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Red-White-and-Blue Closet

In his new documentary, Kirby Dick attacks gay politicians who play it straight.

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The best actors of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival may be Larry Craig, Jim McGreevey, and Mark Foley—gay politicians who acted straight for most of their lives. Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated) says his new documentary, Outrage, examines “the issues surrounding closeted politicians and their hypocrisy in voting anti-gay—and how these people have harmed millions of Americans for many years.” Sure to be the most controversial filmmaker at the fest, Dick wouldn’t screen the film for us or confirm how much new information he might reveal, but he did give some hints: The film examines the psychology, politics, and ethics of outing—and comes down hard in favor of it. “If someone is passing laws against the LGBT community, and they’re closeted, that is a form of hypocrisy, and the public deserves to know,” says Dick, who relied on interviews with gay staffers, pols, and media figures, many of whom were granted anonymity. In addition to arguing ferociously against the politicians who choose the closet, he does describe the cost of doing so, “because these people are victims of homophobia too,” says Dick. “One person told me you can never go into too much detail about anything you do because there will always be the next question, and the next question. That keeps you distanced.” Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, and Larry Kramer all feature prominently in the film—along with outing pioneer Michelangelo Signorile and New Jersey’s McGreevey, both scheduled to answer questions after the premiere. “McGreevey said to me, ‘Being in the closet is actually good training for politics,’ ” the director recalls, “ ‘because you continually have to be able to spin.’ ”


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