Resources for Educators

To date, Julio of Jackson Heights has screened for classes and organizations at over 20 colleges and universities and been acquired by numerous college and university libraries including Columbia University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Ohio State University, Oklahoma State University, Stanford University and the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies.

Educators are very welcome to contact me directly with questions, but here are a number of links and references that could prove helpful.

The LGBTQ Collection at the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives. I worked closely with the Archives on a number of projects including the editing of approximately 40 hours of interviews that I conducted when making the film. The interviews cover a range of people and experiences including Martiza Martinez and Councilmember Daniel Dromm who were the co-Chairs of the Queens Pride Parade for its first decade, as well Andrew Velez of Queer Nation and ACT UP, educator Elissa Weindiling who wrote the curriculum for the LGBTQ section of The Children of the Rainbow school curriculum in the early 90s, and Alan Sack and Peg Fiore (formerly Rivera) who were key figures in the movement for justice in the murder of Julio Rivera, and they are all available to educators, researchers and students through the archive. Here is a full list of interviews. The archive includes around a hundred of my photographs of the Queens Pride Parade (1993 – 2003).

Researcher Arianna Martinez interviewed me for the chapter “Queer Cosmopolis: The Evolution of Jackson Heights” for the book Planning and LGBTQ Communities: The Need for Inclusive Queer Spaces edited by Petra L. Doan. The story of Jackson Heights’ change, and specifically the genesis of it being a murder that occurred in a “queer space”, fits into the book’s theme that : urban planners need to think ‘beyond queer space’ because LGBTQ populations are more diverse and dispersed than the white gay male populations that created many of the most visible gayborhoods.”

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is documenting queer spaces and histories all over the city. I was interviewed by and provided information to Amanda Davis for the site’s work on “Julio Rivera Corner”.

The film itself, as previously mentioned, has a lot of material for educators and researchers such as:

Pre-Stonewall LGBTIQ life – is portrayed through anecdotal accounts, largely by cis-gender gay men, who lived in Queens during the 50s, 60, and 70s, in the first section of the film entitled “Jackson Heights” which runs from 6:12 through 18:34. There is a lot of discussion about the bars as social spaces and cruising in a pre-internet world.

Violence against LGBTIQ people –again with a focus on the experiences of cis-gender gay men, is discussed in-depth in the section entitled “gay bashing” which starts at 31:13 and ends with the murder of Julio Rivera at 43:24. Interviewees talk about how common gay bashing was going back to the 1960s and the indifference of the police to the victims.

Queer Nation – the fourth section of the film, ”the vigil”, which starts 43:27, includes a discussion of the involvement of the direct action group called “Queer Nation”, as well as the New York City Anti-Violence Project, in supporting the organizing work the Queens activists along with the family of Julio Rivera. In particular, starting at 47:10 there is an approximately ten minute sequence in which a diversity of actors discuss the role of Queer Nation and how an action group that was generally perceived to be (and arguably was) radical in its approaches was able to successfully work with a community that was more socially conservative.

I can provide sections of the film as well as unedited material from interviews.