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This is a film by and for fans of LGBT representations on TV. These moments changed our lives. Help us tell this important story!
You Can Still Support Playing Gay at Fundingworks!
You Can Still Support Playing Gay at Fundingworks!
879 backers pledged $141,417 to help bring this project to life.

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Playing Gay: How America Came Out On Television

$141,417

879

Thank you to Norman Lear for his $10k matching pledge!

Thank you to Mike Gleason and David Kettel for matching the previous $10k! 

Playing Gay: How America Came Out on Television is a documentary film that needs the support of the LGBT community and its allies in order to be made. The film will tell -- for the first time -- the story of how television changed the way America views LGBT people.

There has been a major shift in the hearts and minds of America over the past four decades. Television has been both the catalyst for and a powerful reflection of Americans’ views on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

We are lining up interviews with actors and directors who have played key roles in the history of LGBT people on TV. But in order to shoot and edit this film, we need you.

Back this project now and your pledge will be matched!

The Supreme Court’s historic decision on Marriage Equality didn’t happen in a vacuum. It happened, first, on television.

  In the 70s, President Nixon was secretly taped describing television as “glorifying homosexuality” while using words like “fag," "queer,” and “homo” to punctuate his disgust.

In the 90s, landmark shows like Roseanne, The Real World and My So-Called Life began introducing breakthrough characters and storylines, and we saw America’s closet door begin to swing open...

But it wasn’t until 1997 that the world witnessed the extraordinary courage of Ellen DeGeneres, and that cultural closet door was finally removed. Ellen bravely paved the way for shows like Will & Grace, Queer As Folk, The L Word and Modern Family.

From an American president voicing his disgust at the portrayal of a gay character, to an entire nation embracing love as a universal right - this is the incredible story of Playing Gay: How America Came Out on Television.

And it’s a story that can only be told with your help!

You can make Playing Gay a reality by helping us raise the money and resources we need to finish shooting and editing this film. Your contribution will cover: 

 As you scroll through our perks we hope you’ll smile as you remember some of the major television milestones along the way— and just how far we’ve come!

Rewards include access to behind-the-scenes footage and outtakes from the film, an exclusively designed Kickstarter T-Shirt, Poster, or join our Playing Gay team for the official Crew T-Shirt and your name in the credits!  

 You could even attend a live taping of an interview with some of the most important people in the industry and have dinner with the creators of the film!

David Crosby is overseeing music scoring for Playing Gay! Show your appreciation for his support and get an exclusive Playing Gay/StagCondoms.com gym bag plus other perks!

Please tweet about our matching pledge. Click here!

Executive Producer Wilson Cruz says: “David Bender’s long history in LGBT and mainstream politics, dating back to the days of Robert Kennedy, and my long history in television and LGBT activism — along with fellow Executive Producer Wendy Abrams and producer David Permut — make us the perfect team to tell this story! Now, all we need is everybody’s help!!"

Please back this project so we can tell this story!

Risks and challenges

The principal challenge here is the willingness and availability of the potential subjects. To date, we've interviewed Michael Douglas, Norman Lear, Martin Sheen, Hal Holbrook, Sheila Kuehl, Wilson Cruz and Dannielle Owens-Reid. We're interviewing Rachel Maddow very soon, and we have many more exciting artists ready to participate when this campaign succeeds!

We are uniquely positioned to tell this story but we need the funds and resources to collect many more never-before-told stories from these groundbreaking artists in order to preserve the true history of LGBT images on television!

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    THE "TWO THUMBS UP" PLEDGE!

    Show your support for this project! Be sure to share on Twitter and Facebook after you contribute! Every dollar makes a difference!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A VIRTUOUS PLEDGE!

    THANK YOU ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AND WEBSITE!

    Every amount you can give helps make Playing Gay a reality! Aristotle once said, "Virtue is its own reward."

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    Pledge $21 or more About $21

    WE REMEMBER PEDRO PLEDGE

    A ONE-TIME VIDEO ON DEMAND SCREENING OF THE KICKSTARTER-ONLY SPECIAL PREVIEW EDITION OF PLAYING GAY
    + “Thank You" on our Facebook page and website

    21 years ago, Pedro Zamoras changed the face of HIV/AIDS in America forever when he appeared in MTV’s Real World: San Francisco. Pedro died just hours after the final episode aired, but his courage and inspiration live on!

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    Pledge $32 or more About $32

    THE C-SPAN GAY MOMENT PLEDGE!

    A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE FILM
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

    32 years ago this month, Massachusetts Congressman Gerry Studds, in a speech televised live on C-Span, declared that he was gay -- the first member of Congress in US history to do so publicly. Defying all conventional political wisdom, Studds’ constituents reelected him the following year and continued to do so until his retirement.

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    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    THE STONEWALL PLEDGE!

    EXCLUSIVE PLAYING GAY T-SHIRT
    + Digital download of Playing Gay
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

    1969 was the year of the Stonewall Riots – the beginning of the modern LGBT civil rights movement.

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    Pledge $74 or more About $74

    THE HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID CROSBY PLEDGE!

