ONE of the freshest documentaries of 2009 was Kirby Dick’s Outrage, which brings to light how some of the most homophobic politicians in the U.S. are themselves deeply closeted gay men. Politicians such as Idaho senator Larry Craig, Florida governor Charlie Crist, former New York mayor Ed Koch, and others have done their damnedest to block GLBT equality while engaging in same-sex activities on the sly.
It is Dick’s contention that these politicians are able to remain in the closet thanks to the unwillingness of the mainstream media to talk about their sexuality. (Proving the documentary’s point, NPR’s review of Outrage suppressed the names of the politicians mentioned in the film.) The implications of this reticence are discussed in interviews with House members Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey, and others.
Outrage continues Dick’s themes of hypocrisy and GLBT sexuality in American institutions present in his two previous films. His Oscar-nominated Twist of Faith dealt with the Catholic Church’s hypocrisy in publicly condemning homosexuality while privately condoning it. And his excellent This Film is Not Yet Rated compared the treatment of gay versus straight sexuality in mainstream Hollywood movies historically.
With a name that invites jokes, especially in light of his interest in GLBT causes, it may come as a surprise to some readers that Kirby Dick is a heterosexual husband and father. For this exclusive interview, I spoke to Dick about his latest film.