AIDS DIVA Screening with Director Dante Alencastre '83CC

Dante Alencastre '83CC, a working artist/filmmaker/activist, invites us to this free screening and Q&A with him at The (LGBTQ+) Center.


As the self-appointed “AIDS DIVA” and masterful spokesperson for ACT UP/LA in the late 80s and early 90s Los Angeles, Connie Norman described herself as an “ ex-drag queen, ex-hooker, ex-IV drug user, ex-high risk youth, and current post-operative transsexual woman who is “HIV-positive” and simply “a human being seeking their humanity.”

Standing proudly in her multiple, fluid, and evolving LGBTQ identities, Connie was often a lone advocate for the fledgling trans community of that era. Both beloved and confrontational, Connie’s soulful, salty, and intersectional rantings were widely heard throughout her local LGBTQ newspaper column and her pioneering LGBTQ cable television talk show. Fueled by the urgency of her mortality and the hard-won honesty and clarity her survival had required, Connie challenged self-hatred, hypocrisy, and denial, as she evoked a humanitarian, neighborly, transcendent vision of life and love for our tribe and us all. She served as a bridge, in both gender and politics—from ACT UP/LA to the Radical Fairies, to right-wing talk shows, to Sacramento policy meetings, to her marriage to gay husband Bruce—and challenged us to confront what it means to be a woman, a man, and ultimately a human being. 


Dante Alencastre, a working artist/filmmaker/activist based in Los Angeles, CA, makes his living from his film work. His imagination envisions projects and sees the potential in individuals and the importance of stories and combines this with the courage and conviction to tell them, often beginning before any organizational structure or financial assurance is in place, but with a trust that their inherent importance to the community will allow them to come into being. He produces LGBTQ+ documentary films focusing on the social justice and visibility of the transgender community. Previous films include “En El Fuego” (2008), “El Fuego Dentro” (2011), “Transvisible: Bamby Salcedo’s Story” (2013), “Raising Zoey” (2016), and “AIDS DIVA: The Legend of Connie Norman” (2021). More information about the film can be found here and on Dante’s Instagram.


June 06, 2023 at 6:30pm - 9pm

The Center