American Horror Story star Zachary Quinto is bringing an often forgotten part of gay American history to our ears next year.
Deadline reports that Quinto is set to both star in and produce Secret Court, a new scripted podcast covering the Harvard Gay Purge of 1920, when the esteemed university formed a secret court in order to find and expel gay students.
The court was formed after a gay sophomore, Cyril Wilcox, took his own life.
According to Deadline, Wilcox's suicide "led Harvard to instigate an impromptu and merciless Secret Court” led by five school adminiatrators and spearheaded by dean Chester Noyes Greenough.
It was then that the court “condemned eight students, four ‘accomplices’ and a handful of Cambridge locals.”
Not only were those condemned by the court shamed and denounced but they were completely purged and erased from all Harvard official records, making it as though they never attended the school. This was kept a secret until 2000.
“I’m honored to lend my voice and help amplify the story of these promising young members of the LGBTQ+ community, who were marginalized and sidelined due to the social intolerance of their day,” Quinto said. “A hundred years later, I am grateful to their contributions and sacrifices, and recognize that I stand on their shoulders today.”
Alia Tavakolian, cofounder and VP of content at Spoke Media, the company that's producing the series, added to the importance of the story needing to be told now.
"Brigham Mosley, the creative lead, has done a brilliant job of drawing out a beautiful narrative," Tavakolian explained. "Yes, there is tragedy and pain here, but there is also joy, happiness, and inspiration. And we’re thrilled to create a piece that showcases all the bravery and vitality of these tremendous young men who chose to pursue community and understanding despite living in a world that attempted to wipe out their existence.”
The series is being written by Abdi Nazemian (The Artist’s Wife) and produced by Quinto’s Before The Door Pictures.