Long-lost 1960s film on homosexuality finally recovered
“The Rejected” was a documentary on homosexuality that was remarkably progressive for its time.
For many years, scholars and critics only had transcripts to go on – the film itself had been lost for decades.
It was made by KQED, and their current archivist Robert Chehoski has been trying to recover many of their lost films and productions. He said of “The Rejected”: “It just became that unicorn that I was looking for. I get a little obsessive I guess.”
It took him six years.
Eventually he found that the rights to the film were owned by a separate company, who had a copy archived at the Library of Congress.
Originally titled “The Gay Ones”, the film opens with the lines: “The program you’re about to see deals with a subject which is controversial, delicate, and to some downright unpleasant.
“In dealing with this subject we were mindful of the fact that it is surrounded by a great deal of sensationalism and morbidity”.
“This is a program about homosexuality. What causes it? Is there a cure for it.”
But it was the first programme to talk to gay people, to hear their views, and to suggest that homosexuality may not be a inherently negative or immoral thing.
It even features a discussion with an early gay rights group, the Mattachine Society. They argued that “the homosexual” is no different from anyone else.