PARENTS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS ALLIED WITH THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY
Gender Focus / Hollywood
Español So Cal
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 – 7:30 pm
"Coming Out" in India
— Sridhar Rangayan talks about his film Evening Shadows and the challenges of LGBTQ life in India.
Here in Los Angeles in the second decade of the 21st Century, it can be difficult to come out both as an LGBTQ person and as a family member and ally. Imagine what it is like in a country still very traditional, religiously conservative, and carrying the legacy of colonial British homophobia.
Sridhar Rangayan has lived this experience and depicted it in his award winning film Evening Shadows. It tells the story of a young gay man, Kartik, coming out to his mother Vasudha in a small town in Southern India. Living in a patriarchal and conservative society with no resources to support her, Vasudha must deal with her dogmatic husband and community condemnation while struggling to understand and accept her much-loved son.
“My mother found it very difficult to understand and accept me, because she neither had the information nor the resources — and absolutely no support from her peers,” said the Mumbai-based director, whose repertoire focuses on LGBTQ issues. Unfortunately, not much has changed in the intervening years.
But there is hope. Rangayan, an activist as well as a filmmaker, will also talk about a new organization, “Sweekar–Rainbow Parents," which he helped to start in India's most populous city. "Sweekar" is the Hindi word for acceptance. In February of 2018, this band of dedicated parents marched in the Mumbai Gay Pride Parade for the first time under this banner.
They have reached out to other parents in their community through platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. They have begun support meetings and hope to start a helpline for parents in the near future.
Come and hear about Rangayan's moving personal story, and about his film (playing at Outfest on July 15) which launched a parents' movement.
Previous 2018 Guest Speakers or Events:
L.A. PRIDE 2018
March with us
on Sunday, June 10 More info
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 – 7:30 pm
Outfest! Telling Our Stories Since 1982
— Jessica Broutt introduces Outfest and suggests some great films to see this year.
Yes, LGBTQ stories are entering the mainstream. Call Me By Your Name was a best picture nominee this year. Will and Grace is back on television. And The Simpson's Smithers has a crush on Mr. Burns. None of this would have been possible without the Outfest, the second oldest and most prestigious LGBTQ film festival in the world.
Since 1982, Outfest has been nurturing LGBTQ filmmakers and providing a showcase for their work. Renown for showing the breadth and nuances of the LGBTQ community in works of impeccable quality, Outfest is a must see event in our own backyard.
From July 12 to July 22, Outfest will be screening more than 150 features, documentaries and short films in a variety of venues. Among the notable offerings are Matt Tyrnauer’s vibrantly nostalgic documentary, Studio 54, Sundance NEXT Innovator Award winner We the Animals, and a French drama Reinventing Marvin.
Jessica Broutt serves as Outfest's Educational Programs Manager. She has also managed Outfest's Forward Programming, which include the Screenwriting Lab; Out Set: the Young Filmakers Project: Fusion Lab; InFusion; Industry Link; and the Outfest Alumni Network. A graduate of the University of California San Diego, she is passionate about the role of art in changing perceptions of the LGBTQ community.
Whether your interested in seeing one film or participating in the eleven day event, Jessica will tell you how to get involved.
Visit their website: www.outfest.org
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 – 7:30 pm
Building Resilience for LGBTQ Teens
– Tips for parents and youth from UCLA's STAR Clinic
It's an old story. LGBTQ teens struggle; parents worry. We're told "it gets better;" but we don't want to wait. We want tools we can all use right now to help young people thrive.
Our May speakers, Liz Ollen and Natalie Ramos have some answers. They will provide tips for parents and caregivers about how to help LGBTQ teenagers overcome the stressors in their lives. They'll also introduce us to the LGBTQ Teen Resilience Group being offered by UCLA's STAR Clinic, which helps families overcome challenges and trauma. Applications are currently open for teens from fourteen to seventeen.
Research shows that some youths maintain good functioning despite severe adversity, while others do not. Ollen and Ramos will talk about skills such as good communication and acceptance that fortify our youth. They'll also help us to identify and access community resources.
Both have strong backgrounds in youth and family psychology. Liz Ollen, M.A., Ed.M., is a pre-doctoral psychologist in the Nathanson Family Resilience Center (NFRC) at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, where she provides individual and group therapy to children, adolescents, and families facing stress and trauma. She is currently involved in program development of clinical services, provider training, and research for LGBTQ youth at UCLA.
Natalie Ramos, MD, MPH is an Assistant Clinical Professor within the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at UCLA and a Board-Certified Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist. She works with families, youths, and adults who have experienced stress or trauma, with a focus specifically on
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 – 7:30 pm
Does God Love LGBTQ People?
– Yes! Says Reverend Jerrell Walls
Whether you are a church goer or not, all of us have to deal with the hostility of "religious" people to the LGBTQ community. Under the current administration they are empower to attack the hard won rights of LGBTQ persons and their families. Unfortunately, family members sometimes use scripture to reject us.
The anger and pain these attacks cause are very familiar to Rev. Jerrell Walls. As the son of an Evangelical Christian Pastor, he has experienced the negativity that comes from well-meaning church people. His experience sent him on a journey to look again at the scriptures that were used against the LGBTQ community.
After studying those biblical passages in view of context, culture, language and audience, he found that faith and sexual orientation or gender identity are not in conflict.
Rev. Walls will share some of his insights with us, and suggest some ways of dealing with the "church people" in our lives who reject us and our loved ones.
