Faygele ben Miriam Fund Lends Support for Public TV Drive
We're proud to announce that we've received our first foundation support in our underwriting drive for the public television distribution of Inlaws & Outlaws — the Faygele ben Miriam Fund. This $5,000 grant helps us make a big leap towards our goal of raising $50,000 by September 30th — and making the film available to all 350+ PBS stations in the U.S.
For the Hearts + Minds Campaign, the gift is more than financial; it is an honor to present work that builds on the legacy of the fund's namesake, Faygele ben Miriam. As recounted in a terrific article by Eli Sanders for Tablet, for more than 40 years until his death in 2000, ben Miriam was a visionary leader in the struggle for LGBT equality and other progressive causes. In 1971, when he was known as John Singer, he and fellow activist Paul Barwick filed for a marriage license in King County, beginning Washington state's long march toward marriage equality that culminates with this year's Referendum 74.
"As trustees of the Fund, Lois Thetford and I are proud to support this opportunity to propel Drew's courageous and moving film, Inlaws & Outlaws, onto a national public stage."
— Michael Hanrahan
"Working as a typist or secretary most of his life, Faygele never made much money," recalled Michael Hanrahan, a ben Miriam Fund trustee. "But when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission fired him for wearing a dress to work and openly professing his homosexuality, he pursued his case to the U.S. Supreme Court and was ultimately reinstated with back pay and damages. With the funds that remained upon his death from AIDS in 2000, he established the Faygele ben Miriam Fund to provide seed money for grass roots equity, social justice and cultural work that affirms the lives of gay men, lesbians and other oppressed people."
Evan Wolfson, of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters put Faygele's legacy in perspective: "[He] was part of that first wave of couples challenging the unjust and unfair denial of the freedom to marry. And he spoke for millions, at a time when, in some respects, gay people were just beginning to speak for full inclusion and the right to be let in, not just left alone."
Faygele was an inveterate organizer and meeting goer. He notoriously insisted, however, that meetings be productive. And to that end he always brought his knitting. Here he is pictured with an afghan he crafted as a gift to a friend during a series of interminable meetings that focused on Jewish support for the people of Palestine.
Would you like to see Inlaws & Outlaws on public TV? You can help us bring our true stories to 350+ PBS stations with a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor, Three Dollar Bill Cinema, a registered 501©3 organization.
If you prefer to write a check, make it payable to Three Dollar Bill Cinema and send to: Inlaws & Outlaws, 1463 E. Republican, #122 Seattle, WA 98112