Milestone Films

Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives

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Forty years ago, in 1978, Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives startled audiences across the country when it appeared in movie theaters and on television. The first feature-length documentary about lesbian and gay identity made by gay filmmakers, the film had a huge impact when it was released and became an icon of the emerging gay rights movement of the 1970s.

In honor of its place in our collective history, Word is Out was selected for the Legacy Project for GLBT Film Preservation by Outfest and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The original film negative was recently restored, and the re-mastered 35 mm print was shown at gala festival events at Outfest in Los Angeles and Frameline in San Francisco.

The 30th anniversary DVD has been mastered from the restored 35mm theatrical version of the film and supervised by Ross Lipman of the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Mariposa Film Group. The DVD also includes exclusive updates on the cast and the filmmakers, and an homage to Peter Adair, originator and inspired producer of Word is Out, who died of AIDS in 1996.

"Word Is Out impacted audiences around the world in 1978 by destroying stereotypes of the gay experience. Today, the power of this film lies not only in its disarming interviews but in how these beautifully woven interviews stand as a watershed to our history. These stories are a record of our struggles, our dissension, our joys, our loves and our lives.

"The filmmakers capture the innocence and charm of 26 people—ranging in age from 18 to 77, from San Francisco to New Mexico to Boston, from beehived housewife to sultry drag queen. You will laugh at the irony as one woman explains how doctors put her on a diet of two salads a day to cure her 'sickness.' You might feel humbled or grateful as one ex-member of the Women's Army Corps tells how the women expected to get beat up for dancing in gay bars by angry servicemen in the late 1940s and early 50s. Either way, you will leave the theater affected by the fierce courage and love emanating from these stories, our stories." - Kristin Pepe, Outfest Legacy Project Manager


Also available in 35mm for Theatrical and Nontheatrical screenings

A Milliarium Zero release

This DVD is also available for Institutional Purchase, which includes public performance rights and a 3-year streaming license. Please click on the “Format” button and select “DVD Institutional Rate.”

Word is Out is also available to stream or download on Vimeo. 

 An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights

Individuals and non-profit institutions purchasing at the DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray rate — or streaming at published rental and sales prices — are authorized to use the film only for private home screening and legitimate classroom showing (a regularly scheduled class with an instructor present), per the United States Copyright Law. You can learn more about the distinction between classroom and public performance screenings here.


US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class need to purchase DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate — which grants 3-year in-house streaming rights and an on-site public performance license. This in-house streaming license is for a term of three years from the date of purchase and grants the purchasing institution the right to stream over a single secure server with a password-protected connection. Streaming access must be strictly limited to currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff. Streaming rights extensions can be negotiated with Milestone after the initial three-year term has lapsed. Milestone retains the right to terminate this agreement at any time. No broadcast, Internet or other rights are granted or implied. These rights are for on-site use only per the license agreement. 

Similarly, US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class via Milestone’s streaming site must contact Milestone to arrange a separate public performance license. For more information, please email 

US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to screen a DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray they already own in an open showing must purchase a public performance license. For more information, please email 

The purchase of DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate by anyone outside of a North American non-profit educational institution does not grant rights for public performance or streaming.

Any continuous or loop screenings as part of a museum exhibition must also be licensed separately. Inquiries must be negotiated directly with Milestone by emailing

Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints

All bookings must be made by phone or email correspondence with Amy Heller (201.767.3117 or to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Milestone sends a written confirmation.

DCPs are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing DCPs appear on your invoice. The immediate return or transshipment (as directed) of all DCPs is your responsibility.

DCPs should be returned to:

Milestone Film & Video
38 George Street
Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640-0128
United States 

35mm and 16mm prints are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Please do not ship prints back via US Mail. Exhibitor pays to ship both ways. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing prints appear on your invoice. The immediate return of all prints is your responsibility.

Prints should be returned insured for $1,000 to:

Iron Mountain
Attn: Milestone Account
235 Main Street
Little Falls, NJ 07424

For public screenings, advertising materials can be requested by contacting

Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available here in their complete versions.


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