Multiple Broadcasts of Brooks Fund LGBT Documentary Slated for June
The Brooks Fund at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, named for late H. Franklin Brooks, a Vanderbilt University professor and advocate for the school’s gay and lesbian students, encourages the inclusion, acceptance and recognition of Middle Tennessee’s lesbian and gay citizens. It does so by supporting a variety of nonprofit programs in Middle Tennessee that enhance the quality of life for the LGBT community and builds bridges between all segments of the community.
One of its biggest programs in recent years has been The Brooks Fund History Project, a diverse multimedia record of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) life in Middle Tennessee, now archived in Nashville Public Library’s Special Collections Division: Oral History Collections. This collection, accessible to the public, provides a record of an earlier generation that struggled for acceptance with themselves, their family and community. A central piece of the project are the multiple interviews — 26 in all — conducted by producers Deidre Duker and Phil Bell since 2009 chronicling the lives of gay, transgender and bisexual residents. The interviewees reflect on life in Middle Tennessee before 1970, and how homosexuality was viewed in the larger community.
Of the 26 interviews collected, 11 are gay men, some of whom led dual lives before the 70s; and five lesbian and two transsexual women. Three more interviews were conducted with same sex couples, one with a group recollecting the early days of gay bars in Nashville; and four with straight observers. The average age of gay men interviewed was about 73; the lesbian and transexual women were, on average, about 71-years-old.
“The biggest revelation was how much courage it took for most of our interviewees to talk to us,” said Iris Buhl, volunteer chair of the Brooks Fund History Project. “The old fears are still very deeply engrained in so many of them, even if they are leading relatively open lives now. As a result, each story is very special and each person a hero.”
A documentary film has now been made, directed by Duker, weaving together many of those interviews. A SECRET ONLY GOD KNOWS will premiere locally on Nashville Public Television (NPT) beginning Saturday, June 13, and air multiple times on both NPT’s main and secondary channel. A full list of broadcast times are below, as well as a trailer. For more about the Brooks Fund, the History Project, and to watch more interviews, visit The Brooks Fund page at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Nashville Public Television air dates are as follows:
NPT2 June 13, 2015 7:00 p.m.
NPT2 June 14, 2015 3:00 p.m.
NPT2 June 14, 2015 8:00 a.m.
NPT-HD June 25, 2015 9:30 p.m.
NPT2 June 29, 2015 9:30 a.m.
NPT-HD June 30, 2015 11:30 p.m.
NPT2 Jun 30, 2015 2:30 p.m.
NPT2 is available over-the-air on 8.2, on Comcast Channel 241 and Charter Cable channel 191.