July 22, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

New Documentary Pays Tribute to Transgender ‘AIDS diva’ Connie Norman

A new documentary titled “AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman,” will pay tribute to the transgender leader in AIDS activism 25 years after her death. 

Connie Norman was a local LA activist who worked tirelessly to make a difference for those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and stigmatized for having the disease. 

“AIDS Diva” was a title Norman, a transgender woman and ex-sex worker who overcame addiction and abuse to become a leader in ACT UP L.A. in the late 1980s, gave herself. It was a hint at the warm, humorous woman behind the forceful activist who got arrested, went on hunger strikes and carried a bullhorn like it was an extension of her hand.

Directed by Dante Alencastre who has documented the experiences of other transgender women, including youth activist Zoey Luna, TransLatin@ Coalition founder Bamby Salcedo and the trans community in Lima, Peru spoke about Norman saying, 

“She had a life experience of oppression and also overcoming all those obstacles—living on the streets, addiction, sex work.”  Alencastre continued, “When she came to ACT UP… she found a family, a family that looked up to her because she made sure she was schooling everybody… She was really a pioneer, supporting and making sure that her siblings and her children would be taken care of properly, as a proud trans woman living with HIV herself.”

Beginning in the late 1980s, Norman led protests to demand greater funding for HIV research and treatment, an uncompromising campaign that sometimes got her arrested at public protests and removed from meetings where local and state officials discussed—or avoided discussing—the urgent issue.

Norman became a particularly effective public speaker and debater who was not afraid to engage with conservative or anti-LGBT audiences.

“I think we need to get pissed off,” Norman says in an archival interview in the film. “And then once we really understand that that anger is justified, we’ll go out and find our own channels for it.”

Inspired to action in the face of apathy and denial, Norman raised her voice in protest both for her fellow HIV+ community members, and as an early, lively voice for trans rights. Through unforgettable footage of Norman, and interviews with her contemporaries, “AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman ”, cements her name as a true legend in LGBTQIA+ history. 

Related Posts

Cinespia Announces Additional Special Screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024

Featuring Tributes to Paul Reubens and Shelly Duvall and Annual Screenings Cinespia, the popular cinematic experience presented by Amazon MGM...

Viral Tweet Spurs Screening of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice at the Lumiere Cinema in Beverly Hills

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Independent Theater to Showcase 2006 Film on July 13 Following Online Debate By Dolores Quintana Following an unexpected turn of...

Film Review: MaXXXine

July 4, 2024

July 4, 2024

By Dolores Quintana MaXXXine, the third installment in Ti West’s X film series, could potentially be the finale. However, writer...

Celebrate Queer Cinema at the Egyptian Theater’s Hollywood Pride Series June 25-27

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Experience Nearly a Century of LGBTQ+ Representation on the Silver Screen The Egyptian Theater is set to host “Hollywood Pride:...

Film Review: Longlegs

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

By Dolores Quintana Longlegs is pure poetic eldritch terror. From the very beginning, director Osgood Perkins uses the actors’ performances,...

Shock-A-Go-Go Film Festival Returns to Lumiere Cinema in Beverly Hills

May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024

A Weekend of Horror, and Cult Classics With Exclusive Q&A Sessions The Shock-A-Go-Go Film Festival is set to return to...

Slamdance Film Festival Makes Bold Move to Los Angeles in 2025

May 9, 2024

May 9, 2024

Leading Independent Film Festival Leaves Park City, Utah Slamdance, known for its artist-led ethos of “by filmmakers for filmmakers,” has...

UC Faculty Members Across the State Demand Action Following Campus Violence

May 9, 2024

May 9, 2024

Faculty and Staff Sign Letter Demanding Justice Following Brutal Attacks at UCLA By Dolores Quintana 1000 members of the University...

Find Harmony at IntoMeSea: Unveiling Santa Monica’s Quantum Wellness Hub

March 5, 2024

March 5, 2024

A Look Into the Healing Studio and Interview with Owner Jen Williams  IntoMeSea, a healing wellness studio located at 1812...

Skin Laundry Laser Focuses On Rejuvenating Skin

July 12, 2023

July 12, 2023

Facials don’t have to be invasive. That’s why Skin Laundry has taken a revolutionary approach to skincare technology, making the...

California Trans Child Molester Gets 2 Years In Juvenile Facility

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

A Los Angeles County judge ordered Hannah Tubbs, a transgender California woman, to serve two years in a juvenile facility...

Homeless Initiative Meeting In West Hollywood

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood’s Homeless Initiative works to address homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response. It’s estimated that...

WeHo Premieres the ‘Moving Image Media Art’ Exhibition Series

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood announces the premiere of the Moving Image Media Art (MIMA) program and the worldwide debut...

LA Street Will Potentially Be Named After Anti-LGBTQ Singer

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

A portion of Bailey Street may be renamed to the late Mexican Mariachi singer ” Vicente Fernandez Street’ – a...

WeHo Spreads Word About Free Covid Testing

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood is reminding residents that free COVID-19 testing is available for them.  Demand for COVID-19 testing...