Watch The Evolution Of The Gay Rights Movement In Under 7 Minutes

It’s hard to notice any change when you’re not exactly looking for it. Despite the “It Gets Better” campaigns and the bounty of gays gaining mainstream visibility on our TV screens, sometimes it feels like we’re crawling very slowly with gay rights. We can live comfortably in our metropolitan cities and pay high rents to decrease our chances of getting gay bashed but the rest of the country is out of luck. Some of us live in a self-inflicted bubble of gayness while others may not be so lucky. We forget that being gay in a place like New York or Seattle doesn’t exactly mean the same thing in a place like Montana.

After viewing this video, however, one gets a healthy dose of perspective and realizes that, in fact, we have come a long way in the past twenty years with gay rights. The conversations we have on this very website would be unfathomable, or at the very best, considered too fringe and casted away in the eighties. Say what you will about the merits of our generation, real change is happening right in front of your very eyes and history is being made. Videos like this remind us that we need to pay better attention to where we were and where we’re headed in the future. Growing up it was hard for me to understand that something like segregation could occur in such recent history. I can only hope that one day my children will have the same response to gay rights. “Wait, so gays weren’t allowed to get married ten years ago? What? Why? That’s so ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense!” Nope. It doesn’t. (Warning: Unless you’re made of stone or a homophobe, this video will make you weep openly.) TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


More From Thought Catalog

  • Zara

    “Warning: Unless you’re made of stone or a homophobe, this video will make you weep openly.” – yup pretty much

    • James M

      Same here. Goodness. 

      I love people who love people.

  • Denden

    Ima go get tested for HIV on Friday…

    • Happygirl

      that is awesome! i got tested 2 weeks ago and it’s such an awesome, smart thing to do. everyone should get tested constantly if they are sexually active. go you! :)

  • Anonymous

    I can’t wait to see the ten minute, the fourteen minute, the twenty minute version, each packed full of advance after advance, until it ends with the ending it deserves, the ending everyone deserves: total civic equality.

    Good find, Ryan.

  • Guest

    :’ )  

  • Sarah

    I am blown away by humans’ capacity to be brave, to love, to hope, and to have a sense of humor in the face of such senseless discrimination and cruelty. Young people should not be killing themselves, no one should feel ashamed of themselves, and nobody should feel as if they are a second class citizen. Despite all this adversity, the movement is happening, people are waking up, and the world is becoming a more loving and accepting place. I am overwhelmed. Thank you Ryan (both of you…the writer and the filmmaker). 

  • Guestropod

    commenting through haze of tears

  • Jesus Navarro

    Thank you so much for sharing the video and your thoughts about it, Ryan :)

  • Alex P

    Pioneers! Oh Pioneers! We’ve come a long way, but it’s still going to be a long, hard, fight. 

  • MeropeSpaniel

    “Warning: Unless you’re made of stone or a homophobe, this video will make you weep openly.”  Oh yeah; and after a year of intensive research on pre and post Stonewall, I thought I was jaded enough to handle it.I recognized many of the documentaries you used for this (including Boys Beware (1961) and Mike Wallace’s CBS documentary The Homosexuals (1967)), and I HIGHLY recommend everyone to watch them (they’re on YouTube, for now). Those films, as silly and ridiculous as the notions they suggest are true about ‘sexual deviancy’, really… REALLY put the current issues in perspective.

    Thank you for compiling this; everything said here is true. No person should be excluded from the benefits of marriage (from insurance to being able to visit a spouse at a hospital or even just for the sake of being hitched!). No one deserves to be teased, harassed, assaulted, and discriminated against because of who they are. No person, man, woman, or child should EVER feel so alone and without hope for a better tomorrow that they feel as if suicide is the only escape (can you tell that’s the thing that got me?). Out of all of that, however, I have been lucky and honored to witness and be a part of one of the most deeply connected, strong, supportive, and loving communities. 

    We may believe that we no longer need the Mattachine Society or the Daughters of Bilitus to fight for our rights, that we are beyond being taken out of the DSM – IV as a form of psychopathy nearly sixty years ago, or that Stonewall just stands for Pride Marches throughout June. This fight is not over, but I am so proud to say that I am fighting alongside some of the best people I have ever known (including you all, o good people of the internet) who deserve to know that they are loved, honored, accepted, and equal.

    • Ajusted123

      He didn’t make the video himself, he’s only sharing it.

    • ECR

      I must be made of stone…But as someone who, it seems, has experience in queer studies, don’t you feel the video inaccurately situates the end to gay oppression as the approval of gay marriage and the repeal of DADT? Do you think that, now that DADT is no longer, the only thing we need to get the gay kids to stop killing themselves is marriage? I think this is what the video suggests, and I think that is problematic. I agree with your last paragraph wholeheartedly, however.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t cry, but I was severely moved by the video.

  • Brandon Buchanan

    thank you for this.

  • Kaitlynclement

    i cried watching that

  • Guest

    Great video, but if you’re going to go over this history of the Gay Rights Movement you HAVE to include something about Stonewall. That’s basically the beginning.

  • April

    This was an amazing video.  Thank you for sharing it. :)

  • Vicky Nguyen

    Yeahs I remember stumbling across this on Tumblr and tearing up as well. Good stuff.

  • Jack Haynes

    You should credit the guy who says he spent 8 months making that video: he’s trying to make a feature-length film.

  • Jacqueline Rae Shuman

    This was so great.  Are there longer documentaries on the same subject matter you’re aware of?


    One of my best friends came out to me less than 48 hours ago. I am bawling my eyes out right now.

  • Anonymous

    Can anyone post this to Youku or something? I’m in China and my campus blocks the internet when I try to use my VPN…

  • Sara Stockett

    That was so amazing. How in the world can anyone tell you not to marry the person you love?

  • Shayna

    openly weeping.

  • Teacup Full of Cherries

    I am bawling.

  • Ash_griff1

    thank you forthis video. really puts things into perspective :D

  • Linda

    There is no HYPE needed for conveying the fact that human beings are created equal. Period.

  • Gay Girl Revolution

    Yes! We have come a long way. It will become a thing of the past. We just have to keep on keeping on. Thanks for the post.

blog comments powered by Disqus