Local Youth Organize Events to Speak OUT IN THE SILENCE
Against Bullying & Discrimination in California
Screenings of award-winning film to help build bridges on gay issues, bullying and teen suicides
Redwood City / Clovis, CA — March 14, 2011 — A series of free community screenings of OUT IN THE SILENCE, “a stunning documentary” (Philadelphia Inquirer) about the harrowing, ultimately successful battle waged by a gay teen and his mother against recalcitrant school authorities when the teen is brutally attacked for coming out in his small town high school, will follow the film’s local premier in the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival (Sat., March 19).
The events, organized by Gay-Straight Alliance, parent, church, and other community leaders, include:
March 25, 5:00pm – Leon S. and Pete P. Peters Educational Center – Clovis / Fresno
The screenings will be followed by a Q & A session with filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, GSA leaders, and other community representatives aimed at engaging audiences in conversation about building the movement for inclusion, fairness, and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people locally, in California and across the country.
OUT IN THE SILENCE was produced in association with the Sundance Institute, premiered at the 2010 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival in New York, and has won praise from critics and film festivals around the world. But Wilson and Hamer are most interested in using it as part of a grassroots campaign to help raise LGBT visibility, support local organizing and advocacy work, and promote dialogue and civic engagement in smaller cities, towns and rural communities.
At the heart of the campaign is a dedication to the idea that small acts of visibility, particularly in places where they are rare, unexpected, and sometimes unwelcome, help to raise awareness, open-up dialogue and create ripple effects and opportunities to organize for change that go far and wide.
California Gay-Straight Alliance leaders have spearheaded the organizing for these events as a way to help communities respond to the tragic rash of suicides among gay youth that captured the nation’s attention last fall and to help counter the pervasive harassment and violence LGBT students face on a regular basis in schools across the state.