WPBT2 Premieres Documentary About First Openly Gay Mayor in Key West
Miami, FL, December 10, 2012 - WPBT2 marks the 30th anniversary of the election of America's first openly gay mayor with the broadcast premiere of The Newcomer on Monday, January 14 at 9:00 p.m. The Newcomer is a documentary that focuses on the life and career of Richard Heyman, who was elected America’s first openly gay Mayor for the city of Key West.
Directed by Emmy Award-winning journalist John Mikytuck, the Newcomer tells the story about a forgotten gay icon and the tragic circumstances which arrested the political and social progress he made for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in the 1980s.
While the culture wars inflamed by Anita Bryant and the religious right had a powerful impact on the march toward gay civil rights in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the AIDS epidemic was ultimately much more destructive to the movement. The film focuses attention on that tragedy through the story of Heyman.
“John Mikytuck's, The Newcomer, recalls Key West in the 1980s, when the island had the highest AIDS rate in the nation and city leaders, including Mayor Richard Heyman, struggled to keep the truth quiet from mainstream tourists. Ironically, within a few years the AIDS virus killed Heyman and hundreds of other gay Key Westers,” stated Steve Rothaus with the Miami Herald.
The Newcomer includes interviews with such longtime Keys notables as Peter Ilchuk, June Keith, John Kiraly, Joan Higgs and Dr. Mark Whiteside.
The Newcomer was made possible with support from The Miami Foundation.
View the Trailer Here
01. Richard Heyman stands surrounded his Key West friends at Bahia Honda State Park, a favorite get-a-way in 1980s. Photo courtesy of John Maroney
02. Mayor Richard Heyman pictured sitting at his desk at City Hall. Photo courtesy of Richard Heyman Archives- Cornell University.
03. Richard Heyman's life-partner John Kiraly circa 1983. Photo courtesy of Richard Heyman Archive- Cornell University.
04. June Keith, Richard Heyman's Assistant, standing with Joe Liszka and Peter Ilchuck, two of the founding members of the Key West Business Guild. Photo courtesy of the Richard Heyman Archive- Cornell University.
05. Mayoral Candidate Richard Kerr pictured with family in campaign ad from 1983. Photo courtesy of Richard Heyman Archive- Cornell University.
06. Poster image for movie.