Queer Lisboa, an international queer film festival held in Portugal, was given $10,000 as part of the Biden administration’s push to “support LGBTQ+ and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility efforts” abroad, according to a State Department spokeswoman. The festival’s offerings included P.S. Burn This Letter Please, a documentary about drag culture in post-war New York City, Saint-Narcisse, a film about incestuous twins, and Minyan, a movie about a 17-year-old Jewish boy who leaves his parents to explore New York City’s gay scene and eventually has sex with an adult bartender.
The event was one of several bankrolled by taxpayers to promote LGBT acceptance abroad. In the last year, the State Department funded the “first gender and sexuality library in Lebanon,” provided diversity and inclusion consulting to Latin American police forces, and hosted a transgender recognition webinar in Norway, according to an interagency report. The department said locals sometimes pushed back against LGBT promotion, perceiving it as “Western,” “imported,” or “against cultural or religious values.”
The festival also screened a biopic of Harvey Milk, the United States’ first openly gay elected official. Milk, a city official in San Francisco during the 1970s, once dated a 16-year-old boy while Milk was in his 30s. He also tried to get another teenage boy to run away from home to live with him, according to a biography of the politician.
Top officials at the U.S. Embassy in Portugal launched the event as part of the State Department’s effort to implement President Joe Biden’s “Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World.” The head of the embassy expressed gratitude and said she was “very happy” to support the festival as part of its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
A spokeswoman for the State Department told the Free Beacon their grant also paid for high-profile director and Democratic donor Gus Van Sant to speak at the event and facilitated travel to the luxurious island chain on which it was held. In its initial communication, the department declined to provide a dollar amount for the festival grant.