Thursday, December 26, 2019

Ruthie Berman Talks Documentary & LGBTQ Equality (AUDIO)

Produced by Charlotte Robinson

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with pioneer lesbian activist Ruthie Berman about the documentary “Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House”. The updated version was directed by three-time Oscar nominee Deborah Dickson and is available on Starz, Amazon and numerous streaming networks. This hour-long vérité documentary explores the lives of Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz who met in Brooklyn, New York in the 1950’s and became friends. Both were married to men at the time and had children. Kurtz moved to Israel with her family in 1970 and when she returned to visit America in 1974 she and Ruthie fell in love, divorced their husbands and became a couple. The movie chronicles the struggle this brave couple went through to live their life authentically. One of the clips includes their appearance on The Phil Donahue Show where they publicly came out in 1988. For Connie coming out was liberating but for Ruthie it was wrenching. The journey that followed changes their lives forever and turned them both into national heroines. As a couple they successfully sued the New York City Board of Education for domestic partner benefits winning benefits for all New York City employees in 1994. Berman and Kurtz started branches of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in Florida and New York and in 2000 they began serving as co-chairs of the New York State NOW Lesbian Rights Task Force. They also founded The Answer is Loving Counseling Center and worked there for over twenty years. They were legally married on July 26, 2011 in New York officiated by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum. We talked to Berman about “Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

In 2016 Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz were honored with the SAGE Pioneer Award presented by Services and Advocacy For LGBTQ Elders. Then in 2017 the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act of 2017 was introduced to Congress. If passed this bill will amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include the specific needs for our LGBTQ community. Sadly Connie Kurtz passed away in 2018 but she lives on in this fabulous documentary that everyone should see and in her art at connieart.com  Currently Ruthie lives in Palm Beach County, Florida where she is active in Democratic, LGBTQ, feminist and #BlackLivesMatter politics.
For More Info: ruthieandconniethemovie.com


1 comment:

Marilyn Rosen said...

Wow! Wonderful interview. Ruthie and Connie have been and Ruthie continues to be a defender and champion for LGBT equality and fairness with some very important wins. Thank you.