For several years I've been involved in a few crowd source fundraising campaigns to raise money for films I've been working on. More than half of the campaigns have been successful, but it has taken mounds of effort to raise money. My current Internet Marketing and crowd funding campaign is for an independent film documentary, "Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria". We have two days left on IndieGoGo, having raised 45% of our $15,000 goal. Here is an excerpt about the film: Nelly Queen: the Life and Times of Jose Sarria is a feature documentary on the life of Jose Sarria, the first openly gay American to run for office in 1961. The drag cabaret performer was an early and leading champion for equality for the homosexuals in San Francisco 15 years before Stonewall. The 90-minute documentary revolves around personal footage taken by Sarria’s close friend and Executive Producer Joe Castel, spanning 23-years from 1992 to 2013.
When San Francisco city officials vowed to shut down all the gay bars in 1961, the 38 year-old female impersonator threw caution to the wind and campaigned for a seat on the Board of Supervisors. Sarria lost the election, but garnered nearly 6,000 votes, proving for the first time in American politics that the LGTBQ community had a voting bloc.
From 1951-1963, whenever the vice squad entered the café to entrap patrons, Sarria exposed them by forcing his closeted patrons to stand up and sing “God, Save Us Nelly Queens,” a takeoff on Britain’s national anthem as the vice marched out of the café.