Secret signal: 'The Whistle' tells the story of ABQ Latina lesbian youths in the '70s and '80s - Albuquerque Journal

Secret signal: ‘The Whistle’ tells the story of ABQ Latina lesbian youths in the ’70s and ’80s

A scene from the documentary “The Whistle,” which premieres at the KiMo Theatre on Friday, Sept. 20. (Courtesy of StormFlorez.com)

It took StormMiguel Florez a few decades to tell this story.

He’s captured it on film in the documentary, “The Whistle,” which is having its world premiere on Friday, Sept. 20, at the KiMo Theatre.

“It’s amazing to have the film completed,” he says. “It’s been a journey within myself to get the story captured on film.”

“The Whistle” tells the story of a group of predominantly Latina lesbians who came out as youths in the ’70s and ’80s in Albuquerque, and the secret code they used to find one another and build community.

The film collects and preserves a little-known piece of LGBTQ and Latinx history and explores the resiliency of queer communities during that time.

Florez, a trans man, is an Albuquerque native who came out as a teenage lesbian in the ’80s and returned to Albuquerque from San Francisco to make the film.

In search of the origin of a secret lesbian code he had learned as a teenager – the “dyke whistle” – he uncovered the humorous, heartbreaking and often forgotten stories of the local LGBTQ community.

StormMiguel Florez directed “The Whistle.”

“One of the biggest gifts and surprises in making this film was the opportunity to meet some of the people who came out a decade before I did,” Florez says. “These women paved the way so that my peers and I had a celebratory culture to come out into. I think our support network and particular culture were pretty unique for LGBTQ youths in the ’70s and ’80s, especially outside of urban areas like New York and San Francisco. I’m thrilled to premiere in Albuquerque.”

Florez says that while making the film, he was worried about coming back to Albuquerque.

“I came back to my lesbian community as a trans guy,” he says. “There are a lot of people that didn’t know me. The last time most people saw me was years before I transitioned.”

Florez began interviews for the film in 2016 while living in San Francisco.

He did most of the interviews by phone.

“I didn’t know what the narrative was going to be for the film,” he says. “There were all these different pockets of stories. Surprisingly, I learned a lot of things. People have these rich stories to share, and Albuquerque had a vibrant and lesbian and gay community then. That’s really unique, and the story ended up going in that direction.”

Home » Entertainment » Local Movie News » Secret signal: ‘The Whistle’ tells the story of ABQ Latina lesbian youths in the ’70s and ’80s


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Coming to Popejoy Hall: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' examines ...
ABQnews Seeker
'To Kill a Mockingbird' will begin ... 'To Kill a Mockingbird' will begin an eight-performance stand at Popejoy Hall beginning Tuesday, Dec. 13 and running through Sunday, Dec. 18.
2
CNM launching distilled spirits program spring 2023
ABQnews Seeker
CNM will soon be launching its ... CNM will soon be launching its hands-on distilled spirits program for its spring 2023 semester.
3
Actor Jack Lowden found returning to a character River ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Apple TV+ series, 'Slow Horses,' ... The Apple TV+ series, 'Slow Horses,' releases its third episode of the second season on Friday, Dec. 9.
4
Ryanhood to deliver the holidays with high-energy, big-harmony, dueling ...
ABQnews Seeker
Ryanhood brings its 'A Winter's Evening ... Ryanhood brings its 'A Winter's Evening with Ryanhood' to both Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The duo plays at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at ...
5
Taos Folk returns with its annual holiday event
ABQnews Seeker
Journal Staff WriterTaos' favorite holiday pop-up ... Journal Staff WriterTaos' favorite holiday pop-up store, Taos Folk Holiday Pop-Up Stor ...
6
With Vegos, conscientious eating never tasted so good
ABQnews Seeker
The tofu-based Nobody Calls Me Chicken ... The tofu-based Nobody Calls Me Chicken sandwich and blazing Buffalo tenders at Vegos were revelations.
7
Micah Thunder uses his upbringing, personal experiences to craft ...
ABQnews Seeker
Musician is opening for True Story ... Musician is opening for True Story House at Echoes Brewery on Dec. 9
8
Contest tasks filmmakers with showing off what Las Cruces ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Las Cruces International Film Festival ... The Las Cruces International Film Festival and Visit Las Cruces have teamed up for the 'Visit Las Cruces Stories' video contest.
9
Over 100 NM artists and crafts people to be ...
ABQnews Seeker
More than 100 fine artists and ... More than 100 fine artists and crafts people from across New Mexico will converge on Santa Fe Commun ...
10
Check out this other river of lights in New ...
ABQnews Seeker
Christmas on the Pecos is a ... Christmas on the Pecos is a New Mexico tradition. One of my fondest holiday memories is cruising down the Pecos reveling in the light ...