On the eve of Marriage Equality, the same aging activist who came out six decades earlier was facing down the twilight of a remarkably loud career. Five years later, his civil rights legacy still remains a timely argument for the least among us. In the wild (and sometimes embroidered) charm offensive of a Lone Star Original, Loud Mouth Queer exposes decades of untold history and progress in Texas, and the impact of one defiant “Citizen Provocateur,” Ray Hill.
But a lifetime of activism doesn’t automatically make one a beloved hero.
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.
And the history of progress fades with each generation. Loud Mouth Queer 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 with the natinoal stage and to today’s ever-changing political and cultural landscape.