Check It: A film about America’s first queer gang

James Patrick Carraghan
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RadicalMedia and actor Steve Buscemi have joined forces to present Check It, a film about America’s first all-queer gang, with about 200 members.

‘The group formed to provide members safety in numbers and let people know that if you jumped a gay kid in D.C., you’d likely get jumped back in retaliation,’ Allie Conti write in a piece about the group that ran in Vice. The film follows five members of the group as they develop through the gang life and attempt to find a way out through the ‘unlikely avenue’ of the fashion industry.

The short clip from the film currently available, a sort of work-in-progress trailer, is full of images which are both disturbing and intensely beautiful and creative. Members of the group talk about the cycle of poverty and violence that they witness in their communities.

As one person interviewed in the film says, ‘A lot of times, just being black you have a lot of odds against you. Being gay and black, it’s like, you know, a nightmare waiting to happen.’

The film will also explore the way in which LGBT folk have joined together to create what are more commonly being referred to as ‘families of choice’, to support each other by any means necessary when communities and biological families fail or abandon them.


The film is attempting to raise $60,000 before 4 April 2015 to release the finished film. Digital copies of the finished film will be going to the funders who donate $15 or more in December 2015. At the time of writing this article, nearly $13,000 has been raised.

For more information and to see how you can contribute to the project, check out the film’s Indigogo page here.

About James Patrick Carraghan

James Patrick Carraghan is an award-winning activist, writer, librarian and student at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He spends his free time gardening, hording books and flirting. You can follow him on tumblr at