Outfest 2018: Queer Latinx screenings tonight

Connie Norman

Connie Norman, left, and Chuck Stallard march in protest in downtown Los Angeles circa 1991. Photo: Chuck Stallard.

LINCOLN PARK — Pioneering transgender activist Connie Norman described herself as an “ ex-drag queen, ex-hooker, ex-IV drug user, ex-high risk youth and current post-operative transsexual woman who is HIV positive.”

In early 1990s Los Angeles, Norman, who appointed herself “the AIDS Diva,” was a powerful voice for people living with AIDS and queer communities.

Her story is told in the documentary “AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman.” The film will be screened 7 tonight as part of Outfest’s Latinx screenings at the Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Park. A series of Latin American shorts will follow the screening.

ALSO READ: 5 things you need to know about Outfest

Norman was outspoken, challenging, and compassionate.

She championed reform of federal AIDS funding formulas, better treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS. Norman also was a spokesperson for the confrontational group ACT UP/LA, AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, international direct action advocacy group working to change legislation, medical research and treatment and policies for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Norman, who died in 1996 at the age of 47, also was a media pioneer.

In 1991, Norman started “The Connie Norman Show,” an evening talk program that focused on LGBTQ issues.

She also co-hosted a weekly cable television show and wrote the column “Tribal Writes” in the San Diego gay and lesbian newspaper Update.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!