To date, Julio of Jackson Heights has been screened for classes and student groups at various universities and colleges around the U.S. including Columbia University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Hunter College and Ohio State University. I am currently working on a guide for educators in a range of academic fields and topics, including references to sections of the film that can be used for specific materials and access to materials such as newspaper articles, flyers by organizations such as Queer Naiton, the New York City Anti-Violence Project and QGLU (Queens Gays and Lesbians United).
Film clip examples:
Pre-Stonewall LGBTIQ life – is portrayed through anecdotal accounts, largely by cis-gender gay men, who lived in Queens during the 50s, 60, and 70s, in the first section of the film entitled “Jackson Heights” which runs from 6:12 through 18:34. There is a lot of discussion about the bars as social spaces and cruising in a pre-internet world.
Violence against LGBTIQ people –again with a focus on the experiences of cis-gender gay men, is discussed in-depth in the section entitled “gay bashing” which starts at 31:13 and ends with the murder of Julio Rivera at 43:24. Interviewees talk about how common gay bashing was going back to the 1960s and the indifference of the police to the victims.
Queer Nation – the fourth section of the film, ”the vigil”, which starts 43:27, includes a discussion of the involvement of the direct action group called “Queer Nation”, as well as the New York City Anti-Violence Project, in supporting the organizing work the Queens activists along with the family of Julio Rivera. In particular, starting at 47:10 there is an approximately ten minute sequence in which a diversity of actors discuss the role of Queer Nation and how an action group that was generally perceived to be (and arguably was) radical in its approaches was able to successfully work with a community that was more socially conservative.
When completed the guide will offer an abbreviated index to the film, questions to consider for exploring these in greater depth, and additional materials such as newspaper articles and links to interviews for further research. Also, the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens, has acquired and made available about 40 hours of interview material from the film with about 30 of the 80 people who were interviewed.
The guide will be made available on this webpage, and copies will be sent to all institutions that have purchased the film.