Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31



'Second Class Citizens' to examine gay-rights movement
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

This article shared 2620 times since Wed Mar 7, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Ryan James Yezak has been an Internet and media sensation after releasing his seven-minute trailer for a planned documentary about the gay-rights movement.

He released the emotional video on YouTube in January to coincide with Martin Luther King Day after working on it solo for the past eight months.

The trailer has been featured on Ellen, and covered by Perez Hilton, MSNBC and other media outlets. In addition, about a week after its release, he had secured the needed $150,000 in funding to put the documentary into production, which will start in March. The documentary will be called Second Class Citizens.

"I first thought of the idea [for the documentary] when I came out to Los Angeles [several years ago] to intern in the entertainment industry. [Same-sex] marriage was passed on my roadtrip out here; that was very exciting," said Yezak, 25, originally from Houston. "I also witnessed [same-sex marriages] when [that right was] taken away.

"I really wanted to make a documentary about marriage equality, but the subject was so large that I didn't know exactly how to tackle it."

So he sat on the idea for about 18 months.

Then he befriended a high school student from Florida through Yezak's work mentoring the younger generation with an interest in YouTube. The student told Yezak that, though gay, he couldn't come out—or he'd be expelled from his private school. In fact, Yezak learned homosexual activity was even mentioned in the school's handbook under moral misconduct.

"I thought that was unbelievable," Yezak said.

Then Yezak learned first-hand about the blood donor ban against men who have sex with men. "That really made me feel different on a personal level," he said.

Yezak was set in motion on his documentary, driven by discrimination.

"If the gay community isn't aware of all these inequalities, these discriminations how will the general public know?" he said.

The documentary will encompass all areas in which the LGBT community is discriminated against, including marriage rights, gays getting denied admission to private schools, private organizations and religious institutions, and more.

The documentary also will detail gays getting bullied, not being able to adopt children, getting denied housing and more.

Yezak hopes to have the documentary completed by the end of September, and then show it next January at the annual Sundance Film Festival, scheduled for Jan. 17-27, 2013, in Park City, Utah.

Yezak's trailer features the song "The First Day of Spring" from Noah and the Whale: "When I [first] heard [the song], I envisioned something really grand related to gay rights. As I saw these [gay rights] clips over the next couple of years, I knew that song, coupled with the images, would have a great, emotional impact on people.

"I wanted to release [the trailer] on MLK Day since there are obvious similarities between that [King-driven] civil rights movement and ours."

The trailer has been viewed more than 2.3 million times on YouTube.

"I never envisioned that I'd be able to raise $150,000," especially so quickly, Yezak said. "I'm just shocked and overwhelmed with support this documentary has received; it's so unexpected, such a good feeling, truly incredible. It's just been very overwhelming."

None other than out actor George Takei has taken to social media outlets to promote the project.

To watch the trailer for the documentary, visit

This article shared 2620 times since Wed Mar 7, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elton John, Leslie Jordan, Joel Kim Booster, Janelle Monae 2022-11-27
- Elton John gave Los Angeles concluded a three-show run on Nov. 20 back inside Dodger Stadium, taking a final bow as part of his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The concert ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Grammy nominees, Gabrielle Union, Trevor Noah, Brendan Fraser 2022-11-20
- Out Magazine compiled a list of some of the 2023 LGBTQA+ Grammy nominees. Among those on the list were Brandi Carlile (who earned another seven Grammy nominations this year, raising her career total to 25), Lady ...

Gay News

Hong Kong lesbian romance premieres at local film festival 2022-11-14
- Hong Kong Lesbian Romance Premieres At Film Festival by Vernon Hester �As part of the semi-annual Asian Pop-Up Cinema Film Festival, which ran from September 10 through November 6, The First Girl I Loved had its ...

Gay News

Filmmaker Elegance Bratton reflects on The Inspection 2022-11-14
- Gay writer and director Elegance Bratton has come a long way after growing up in New Jersey and being unhoused for 10 years. He eventually joined the Marine Corps, which led to his becoming the filmmaker ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer channel, gay actor dies, Jeopardy!, Luke and Chris Evans 2022-11-13
- Fuse Media—a Latino-owned, multiplatform entertainment company—announced that in partnership with OUTtv, it is expanding its suite of DEI FAST channels with the launch of the channel OUTtv Proud, per a press release. Set for a 2023 ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Gay racer, GALECA, Lena Waithe, 'Chicago,' LGBTQ+ films 2022-11-06
- Gay motorsports racer Zach Herrin made his long-awaited debut in a NASCAR-affiliated race in Phoenix, The Advocate noted. "I know I have a lot of eyes on me, and all I want to do is get out there and blur everything ...

Gay News

Actress Rebel Wilson gets engaged, announces birth of first child [UPDATE] 2022-11-05
- Actress Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) is engaged to girlfriend Ramona Agruma after dating for seven months, according to Page Six. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Nathan Lane, gala, Beyonce, Kevin Aviance, Henry Cavill, Shania 2022-10-30
Video below - Nathan Lane is returning to Broadway this winter to star in the debut run of Pictures of Home, per The Hollywood Reporter. Based on the photo memoir by Larry Sultan of the same name and adapted ...

Gay News

WORLD World Cup, Ukraine president, purge survivors, Eddie Izzard 2022-10-30
- Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Qatar's ambassador to the UK, said LGBTQ+ couples visiting the country for the World Cup can "hold hands" but should be mindful of "public displays of affection," according to PinkNews. He told ...

Gay News

Sheryl Lee Ralph producing HIV/AIDS documentary 2022-10-29
- Recent Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph has signed on to produce Unexpected, a documentary short about women of color living with HIV in the South, Variety reported. Directed by Zeberiah Newman, the film will chronicle Masonia ...

Gay News

The Chicago International Film Fest's OutLook Series: Bigger, better, bolder in 2022 2022-10-24
- The Chicago International Film Festival has presented moving pictures from around the world to the public for 58 years after being founded in 1964 by openly gay graphic artist Michael Kutza. During Oct. 12=23, cinephiles were ...

Gay News

'Will & Grace' actor Leslie Jordan dies in car accident 2022-10-24
- Leslie Jordan—the openly gay actor who rose to fame on Will & Grace as the frenemy of Megan Mullally's Karen Walker and was immediately recognizable by his Southern accent—died in a single-car crash in Hollywood on ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'P-Valley,' Dan Levy, trans/non-binary panel, Christina Aguilera, Spirit Day 2022-10-23
Video below - Starz has renewed the show P-Valley (the network's most-watched series) for a third season, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The renewal for the series from creator/showrunner Katori Hall arrives more than two months after the sophomore season ...

Gay News

Chicago History Museum to host 'Supreme Models' screening Nov. 4 2022-10-19
- The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum will host the official Midwest screening of Supreme Models and an exclusive in-person celebration on Friday, Nov. 4, 5:30-9:30 p.m. at The Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark ...

Gay News

Haven hosting 'Rocky Horror Picture Party' on Oct. 29-30 2022-10-18
- Haven is welcoming back its "Science Fiction/Double Feature: A Rocky Horror Picture Party"—an immersive Rocky Horror-themed Halloween party that brings to life in vivid technicolor the world of the cult-classic film. Hosted by Helena Handbasket, the ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.