In the late seventies, public school teacher and photographer Meryl Meisler moved to New York City where she attended her first Gay Pride March. Though she took copious photos, for some reason, the young lesbian developed the film but did nothing with the pictures. Until now.
“In 1977, Anita Bryant, an orange juice–promoting beauty queen, launched a campaign called “Save Our Children” to repeal a Florida ordinance that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. That really pissed me off, leading me to boycott orange juice and go to my first NYC Pride March, camera in hand. I developed the film and put it in binders, but never looked at it again for 42 years.”Meryl Meisler
Inspired by her experience photographing the pride parade, Meisler became one of the great chroniclers of the 1970s and 1980s gay club scene. Her vintage photographs look beyond the disco slickness for which the period was known, turning a wonderfully-realistic eye on the underlying sadness and intensity of the era.
You can see all of Meryl Meisler’s wonderful photography on her website and on Instagram. And I recommend you read Meisler’s article for Vice Magazine.
June 22, 2021 at 11:21 am
That photograph of Marsha P Johnson should become iconic. It’s an incredibly striking portrait. I love the story of this being a rediscovered trove of images. It’s like stumbling across buried treasure. I am going to hit up all those links once I make myself a mug of tea.
PS The photo of the packed Star Wars party makes me feel all sorts of itchy. I clearly need way more time in which to transition out of pandemic isolation.
June 22, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Yes, there were some interesting pictures. Hal