    EXCLUSIVE PLAYING GAY GYM BAG (THANK YOU STAGCONDOMS.COM!)

    + Playing Gay T-shirt
    + Digital download of film
    + Thank you on Facebook and our webpage

    Join us in celebrating David Crosby's birthday on August 14th! Not only is David a great champion of LGBT rights, he's generously offered to supervise scoring the music for Playing Gay.

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    Pledge $94 or more About $94

    THE "MY SO-CALLED LIFE" PLEDGE

    AUTOGRAPHED THANK YOU CARD FROM WILSON CRUZ, executive producer of Playing Gay and "My-So Called Life" star.
    + Exclusive Playing Gay T-Shirt
    + Digital download of the film
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

    In 1994 we saw for the first time an openly gay character in a leading role on a television series – Wilson Cruz on My So Called Life.

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    Pledge $97 or more About $97

    THE BREAKTHROUGH PLEDGE!

    In 1997, 42 million people watched Ellen make history with her breakthough coming-out episode on “Ellen.” PLEDGE $97 and receive an exclusive "Playing Gay" Logo Sticker! Honor Ellen Degeneres for coming out on television and changing the world forever!

    + Exclusive Playing Gay T-Shirt 
    + Digital download of the film 
    + Thank you for honoring Ellen on our Facebook page and website!

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    Pledge $126 or more About $126

    THE KINSEY PLEDGE!

    EXCLUSIVE PLAYING GAY POSTER
    + Exclusive Playing Gay T-Shirt
    + Digital download of Playing Gay
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

    126 years ago, Alfred Kinsey was born. He would change forever how we talked about and understood human sexuality.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    THE BEHIND THE SCENES PLEDGE!

    EXCLUSIVE DOWNLOADS OF BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE and extended interviews with Michael Douglas, Wilson Cruz, Sheila Kuehl, Martin Sheen, Hal Holbrook, Norman Lear and Dannielle Owens-Reid.

    + Playing Gay KS exclusive poster
    + Exclusive Playing Gay T-Shirt
    + Digital download of Playing Gay
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

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    Pledge $299 or more About $299

    THE MAD FOR MADDOW PLEDGE!

    EXCLUSIVE DOWNLOADS OF BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE and extended interview with Rachel Maddow in Playing Gay

    + Exclusive behind-the-scenes downloads
    + Playing Gay KS exclusive poster
    + Exclusive Playing Gay T-Shirt
    + Digital download of Playing Gay
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

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    Pledge $499 or more About $499

    THE EXCLUSIVE DVD PLEDGE!

    AN ADVANCE-COPY, LIMITED EDITION DVD of the film with exclusive outtakes and extended interviews

    + Exclusive behind-the-scenes downloads
    + Playing Gay KS exclusive poster
    + Exclusive Playing Gay T-Shirt
    + Digital download of Playing Gay
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

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    Pledge $999 or more About $999

    THE YOU OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES PLEDGE!

    YOUR NAME WILL APPEAR ONSCREEN in Playing Gay with a "thank you" credit in the final film AND A LIMITED EDITION PLAYING GAY CREW T-SHIRT

    + Exclusive behind-the-scenes downloads
    + Playing Gay KS exclusive poster
    + Exclusive Playing Gay T-Shirt
    + Digital download of Playing Gay
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

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    Pledge $1,971 or more About $1,971

    THE ALL IN THE FAMILY PLEDGE!

    COLLECTORS EDITION COPY OF THE ORIGINAL 1971 "All in the Family – Judging Books By Covers” SHOOTING SCRIPT, SIGNED by creator/writer Norman Lear

    + "Thank you" credit in the film
    + Official Crew T-Shirt
    + Exclusive behind-the-scenes downloads
    + Playing Gay KS exclusive poster
    + Exclusive Playing Gay T-Shirt
    + Digital download of Playing Gay
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

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    Pledge $2,750 or more About $2,750

    THE LIVE TAPING PLEDGE!

    JOIN THE CREW ON-SET FOR YOU AND A GUEST AT A LIVE-TAPING OF INTERVIEWS AND DINNER that evening with Wilson Cruz, Dannielle Owens-Reid, and David Bender (and possibly a surprise guest!)*

    + "Thank you" credit in the film
    + Official Crew T-Shirt
    + Exclusive behind-the-scenes downloads
    + Playing Gay KS exclusive poster
    + Exclusive Playing Gay T-Shirt
    + Digital download of Playing Gay
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

    *travel and lodging not included

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    THE MADDEST FOR MADDOW PLEDGE!

    EXCLUSIVE ON-SET VISIT FOR YOU AND A GUEST AT A LIVE-TAPING OF THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW AT 30 ROCKEFELLER CENTER IN NYC!*

    + "Thank you" credit in the film
    + Official Crew T-Shirt
    + Exclusive behind-the-scenes downloads
    + Playing Gay KS exclusive poster
    + Exclusive Playing Gay T-Shirt
    + Digital download of Playing Gay
    + "Thank you" on our Facebook and website

    *travel and lodging not included

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Funding period

- (34 days)