Vito Russo

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Vito Russo | Unknown photographer | 14425

Reuters remember film fanatic Vito Russo, who was also a pioneering gay activist as well as the compiler of the excellent Celluloid Closet documentary film.

“Russo was a founding member of three pivotal gay rights groups, starting with the Gay Activists Alliance in the early 1970s. He died of AIDS in 1990, age 44.”… “The documentary has been playing festivals in recent months before it airs on HBO in June 2012. A Hollywood Reporter review called it “an emotionally powerful documentary portrait with an impassioned voice that befits its subject.”

Among the many protests he helped stage that made headlines was one in which Russo and a group of activists descended on New York City officials for a mass marriage, complete with cakes topped by figures of same-sex couples — decades before gay marriage became a national issue and, in some states, legal.

“He was a true visionary,” said his brother, Charles. “Same sex marriage, anti-bullying — these were things he talked about 40 years ago, and they’re on the front pages today.””

Updated 22 November 2014: Photograph replaced.


SP

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