Operating as my blog ( as opposed to personal donations) I have sponsored only one LGBTQ organization event: the Pittsburgh LGBTQ Film Festival. I want to post today, a little about why, and also encourage all of my local readers to patronize as many of the films as possible.

I do have a personal interest or connection to the film festival. My video, Label of AIDS, screened at the film festival back in 1991 or 1992. The video/performance art project was the product of receiving a PA Council in the Arts Emerging Artist Grant,and the project was a turning point for me as I thought about the ways Art can impact social attitudinal changes. But the larger reason stems from the ways a film festival and blogging are similar and different. The other day, I posted six reasons to attend the film festival, and some of what I share today overlaps those reasons, but I hope I delineate some of these points more clearly here.

The bottom line is that a film festival is not simply a celebration through film, but an integral player in the struggle for social change towards LGBTQ equality. Filmmakers are, at the base of it, storytellers,who are telling LGBTQ stories or stories from an LGBTQ perspective. This translates, even in a fictional film, into real LGBTQ voices being shared and heard. We know that the biggest and most powerful force to affect the change in attitudes towards LGBTQ persons is when people meet or listen to LGBTQ persons, and this is possible by viewing these films.

It isn’t only the generally straight community which needs to her these voices and learn about LGBTQ persons. Indeed, individuals within the rainbow coalition are often as ignorant about other groups which fit within the LGBTQ acronym. Lesbians dismiss gay men,gay men act condescendingly towards bisexuals, and most every groups treats the Trans* community as invisible. We can all be enriched by listening to each other.

So over the course of the film festival, you have a few choices. To take a break from your usual evening routines and listen to these GLBTQ voices or do what you do every other week of the year, and live your life within your status quo. For many individuals that includes hours of television watching fake reality TV shows, and fictional sitcoms and dramas. The average American watches five hours of TV daily! What’s your daily viewing? Imagine if you exchanged just half of your viewing time to these LGBTQ stories, how enriched you would be.

I am a sponsor for ReelQ because LGBTQ stories matter, because LGBTQ voices matter, and one of the most crucial things we do as a community to promote real equality is to become a more cohesive supportive whole that values all members. Seeing, listening, and sharing our stories is one path towards that end.

Comments are closed.