The Whistle - 70s/80s dyke youth
ALBUQUERQUE DYKE YOUTH in the 70s & 80s!
The Whistle is a documentary film that will tell the story of a secret code created by and shared among young dykes in 1970s/80s Albuquerque as a means of self-identification and finding community.
This story means a lot to me because it includes my own story of coming out in 1987 in Albuquerque, NM.
In the early 1970s/80s, a group of lesbian youth in Albuquerque had a particular way of finding each other and others like themselves. They created a special whistle that was both hard to learn and easy to go unnoticed by unsuspecting bystanders. It would go on to be known by their peers and by those who came up and out after them as the “dyke whistle.” The dyke whistle was a right of passage taught to newly out dykes by their peers. It was used to find friends in a crowd, to find out if other young women were also dykes, and was used as a sort of friendly nod to groups of dykes passing by at the mall or at the State Fair. Most importantly, it was a lifeline to community for many young dykes coming up and out during that time. The dyke whistle was a safe way to identify oneself to fellow dykes in public – without anyone else knowing and compromising one’s safety.
Director StormMiguel Florez is a queer Chicanx trans man who came out as a dyke in 1987 during his freshman year at Del Norte High School in Albuquerque. When Florez came out at the age of 15, a group of his lesbian peers took him under their wing and taught him how to navigate the stresses and the joys of being a young dyke in Albuquerque in the mid 1980s. They took Florez to house parties, introduced him to dykes from other high schools, cruised the parking lots of gay bars that they were too young to get into, and taught him slang like “wrecked” (the process of coming out as a dyke) and “1-4-3” (code for “I love you”). And they taught him the dyke whistle.
For this project, director StormMiguel Florez will interview his peers who were also out in the 1980s. These interviews will explore what lesbian identity formation was like for Albuquerque youth in the 1970s/80s, how participants came out, found each other, and built community with other young dykes, and how they navigated and survived discrimination from their families of origin, public schools, and straight classmates.
The Whistle will document and reveal both humorous and heartbreaking stories, often told by participants in the same breath.
During the course of interviews, the director will seek to uncover the origin of the dyke whistle and the word “wrecked,” and above all seeks to document and preserve an important piece of New Mexico LGBTQ history.
Donated funds will cover the costs of hiring a crew and traveling to Albuquerque to film the participants and the rich and breathtaking landscape of New Mexico.
First we want to thank you for an amazing production year for The Whistle. Because of your support, we were able to create a short trailer and use it to apply for and RECEIVE a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission! This grant got us to Albuquerque and enabled us to hire a crew and equipment for our initial interviews. Your individual donations also helped us to hire a crew for a filmed reunion that brought together 20 lesbians who were out as youth in the 70s and 80s in Albuquerque. It was a special day of reconnecting, reminiscing, and sharing stories and really added to the project!
We are excited to enter the year with gorgeous footage and heartfelt interviews. Now it's time to put it all together and make a documentary film worthy of it's participants and their generously told stories.
We are still raising funds for The Whistle. As you probably know, making a movie is not cheap. Although more of us than ever before have access to create visual media, there are still expenses required to make something that can be distributed far and wide - both educationally and publicly. Generally, a feature documentary can start at a low end of $250,000.
We need at minimum $75,000 which will cover color correction, post production sound, an additional trip to Albuquerque for pick up interviews and b-roll, and Spanish translation and subtitling/closed captioning. 75K means we do not pay ourselves and take longer to finish the film. Gotta work on paid gigs to pay the bills!
If we are able to raise $100,000 total, it would mean much less of the administrative costs would come out of our own pockets and as producers, we could devote more of our time to the project and less time hustling paid gigs to pay the bills!
If we were able to receive a $250,000 grant, we could personally work full time on this film and have more access to licensing materials including music and licensed footage.
A Latinx, trans, once-lesbian director from Albuquerque who sported a kick-ass mullet in the 80s can dream, que no?
We are currently applying for grants for the big $$ and graciously accepting smaller individual donations from folks like you to help us keep moving forward with this project.
Thank you so much for being a part of The Whistle. Your support is literally helping to preserve and highlight history in a region where our LGBT histories are rarely documented. We need these stories!
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018.
Yours in art, love, and perseverance,
We have the opportunity to film a group of folks who grew up together and came out together this Friday, and we'll be filming a reunion on Saturday. Filming groups of people means we need to have more hands on crew to help us get the best sound and the best footage possible.
We could use your help to hire a crew for that day. Can you pitch in a little extra to help us hire a sound person and a second camera person?
No worries if you are not able to - what would also really help us is if you could share this campaign on Facebook and Twitter and/or send it in direct messages to folks who might be interested in the project and want to help out.
We are hoping to raise another $600 by Friday and know that if a lot of people share the campaign and pitch in even just a little, we can get there.
Please let you friends know about this project and how important it is to document our LGBT histories.
Thanks for your existing support!
We'll be sure to post pics on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheDykeWhistle/community/
So please 'like' us there and share this campaign with your followers.
Thanks for your love and support in helping us get production for The Whistle off the ground!
I have some great things to share! First, I received a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission! This grant is going to help me and a small crew travel to Albuquerque this Fall to film participants. I am so grateful for this opportunity.
I am still needing to raise money on top of that grant so that I can pay my post production costs which will include motion graphics, color grading, sound mixing costs. Every little bit helps. Please continue to help spread the word about this project!
Second piece of great news is that I have completed a teaser video for this movie. I interviewed a couple of the participants on the phone and one in person, plus with the money raised so far in this campaign, I was able to go to Albuquerque and capture some of the gorgeous New Mexico landscape for this film. You'll get a glimpse of it in this video.
Finally, I completed my BAVC certification! I now have a Post Production Certificate from the Bay Area Video Coalition. Thanks for all the cheering and support.
And thank you so much for your support for this project. Feel free to let me know what you think of the teaser video.