot longer than we had hoped, but we are confident you will find the film was worth waiting for!

We're looking forward to thanking you in person at a screening of The Lavender Scare.

More details soon!  And thanks again.

The Lavender Scare production team 

Good news... and sad news


We're happy to report some good news!  The Lavender Scare is (finally!) moving into the last stages of postproduction!  Everything has taken longer than we anticipated -- research, finding the right characters, shooting, editing, and clearing archival material -- but we are almost there.  As they say, you have one chance to make a first impression,  and we have one chance to make this the best film it can be. So we are going to keep at it until everything is just right.  We think, in the end, it will be worth it!  We thank you for your continued support... and your patience!

The sad news is that we recently received word that our friend Capt. Joan Cassidy, whose compelling life story is a big part of the film, has passed away.  Joan was commissioned an Ensign in the U. S. Navy in 1950.She worked her way up to Captain, USNR, retiring in 1976.She worked for twenty years at the Naval Security Station, heading up the Plans and Policy Department.  And she accomplished all this during a time when the government was aggressively trying to identify and fire all federal employees, military or civilian, found to be gay or lesbian.

Below is an  excerpt from the documentary, in which Joan describes the fierce interrogations to which LGBT workers were subjected in those days.

Joan was a woman of extraordinary grace and courage, and nothing made her happier than spending time with the love of her life, Nancy Pashby, her partner of sixteen years, to whom she was married four years ago.  They so cherished each other and every moment they spent together.

Joan will be deeply missed, and she will be remembered with love and respect by anyone lucky enough to have known her.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with

What's next...

We just wanted to thank you again for helping make our Kickstarter drive a huge success!

We will be contacting donors shortly to confirm rewards selections and get your shipping information, so that we can get those rewards to you as soon as they are ready.

In the months ahead, we will be keeping you up to date on our progress.  If you haven’t already done so, please like us on Facebook so we can keep in touch.  And be sure to check out the Latest News page on our website for frequent updates.

If you know someone who wants to donate but didn't have a chance to do so during our Kickstarter drive, they can click here to donate by credit card or PayPal.

Thank you again!  We are honored by your support, and we look forward to seeing each one of you at a screening of The Lavender Scare.

Behind the scenes


For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

An Important Milestone

Great news!  We have reached our initial Kickstarter goal... thanks to all of YOU.  The enthusiastic support you’ve shown for this project has been inspiring.  It is great to know that so many of you agree that this is a story that must be told.

But… we can't stop now!   Our Kickstarter campaign still has 11 days to go, and we still need your support.   The money we have raised will help us finish editing.  But some big expenses still lie ahead.  The biggest of all is licensing the archival film and still pictures we need to tell this story.

For instance:  take a look at the news clip, below, from 1965.  Secretary of State Dean Rusk is responding to a reporter's question about a group of demonstrators who are protesting the government's ban on hiring gays and lesbians.  The derisive laughter of the reporters and Rusk's dismissive attitude are a clear reflection of the attitude of the times.  We naturally want to use this clip in the film.  But in order to do so, we have to pay the news organization that owns it a fee of $3,750.  Just for this one clip!    

That's why we need your continued support.  More money for licensing archival material means a more compelling film.  

So please continue to spread the word. We are honored to have your support.  Together, we will make The Lavender Scare a film in which we can all take pride!

  •  project video thumbnail
    Replay with sound
    Play with