Gemmel & Tim: Shocking Tale of Two Black Gay Men–Racism and Sexual Predation (LGBTQ, Gay)

The true crime documentary Gemmel & Tim explores the lives and untimely passings of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, two Black gay men who both died from meth overdoses at the home of West Hollywood politico Ed Buck.


'Gemmel & Tim'
‘Gemmel & Tim’  (Outfest)

On July 27, 66-year-old Ed Buck a prominent Democratic donor, was convicted of a nine-count indictment that included charges that he supplied the methamphetamine that killed two men during “party and play” encounters at his apartment. It is hopefully the final chapter of two harrowing tales that started back in 2017 and had been a source of anger for both the local queer and Black communities.

Now their story has been told by local filmmaker Michiel Thomas as a means to honor the lives of Gemmel “Julez” Moore and Timothy (Tim) Dean. He tells their real stories by the people who knew and loved them.

The full-on media coverage, which went unchecked, tilted toward tabloid headlines and lurid tales of sex and drugs. The news stories were also full of rampant homophobia and unfettered racism, painting outrageous and accusatory images of Gemmel and Tim rather than focusing on who they really were.

As a community, we may still be used to less than full support from some metropolitan police forces, but it is stunning when elected officials in a supposedly liberal city seem to not want to pursue an allegedly powerful man like Buck.

The men’s relatives and friends were never allowed to grieve, but they channeled their energies in getting justice for Gemmel and Tim, letting the world know who they really were after they had been robbed of their lives, and their very existence.

We will never know how many other predators there are out there like him, but maybe if we take the lesson from this film seriously, we can stop some of them in their tracks.

Their deaths at the now-infamous apartment sent shockwaves through the LGBTQ+ community.

Gay Directors, Gay Films? By Emanuel Levy (Columbia University Press, August 2015).

The ensuing media circus cooked up a spicy concoction of sex, drugs, race and politics, but had no appetite for the in-depth human stories of who these individuals truly were.