Gay Fairfax
h o m e
h i s t o r y
l e g a c y
v i d e o s
a r c h i v e s
r e f l e c t i o n s

Larry Kennedy, Kevin
Kerdash, Michelle Michaels, and David Vanderbilt

Original Gay Fairfax Proposal

David Vanderbilt, Michelle Michaels, and Barry (Bart) Forbes

Bill Horten, Ralph Maxwell, and Rob Wilson

Mary Dodd ("Lou Fuston") and Anna Kramer

Agenda and Hand-outs for Organizational Meeting on October 26, 1989


Gay Fairfax: A History
by Bill Horten

Kevin Kerdash, his partner Larry Kennedy, and friend David Vanderbilt began taping interviews in the fall of 1989 in the hopes of someday producing a gay news television program. <See footnote #1>

Meanwhile Barry Forbes, the former president of the Fairfax Gay and Lesbian Citizens Association (FLGCA) had the brainchild that eventually became the program Gay Fairfax.  Barry organized a group of volunteers who had a background or interest in learning television production and explained how they could produce such a program on public access cable television. 

The first meeting was held in January of 1990.
  <see footnote #2>
Barry gathered a group of FLGCA members, Kevin, Larry, David, and other lesbians and gay men from Northern Virginia and Washington, DC to generate interest in his dream of a monthly news and information magazine-format program by and for the gay community.  He urged the volunteers to sign up for training classes at the Fairfax Cable Access Corporation, which were held at the Channel 10 television studio on the Annandale campus of the Northern Virginia Community College. 

Some early members of this group included Paul Kaplan, Karen Brown, her brother Stephen Brown, Bill Horten, Peg McCraw and her partner Gwen Jennier, and Lou Fuston (which was a pseudonym for Mary Dodd). 

There were some gay and lesbian volunteers whom where afraid to use their real names on the program’s credits for fear of discrimination even though that each program listed the disclaimer:   “Appearance or involvement with Gay Fairfax is not indicative of a particular sexual orientation.”  Also at the end of each program, the co-hosts would ask the viewers to contact FLGCA at P. O. Box 2322, Springfield, Virginia or “call us at 703/451-9528” in order to give the producers feedback or to become a member of FLGCA.

Footnote #1: Actually, David Vanderbilt first approached Barry Forbes about producing a public access program in the summer of 1989. David was a public access video instructor for the DC public access station who lived in Fairfax County. At that time, Barry was the president of the Fairfax Lesbian and Gay Citizens Association (FLGCA.) Barry was a public broadcasting professional who had produced live on-air television fundraising programs (pledge breaks) for WMFE-TV in Orlando, Florida. As required by Fairfax Cable Access Corporation (FCAC) (now called Fairfax Public Access), David and Barry took the producer's training class in September and submitted a formal proposal for the monthly version of Gay Fairfax on September 29, 1989. See original proposal. Larry Kennedy and Kevin Kerdash, FLGCA members, taped their first interview (with Armistead Maupin on November 2, 1989) specifically for Gay Fairfax, using their own video equipment.

Footnote #2: The first major meeting was actually held on October 26, 1989. See Agenda and hand-outs to first organizing meeting. By that time, David and Barry had already recuited a third host, Page Nelson (the partner of Barry's neighbor Kate McQueen); Michelle Michaels (originally the Programming Manager but later the first co-host with Barry); Larry Kennedy (Scheduling Manager); Kevin Kerdash (Technical Manager); and Mary Dodd (Administration Manager.) David and Barry were also to serve as Production Manager and Marketing Manager, respectively. Larry and Kevin were partners who ran a photography business, Flash Studios, which Kevin now operates in Tampa Bay, Florida.

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