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FORBIDDEN KISSES      A Witness to the Origin of PRIDE

Product Details: 
Author: David Farah 
Format: Softcover
Publisher: Farah's Books; 2023

FORBIDDEN KISSES A Witness to the Origin of PRIDE

  • Product Description

            In the early weeks of 1967, the police department of the burgeoning Gay enclave of Silver Lake California attempted to permanently destroy every public gathering place of Gay men and women within their boundaries. The police used their standard methods: violent assaults, bogus arrests, intimidation, threats, falsifying official records, perjury.

            Up until 1967, Gay men and women had no public outlet to respond to such police actions. But in 1967, for the very first time in recorded history, Gay men and women held a mass public demonstration to protest police corruption. One of the groups organizing the demonstration was the recently formed Personal Right Through Defense and Education, better know by its acronym P.R.I.D.E. The organizers called their mass demonstration a PRIDE Demonstration.

            Alexei was there. He had been part owner of one of the bars the police raided on January 1, 1967, participated in planning amd volunteered at the first PRIDE Demonstration. Forbidden Kisses tells Alexei’s story. A German Jewish father and Ukranian Orthodox Christian mother, both the children of immigrants, part Ukrainian, part Manchurian, part German Jew; all of whom suffered genocide during Alexei’s lifetime. A Gay man who lived in New York City and New Jersey, participating in the initial boom of post-World War II Gay social and political life there in the 1940s and 1950s. Then, moving to the burgeoning Gay neighborhoods of Silver Lake and Santa Monica in the early 1960s, Alexei was involved in the resistance movements to Gay oppression from the late 1960s to the end of the 20th century. He took part in civil disobedience and was arrested for it; experienced discrimination in all its forms both legal and personal; and saw how discrimination affected both Gay individuals and the Gay community as a whole from the 1950s to the present. He met and worked with many of the major figures in the movement for Gay civil rights and thousands of lesser known civil rights activists.

            Forbidden Kisses tells Alexei’s story, not because he was the ‘most important person’ related to the origin of the worldwide PRIDE movement in 1967--indeed there was no single ‘most important person’--but because it helps to put everything into context. But even more than that, Forbidden Kisses is the broader story of Alexei’s family, both of blood and of choice. Of discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, hatred . . . Of their responses, some successful and some not. Of lessons passed down from generation to generation, and from person to person. Lessons learned and lessons ignored. Stories of happiness and loss, of fate, of bad choices, of lives lived as best they could be for their times. Of human perseverance. And, of a prediction of things to come. . . .

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