‘The Lavender Scare’ Review: PBS Doc Is an Enraging Look at Government-Sanctioned Homophobia

‘The Lavender Scare’ Review: PBS Doc Is an Enraging Look at Government-Sanctioned Homophobia
As Pride month is in full swing, Josh Howard’s award-winning documentary “The Lavender Scare” premieres nationwide to address a little-known part of Lgbtq history in America. Narrated by Glenn Close and based on David K. Johnson’s book “The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government,” the doc reveals how President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Joe McCarthy carried out a systematic witch hunt to root out and remove gay men and lesbians from government and security positions.

Treated with just as much suspicion and unfounded fear as communists targeted in the Red Scare, more than 10,000 queer people were fired or forced to resign as a result of this Lavender Scare. Beyond losing their livelihoods, this had a much longer-lasting and far-reaching effect. As with the Chinese Exclusion Act or the Japanese internment, the executive order against gay and lesbian people amounted to
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