SURVIVING THE SILENCE tells the personal story of Colonel Pat Thompson and Barbara Brass, two women in love who played a key part in changing military policy forever.
Through personal testimonies told by the people who lived it, SURVIVING THE SILENCE delves deeply into the complex and closeted relationship of Colonel Pat Thompson and Barbara Brass and their basis for being such engaged activists for LGBTQ Equality. When it comes to their early years, they candidly share how they wrestled with heart-wrenching choices in both public and private, hiding their relationship, speaking in code on the phone during long separations, and struggling to protect their love while preserving Thompson’s career. Their story also includes largely unknown aspects of the heartbreaking dismissal of Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer for being lesbian and reveals why Cammermeyer candidly calls Thompson a ‘hero’. Cammermeyer makes a present-day appearance in the film in direct conversation with Thompson.
Together, the three women offer up nuanced portraits of the difficulties that came with being a lesbian in America throughout the 20th century. This film honors them—and the countless women like them—who made similar sacrifices. WATCH NOW.