How to top the success of Pose? Series creator Steven Canals is planning to try it with his next endeavour: a TV series focusing on queer activists Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings.
In the 1950s and 60s, Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings witnessed the so-called “Lavender Scare,” a targeting and purging of LGBT+ employees within the United States government. The two began work together to defend the standing of patriotic LGBT+ Americans and have homosexuality declassified as a mental illness.
The new show, titled 81 Words, will focus on their efforts.
“In the 1950s & 60s LGBT people were seen as sexually deviant & diagnosed as mentally ill by the medical establishment,” Canals posted to Instagram. “And then Frank Kameny & Barbara Gittings came along & challenged the establishment! Excited to be developing a limited series about their significant (and oft overlooked) contribution to the fight for LGBT liberation. And equally excited to be working with my co-conspirators at @fxnetworks & dear friend @eseldacone #81Words”
In addition to their activism together, both Gittings and Kameny compiled impressive resumes on their own. Gittings worked as the editor of the nation’s first lesbian publication and successfully lobbied the American Library Association to include LGBT+ titles in its card catalogs.
Kameny served in the military during World War II, graduated from Harvard, and worked as a key astronomer during the space race at the height of the Cold War. An arrest for homosexual cruising derailed his government career–a firing he would fight all the way to the Supreme Court.
No release dates have been announced.