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Reflections on Gay Fairfax

Kevin Kerdash, segment producer, camera operator, audio technician, lighting, editor, founding member,  1989-1990

"We produced (shot and edited) the first two shows in our home while we and the rest of the crew got "trained" at Channel 10. We were concerned how we would make people aware of the show. The Blade did not yet have the "On the Air" column. Gay Fairfax and The Third Side were largely responsible for creating the column.   Also, somehow, a right-wing Christian group heard about the show and threatened to picket Channel 10. Channel 7 had a correspondent live outside the Channel 10 studio all evening the night of the first airing. We got coverage from David Vanderbilt's news segment hours before the show aired! Moral: to become a hit, piss off the Christians."

Larry Kennedy, segment producer, camera operator, audio technician, lighting, editor, founding member, 1989-1990

"My best memories are the people (some of whom we still see occasionally) and the efforts and contributions everyone made for the show."

Karen Brown, Community Forum producer, segment producer, director, editor, field prodution, "Gays on Film" reporter, media relations, founding member 1989 - 1992  

"One time my parents (not OK with me being out) were channel surfing and saw me and Judy Hittman in our movie review segment, 'Gays on Film.' Judy and I were doing a flirtatious spoof of the famous Basic Instinct interrogation scene. My parents immediately called my brother and said disapprovingly, 'We're sitting her watching your sister on TV.' Stephen defensively replied, 'What about it?' Mom and Dad replied, 'She's SMOKING! It's like she's promoting SMOKING!'"

Bill Horten, pink team producer, segment producer, editor, technical director, floor manager, distribution sponsor, float designer, public relations, original member 1990 - 1992, 1993

"I feel like we were all pioneers; going where no queer had gone before. I was able to witness history unfold before my eyes. For the chance to meet movement leader Harry Hay in a living room in Bethesda, to shake hands with Geraldine Ferraro, Frank Kameny, and Congressmen Barney Frank and Jim Moran, to visit real hero Tracy Thorne at his home in Virginia Beach, to bring my favorite playground in Delaware to the small screen, and to make many enduring friendships because of Gay Fairfax, I am forever grateful."

Gary Evans, audio technician 1993

My favorite part was setting up props and decorating the set."

Pauline Dross, camera operator 1991-92

"I loved running the cameras. I got a kick out of watching the soap and doing the news. It was fun helping my partner at the time Marti interview the first gay bar in Olde Towne Alexandria, 808 King Street."

Steve Vickery, camera operator, 1993

"I remember falling on my a-- while covering Gay Rollerskating Night; eluding Mr. Futch."

Rob Switala, field camera operator, and segment editor 1992 -1993

"The whole Gay Fairfax and Gay Spectrum experiences were fun. I think one of the neatest times was videoing and meeting Tipper Gore when she helped start off an AIDS march."

Gwen Jennier, audio technician, camera operator, lighting designer, and field production, original member, 1990 - 1993

"My favorite memory was filming K.D. Lang and Melissa Etheridge at the Gay Inaugural Ball. Melissa came out that night and I got it all on film!"

Peg McCraw, "Gay Trivia" reporter, audio technician, camera operator, lighting, field production, original member, 1990 - 1993

I'll never forget my interview with first time author Barbara Johnson. Barbara has since become well know to lesbian mystery fans and she and her partner Kathleen remain good friends to me and Gwen."

Mike Hilker, camera operator, audio technician 1993 

"I was part of the remote camera team that filmed the 1993 March on Washington. I remember filming the interviews with Phil Donahue and Jesse Jackson and thinking, WOW! I'm actually making a difference. I still have my press pass."

Lance Atiyeh, editor, graphic designer, segment producer   1990 - 1993

"My favorite memory was giving backrubs to all the editors. I still remember the line during an interview at Whitman-Walker about creative safe sex techniques ' so you're putting the sex back in homosexual'."

Anna Kramer, camera operator and set decorator, 1990 - 1993

"I remember meeting and working with some fantastic people, gaining hands-on knowledge on how a show is put together, fulfilling a desire to work in the industry, and basically having a good time."

