Scott Bloom

I’ve always felt it vitally important to tell the stories of gay history – my history. Ever since I made my first documentary film 10 years ago, it’s been my mission to tell and re-tell the stories of gay men and women, whose struggles have brought us the liberties and protections we enjoy today. For how can any of us truly appreciate the gifts we have without knowing the sacrifices it took to attain them? Simply put, we could not.

The story of Southern Knights was born from the deadliest hate
crime ever to be perpetrated upon the gay community – The Upstairs Lounge Fire of 1973. But the crime of arson is only half the story. As a native of New Orleans, I was privy to many of the tales of the survivors and the courage it took for them to heal from this senseless tragedy.

This is a retelling of that journey of redemption. Steeped in the rich traditions of New Orleans and Mardi Gras, this is an opportunity to highlight this dark moment in gay history so that we might learn its lessons and, hopefully, never repeat them.

Myra Turley

I have always been fascinated by prejudice. Growing up in Northern Ireland watching Catholics and Protestants demonizing each other instead of dealing with the real problems, propelled me into writing about the ignorance that perpetuates stereotypes. My first book, Women and Gay Men, began my exploration into the woof and warp of the LGBT experience over the past 40 years. Southern Knights deals with an unexplored piece of history that deserves to be illuminated. Hate in all its gaudy and simple forms touches every one of us every day. We see and witness and tune out and fight for those among us who suffer from the injustice of prejudice because of such minor differences from what the majority deems acceptable at any given time.

Southern Knights examines the process of healing from a hate crime. As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”