“Out on Screen,” a film festival presented by the Faculty and Staff Gay-Straight Alliance, will feature movies with strong LGBTQ+ representation in hopes of creating a safe space to learn about issues affecting marginalized gender and sexuality groups.
The festival kicked off with “Love Is Strange” on March 4 and “Appropriate Behavior” on March 6. The festival will conclude with a screening of the award-winning film “Pride” on April 3.
“These are good movies that will interest anyone open to and interested in the lives of others,” said Laurie Schmeling, executive board member of the alliance and coordinator of the festival. “It’s a great way to learn about experiences that you wouldn’t necessarily otherwise be exposed to.”
Schmeling emphasized the importance of showing films on campus that elaborate about LGBTQ+ experiences.
“It’s important to us that we present as wide a range of LGBTQ+ life experiences as possible,” Schmeling said. “There is no LGBTQ+ lifestyle, just LGBTQ+ people living their lives.”
This is the fourth “Out on Screen” festival the alliance has presented. Past festivals have included documentaries and feature films from many different countries including the United States, Canada, Brazil, Taiwan, Iran, Sweden, France and Spain.
Amanda McGovern, the alliance’s publicity and outreach intern, said these films should bring awareness to the LGBTQ+ community.
“It is really important to learn about the different intersectional identities that exist in the LGBTQ+ community,” McGovern said. “It isn’t just white gay men or white lesbians, but people identifying across the gender and sexuality spectrum who have different racial identities, different ability needs and different cultures altogether.”
Alex Purdy, gender and sexuality alliance outreach student liaison, said the featured films transcend harmful stereotypes often seen within media.
“Popular media often shows a stereotypical view of what it means to be LGBTQ+,” Purdy said. “These movies extend past those stereotypes and show the community as truly far more diverse than seen in most representations.”
Purdy encourages people to attend the showings because of the diverse representations and portrayals of LGBTQ+ individuals.
“When you realize how diverse the community is, you begin to feel more comfortable in your own skin,” Purdy said. “The people within our community have been through so many different journeys and those journeys don’t always match up with the mainstream media representations. The stories like the ones represented in the film festival have so much power to help us connect to others, as well as ourselves.”