Kevin Harney, show editor, segment editor, graphic designer, technical director, floor manager, camera operator, teleprompter, set decorator 1990 -1993

"My favorite memory was the show we did at 808 King Street."

Judy Hittman, "Gays on Film" reporter

"I was so intent on reading the teleprompter that when it stopped in the middle of my name, I stopped speaking, as if I didn't know my name without being prompted.   You know how these blonde TV types are! Once I got the hang of the teleprompter it was an absolute blast!""

Dennis Brooks, scriptwriter, segment producer, editor, camera operator, lighting, floor director, 1992; and Jack Ellison, camera operator, lighting, floor director, editor, 1992

"We both remember the very first day we showed up to work on a wrap.   It all seemed so magical - so much stuff to learn!"

Ruthann Winterhalter, lavender team producer, technical director, camera operator, lighting, audio technician   1992 - 1993

"I remember working with a lot of great people on the shows and at Gay Pride."

Dorothy Hirsch, co-host, reporter 1991 - 1992

"My favorite memory was working with Michelle Michaels and her lack of enormous respect for me, as is only right. I'll never forget interviewing a 6'7" drag queen (in heels add two more inches) at Gay Pride day and interviewing an articulate pierced everywhere but his earlobes leatherman who though ear lobe piercing was disgusting. I remember interviewing a plastic surgeon who specialized in calf, chest, and pec implants for gay men (he was a very busy man, can you explain this to me, Mr. Gay Man?) not to mention penile enlargement (though it didn't sound as if he could do anything about length, just circumference! "

Diana Mangers, camera operator, audio technician, field production, editor, original member 1990 - 1991

"While doing an interview at Gay Pride, my oil tan lotion exploded in my backpack and ruined all my pictures that I took that day. However, I got to shake hands with Mayor (crackhead) . . . but I've forgotten his name."

Rick Sincere, co-host, field reporter, "Gay Book Beat" reporter 1991 - 1992

"Nothing could be better than the Gay Rehobeth episodes. Michelle Michaels and I went out into the wilds of Rehobeth Beach, interviewing local personalities and generally having a good time. This is the only episode of Gay Fairfax I still have on tape, and the only one I show to friends from time to time."

David Jobe, guest co-host, 1992

"Although my contribution to the show was limited to just one taping, I'm grateful and proud to have been a small part of this historic endeavor."

Buddy Paulette, camera operator, technical director, 1993 

"I remember the truck mounted camera at the DC Pride Festival when it was about 130 degrees in the shade. I also never forget Jean Ponton's level headed approaches to resolving a difficult problem when equipment failure occurred (which was often). I loved hanging out after a shoot at an area watering hole."

Dave Hughes, co-host, segment producer, editor 1990 - 1993  

"The biggest honor and thrill for me was getting to interview Romanovski and Phillips. It was my first interview, and they were so kind and accommodating despite their hectic travel schedule. They invited Barry and I up to their hotel room to do the interview there! Being the music lover that I am, I also enjoyed videotaping and/or interviewing the Flirtations, Gotham, and Suede.

My warmest memory occurred one evening at home shortly after a Gay Fairfax episode had aired. The phone rang, and a timid young voice called just to thank me (and us) for what we were doing. Things like this really made all the hours worthwhile.

My proudest moment was riding on the Gay Fairfax float in the Pride parade. We constructed a news desk with the GFX backdrop and Rick, Michelle, Beth, and I all sat behind the desk as co-hosts and Bill sat out in front of us as a camera operator.

One of my most memorable field shoots was one I did with Rob Wilson at a Gays Against Abortion meeting. Halfway through, a contingent from the National Organization for Women showed up and crashed the meeting, and a lively, heated discussion followed.

Most of all, I cherish the people I met while doing the show, including all of my co-host partners, Rob Wilson, Kevin Harney, and especially Bill Horten and Mike Bagwell - good friends with whom I remain in touch to this day."

Do you have memories and reflections on Gay Fairfax? Please share them!