Documentary feature, The Trouble With Ray, exposes the wild history of LGBT activism in ultra-conservative Texas and its impact on the national stage as told through the movement’s defiant, mega-mouthpiece, “Citizen Provocateur,” Ray Hill.
Raised by labor activist parents, Ray was born to protest – and has been shouting for over 50 years. The strapping, high school quarterback came out in 1958 and tackled discrimination in the 60s with gay rights pioneers across the country. Ray teamed with Harry Hay, Barbara Gittings, and Frank Kameny, and his fierce battle with Anita Bryant helped galvanize the LGBT community in Houston and beyond. He and Harvey Milk debated how best to propel the movement, and Ray went on to co-organize the first Lesbian & Gay March on Washington in 1979. Ray’s been a co-founder of nearly every LGBT organization in Houston, a public radio pioneer, a convicted felon, a prison reform activist, a writer, performer, speaker, and fearless opponent who has never hesitated to serve as a lightning rod for controversy in the interest of advancing civil rights.
But, a lifetime of activism doesn’t automatically make one a hero. And the history of progress fades with each generation. The Trouble With Ray reignites the story of a flawed man, who against the odds has positively affected the lives of his fellow citizens by embracing his weaknesses as well as his strengths. By providing an honest look at a living legend, the documentary connects Texas’ bold LGBT legacy to today’s ever-changing political and cultural landscape.