Gay Fairfax: A
History - page 2
After months of training on studio equipment and
field production equipment, a small studio crew
was assembled and the mature, sophisticated, and
serene looking Michelle Michaels was asked to co-host
the program with Barry.
Barry produced the
first episode, which aired in May 1990. Other (Channel
10 trained) volunteers outside of the gay community
like director Mark Singer, Jim Weber, and Anita
Weber were asked to help out as many others were
still completing the required training courses.
The certification courses had to be taken at the
Northern Virginia Community College studios or
the small FCAC studio at the James Lee Center in
The segments included a segment on gay
community news by David Vanderbilt (that was discontinued
after two episodes), an interview with author Armistead
Maupin, a speech by the late former staff sergeant
Perry Watkins, and coverage of a display of the
Names Project AIDS Quilt and candlelight vigil. These
segments were produced, taped, and edited by Kevin,
Larry, and David. The program first
aired at a 10:30 or 11:30 pm time slot.
first episode “sharing news, views, and pride” caused
such a flurry of local media coverage. Just about
every local news program covered the debut of Gay
Fairfax. The supposed controversy came from
a few ultra conservative residents of Fairfax County
like Richard Enrico from the Foundation for Moral
Restoration who went head to head with Barry and
his "deathstyle" on both the evening
news and live during the newscast the next morning.
will ever forget the woman who said "Fairfax
is not a Gay county . . . the people of Fairfax
believe in the family and God and are not Gay .
. . I don't think we should legitimatize a lifestyle
that is unhealthy. It's the major cause of AIDS
in this country." Of course Barry responded
confidently with his "if they don't
like the program they don't have to watch it; that
is the beauty of public access television."
also stressed the importance that such programming
was for the gay community. The press coverage was
also supported by many of the people at the Fairfax
Cable Access Corporation including its executive
director - Fred Thomas. He defended FLGCA's
freedom to express itself as long as the material
was not considered obscene by Virginia state law.
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