The Lavender Scare addresses a period of American history that has remained in the shadows for far too long.


Plenty of textbooks and documentaries explore the Cold War and the Red Scare, the time in the 1950s when  suspected Communists were driven out of government, entertainment and academia.

But very few address the other scare that began almost simultaneously -- the Lavender Scare -- the widespread campaign to purge homosexuals from the federal workforce.  Tens and tens of thousands of gay men and lesbians were driven from their jobs or denied employment in a witch hunt that lasted forty years. 

The Lavender Scare for Educators is a comprehensive package of tools, including the award-winning film, additional video elements, and a comprehensive teaching guide, designed to make it easy to bring the story of this key chapter of American history to a wide and diverse audience of schools, universities, libraries, LGBTQ groups, museums, and historical organizations.

Visit our partners at 




for pricing and ordering information 


Praise from Schools, Community Organizations and LGBTQ Groups

“The Lavender Scare is thoroughly engaging.  Our students were fascinated by this untold story of American history.  ‘Why haven’t I ever learned about this in school?’ they asked.  Well, thanks to this invaluable film, now they have.”

--Katherine Parker

Professor of History

Monmouth University

​“We loved the documentary.  The film provided a powerful historical perspective for all our employees, especially our younger LGBT staff, and it was a great conversation starter with our straight co-workers.” ​

--Dr. Chris LaFleur

Sandia National Laboratories

“McDermott Will & Emery screened The Lavender Scare as part of the firm’s annual pride program.  The film received rave reviews for its authenticity and bold content.  It’s touching and inspiring, and its message becomes more relevant with each passing day.” ​

--Lisa A. Linsky, Partner

 Trial Department

 McDermott Will & Emery


“We were delighted by the film and the audience reception.  Frankly, it far exceeded even my high expectations. It’s a beautiful film about a compelling story that needed to be told.”

 --Joyce Bolinger

Steering committee

Southern Arizona Senior Pride


​“Our audience members, which included senior citizens, high school and college students as well as educators and members of the LGBTQ community were in awe of the film. Thank you for sharing it with us.” 

--Eric Mora

 Outreach Coordinator

The National Steinbeck Center


A preview of The Lavender Scare Educational Edition

was broadcast by PBS in June, 2019.

Watch the trailer.

In addition to the complete film itself, bonus video elements included in this special double-DVD include:


  • An extended interview with LGBTQ civil rights icon Dr. Franklin E. Kameny

  • Excerpts from interviews not included in the film

  • A detailed Q&A with David K. Johnson, author of the book The Lavender Scare, and Josh Howard, the director of the film.

  • Additional insights from LGBTQ historians Lillian Faderman (author, The Gay Revolution) and John D'Emilio (author, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities.)

A detailed discussion and curriculum guide is also available, providing print material to accompany each video segment.  Sections include:


  • Synopsis of each scene

  • Identifying your learning objectives

  • Key takeaways

  • Frequently asked questions

  • Select character biographies

  • Planning your discussion

  • Tips for facilitators

  • Pre-viewing discussion topics

  • Quick questions for any discussion

  • Conversation starters and topics for exploration


The Lavender Scare for Educators comes with a Public Performance License that allows for unlimited screenings of the film at a single location.  It can be used in the classroom, for campus screenings, or lent from the school library.  Streaming options are also available.

Bay Street Theater, Southampton, NY

© 2020 Full Exposure Films LLC