Major themes in this 5th queerDOC festival include religion, gay parenting, HIV activism in South Africa and the hedonistic world of circuit party boys in the US.

Ruthie And Connie: Every Room In The House opens this year’s festival. This documentary tells the story of two traditional Jewish Brooklyn housewives who met and became friends in the late 1950s, found themselves falling in love and have been a couple for 25 years. This is an opportunity to gain insight into older women who are still political activists and who seek and receive solace and affirmation within the warm embrace of the New York gay and lesbian Jewish community.

Joan Nestle, one of the founders of Lesbian Herstory, the famous archive of lesbian history in New York, is the subject of Hand On The Pulse. Joan has been a fearless and committed activist and writer since the 1950s, and this film tells her extraordinary story. Joan is also Jewish and from Brooklyn and her story provides an interesting contrast to that of Ruthie And Connie. Joan Nestle will take part in a Q&A after the screening.

One of the more intriguing and disturbing documentaries in this year’s festival is the Canadian film Hard Fat. If you thought there were no subcultures left, welcome to the world of gainers, gay men who gain weight and the men who encourage them.

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