Documentary on openly gay Key West mayor premieres Monday

'The Newcomer' tells story of forgotten gay icon Richard Heyman

Published On: Jan 21 2013 01:38:49 PM EST
KEY WEST, Fla. -

Almost 30 years ago, Ohio transplant and art gallery owner Richard Heyman won a bitter race against a native son to become mayor of Key West. The then crumbling Navy town was trying to reinvent itself as an island paradise for tourists.

Heyman's victory made international news. He was America's first openly gay mayor.

Emmy-award winning director John Mikytuck tackles the story of Heyman -- the fascinating, complex and forgotten gay icon who died of AIDS-related pneumonia -- in his documentary, The Newcomer. It premieres on broadcast TV at 9 p.m. Monday on WPBT2.

 "It's a timeless tale," Mikytuck said during a phone interview from his home in Lambertville, N.J. "And AIDS is still an issue, too."