Lavender + Red Party, A Costume Celebration & Exhibit Closing for Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare
Join the JMM for a closing party for Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare. Co-hosted by Jewish glam queen Tzedakah Boxx, the costume party will be a chance to dance to a live DJ, check out the exhibit one last time, and have some dessert and drinks. Come dressed up in your favorite old Hollywood glamor attire, a lavender and red outfit, as your favorite blacklisted person, or just as you are!
This event draws the connection between the anti-Communist Red Scare and the anti-LGBTQ+ Lavender Scare.
Masks must be worn at all times when inside the Museum and proof of vaccination is required. Food and drinks will be served outside. Capacity is limited–you can register for the event here.
Lavender and Red Party
Hello, my name is Tzedakah Boxx, I am a glamorous Baltimore drag queen here to share with you some history behind his moment. A moment I wish would stay in the past. The Lavender Scare was a behind-the-scenes homophobic campaign that saw thousands lose their jobs due to their sexual orientation and gender identity. A backlash in an era where progress was being championed.
In 1953, President Eisenhower ordered the firing of LGBTQ+ government and military workers out of fears they could be blackmailed by the Soviet Union. This policy lasted decades until President Clinton's administration in 1995. It was an untold witch hunt. People were fired from jobs, kept from jobs, and upon being told they were being called in, resigned. There was never a single case of a LGBTQ+ person submitting to blackmail from a foreign agent. In fact, our government threatened to blackmail and out Americans themselves. They pushed our NATO allies to fire their employees as well; which they did. David K. Johnson wrote a book titled The Lavender Scare and the JMM featured a presentation with him last Spring. Frank Caminy who fought against these policies and this conspiracy of silence and embarrassment. He organized the first White House protest for LGBTQ+ people four years before 1965. Let's pay tribute to this opposition. We have a right to love who we love.
Martin Luther King, Jr., reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Change takes a long time, but it does happen. Yet don’t applaud President Clinton just yet–does Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ring a bell? Does President Trump’s ban of trans people in military ring a bell? Vote this November 8th! We have a right to love who we love and a right to privacy. We also have a right to be safe. Without vigilance, we allow blind excuses for those shushed voices who would happily see us disappear and yet call it “tolerance.”
As Jews, each generation is familiar with bigoted policies that strip away our autonomy and our lives. Today, October 27th, marks the antisemitic terrorist attack, which took place years four ago at the Tree of Life – Or L'Simcha Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh. Tonight’s event pushes us to celebrate life, to congregate and raise up our voices and our bodies to move; to be provocative, to be informed, to strengthen one another so we can stay vigilant and in charge of our history and our future.
We’ll have some fun, we’ll drink and dance a little, albeit not in the exhibition hall. So let me invite our host back up here for a moment and then we’ll kick things off.