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1818
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*CANCELED* MARY ANN CHERRY reads from her new biography, MORRIS KIGHT: HUMANIST, LIBERATIONIST, FANTABULIST: A STORY OF GAY RIGHTS AND GAY WRONGS

Morris Kight: Humanist, Liberationist, Fantabulist: A Story of Gay Rights and Gay Wrongs (Process Media)

No matter how unlikely it is that an effective gay movement could have been born from an upper middle-class, law-abiding, conservative populace, there are those who refuse to identify gay
history with a liberal ideology. Obtuse efforts are underway to deny the “hippie” element that makes up a large part of the DNA of gay rights. Activist Morris Kight, a unique force of nature and the grand panjandrum of post-Stonewall gay liberation, represents a large part of that hippie DNA. He was a complicated character with an instinct for social services and a tendency towards self aggrandizement. His ego stood out in a room full of egos. In a time before “gay pride,” Kight quite deliberately and openly shunned the shame that was expected of homosexuals. He created organizations, sat on boards, worked with committees, and lead seminal protests that created a new quality of life for homosexuals and, eventually, the first generation of never-
closeted Gays. This book does not provide all the answers on the history of gay liberation; however, it may pose a few new questions.

Advanced Praise:

“Morris Kight was a great teacher. He told me if you ever get a standing ovation don’t say ‘oh sit down, sit down,’ – just take it in and let it was over you. Morris didn’t ask permission and he didn’t ask for forgiveness either. He was the walking cliché about how one person can make a difference. There was only one Morris Kight and this book keeps his memory and his incredibly activism alive for generations that will never know anyone quite like him. He was worth knowing and is certainly worth being remembered.” ~Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles County Supervisor

“This story can be wrapped up in the simple words of Los Angeles City Mayor James Hahn: ‘There won’t be another Morris Kight.’ Kight was a man of exquisite simplicity and almost perplexing complexity. This book takes us through both—from his hardscrabble beginnings in very bigoted rural Comanche County, Texas, to his triumphant though still economically marginalized years as a gay icon and organizer in Los Angeles and West Hollywood. Mary Ann Cherry has done an excellent job of bringing Kight not only to life, but to that place of fitting glory where he belongs. ~Perry Brass, Author, Journalist, Activist

“Mary Ann Cherry has given us a portrait of Morris Kight that jumps – or should I say sashays? – off the page with her subject’s characteristic brio. But Cherry does not fawn, she does not castigate; she depicts the complexities that comprise a giant of a man who is, after all, mortal.” ~Michael Kearns, Artist – Activist

Mary Ann Cherry is a Los Angeles based writer with a diverse background in network and syndicated television and independent documentary films. Cherry has worked with non-profit organizations. Most recently she created the historical archive for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. She enjoys a second career as an in-demand specialized yoga therapist.

Event date: 
Sunday, June 7, 2020 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027