The Twentieth Century Way
Los Angeles 1914 - a place where modern world reality meets 19th Century bigotry. A time when law enforcement agencies are on a collision course with the clandestine and illicit gay community. In this environment, the police department of Long Beach, California hire two actors as “vice specialists” – their role “to entrap social vagrants” in a sexual act by posing as homosexual men. Lurking in public restrooms and bathhouses, they entice likely suspects into exposing their genitals, then arrest them and in so doing earn $15 a shot. Thirty-one men are arrested. At least one commits suicide.
The Twentieth Century Way tells the true story of a dark chapter in the history of gay rights. Two actors take on a dizzying array of characters from cops to vagrants, lawyers to hacks, bait to quarry in a work that tackles the thorny themes of persecution, secret love, sex, deception and the relationship between dissemblance and performance.
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