"Out in the Night" about seven friends who were enjoying each other's company and end up physically defending themselves to a man who wants to "f** them straight" ended up being a historic court case which was primarily tried in the media when the women were branded a "lesbian gang of killers."
This profound and unfortunately true story of women who thought sharing their sexual orientation to a male suitor would get him to move on but instead lead to a physical altercation, causing the police to declare the women as the assailants and the man as the victim. Three of the women made deals to avoid prison time and the others went to jail after their case was tried in the newspaper.
Two of the women were in San Francisco last month during the Frameline Film Festival and I caught up with them with my friends from Progressive Pulse at the Hotel Mark Twain.
The Hotel Mark Twain seemed to be the perfect location to talk with the African American women as we met in the Billie Holiday Suite, which is on the top ten famous hotel rooms list due to Holiday's arrest in the room in 1949. (Holiday was also acquitted.)
But in meeting two of the women arrested, Terrain Dandridge and Patreese Johnson, it's hard to believe that they are the hardened criminals the media made them out to be. Yet four of them ended up doing time, with the most being Johnson as she had a knife on her which made her sentence longer.
The women share with us what's happened to them since they have been out of prison and also share if they think they were treated more unfairly more because they were black or lesbian.
Anyway you look at it, their story is compelling and the interview and their film is a must see.
Check out my on-camera interview with Dandridge and Johnson:
Get tickets for Friday's Outfest screening at www.outfest.org.
Follow the film to other festival and learn about the Take Action campaign at www.outinthenight.com.