The Rev. Jerrell Walls is the founding pastor of Christ Chapel of the Valley(CCOV) in the Sun Valley area of Los Angeles, started on January 12, 1992. His work has been primarily with helping the LGBTQ community know they are loved and accepted by God. He serves on the LAPD North Hollywood Division Community Police Advisory board and on the religious roundtable for LA County Department of Mental Health. Pastor Jerrell also serves as co-chair to Los Angeles Queer Interfaith Clergy Council (LAQuICC) as well as on the board of Christ Chapel Association of Churches.
Visit their website at: www.christchapel-la.org
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 – 7:30 pm
What's YOUR Story
– Charles Chan Massey wants to help you tell it through the Personal Stories Project
In 2012, Charles Chan Massey discovered what PFLAG members have known for a long time. Stories change lives. Especially the lives of LGBTQ people and their families.
Born, by and large, into straight families, LGBTQ persons often feel a sense of isolation. Hearing the stories of others with similar experiences is reassuring, liberating, and empowering. And that goes for their parents, family members and friends as well.
When accounts of his own openly gay life made a difference for other people, Massey started the Personal Stories Project with his co-founder and collaborator Sara Christie. Their goal was to provide a forum where LGBTQ people and straight allies (like parents and siblings) could share key life experiences with others in the community.
The Personal Stories project collects and publish these stories in written and video form, providing a compelling experience for the reader or viewer on a deeply emotional level. The Project's goal is to connect people with others who may have found themselves in similar circumstances and end isolation, embarrassment and shame.
As an "accidental activist" himself, Charles also works to inspire activism in others by connecting his audience with charities that promote the welfare of the LGBTQ community. At the end of every narrative, the storyteller is encouraged to mention such an organization that will benefit from a donate to the Personal Stories Project.
Massey's organization complements the work of PFLAG Los Angeles' Speakers Bureau, whose members tell their stories at schools of all levels, businesses and community organizations. His organization enables storytellers to reach large numbers through the power of social media.
Does it take courage to share intimate personal experiences with others? Yes, and Charles Chan Massey says it's one of the greatest contributions you can make.
Visit their website at: www.personalstoriesproject.org
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 – 7:30 pm
An Opportunity: Tell Your Story and Change the World
– Asher Lewis offers families chance to make a difference
The Project: Mr. Lewis is currently producing a new documentary CLOSET DOORS which explores the other half of the coming out conversation—the one that LGBTQIA+ persons rarely get to hear fully. What do parents think and feel when they are plunged into a new reality? Suddenly, they have to reshape their world view, plans, and relationships with their child—and with other members of their families and friends. Having a child come out changes a mom or dad as a person, a parent, a spouse, a church member, and a citizen.
Through a series of interviews, this documentary fixes its lens on the mothers, fathers, grandparents, and guardians of LGBTQIA+ individuals who have come out of the closet. The film looks into the relationships that are healthy and healed, as well as those in which the coming out process has created fractures. It follows straight family members as they deal with their own coming out process.
The film also looks at the historical dimensions of coming out—from the devastating revelations during the height of the AIDS crisis to the more optimistic conversations in the new era of marriage equality. It also explores the reality that LGBTQ persons and their families share—coming out is a life-long process—a journey, not a destination.
Wanted: Lewis and his team are seeking to interview parents, grandparents, foster/step parents and guardians of LGBTQI+ people willing to share their experiences—good, bad, and everything in between. You will have a chance to tell your story on camera in a safe, non-judgmental environment and describe how your beliefs, relationships and views have changed on this journey.
Filmmaker: Asher Lewis, winner of two Telly Awards, and whose work received an Emmy nomination has worked across the range of entertainment media including films, television series, documentaries, and commercials. His documentaries have included candid conversation about acting with Dabney Colman, Peter Falk, Harry Dean Stanton, and Sidney Pollack to name a few of the luminaries he has worked with.
Recently, he has been working as Co-Producer and Editor on the groundbreaking documentary series
OUT OF THE BOX, a tour de force multi-part documentary series profiling the power of television to shape hearts and minds through the lens of the LGBT rights movement.
If you or anyone you know may be interested in telling their story
please send an e-mail NOW to:
Please include the following information:
Your name, age, and city where you live.
Are you the parent, grandparent, foster/step parent or guardian?
A brief description of your story.
Have you yourself "come out"?
How would your child feel about you sharing your/their story?
Your primary contact information
(phone & email address)
(be sure to scroll down)
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 – 7:30 pm
— Meet Lindsey Deaton from the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles!
SPEAKER ISCANCELLEDwe will have more time for support!
Music has been called the "universal language of mankind." The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles (TCLA) works to change that phrase to the "universal language of humankind."
Transcending age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, and all those categories that divide us, music opens us to the deep places we all share. TCLA uses that uniting power of music to change minds and hearts about trans and gender non-conforming people.
Since it's founding, TCLA has drawn attention to the trans community and trans issues through live performances, community engagement and social and traditional media. TCLA is using music to communicate a communal feeling of equality in a way rarely experienced in other forms of media & artistic expression. It is the largest group of trans and gender non-conforming people anywhere in the world who gather together regularly to raise their voices in song.
TCLA provides both a safe space in which trans individuals come together and sing, and an environment for audience to enjoy music while meeting trans and gender non-conforming individuals, perhaps for the first time.
The harmony TCLA creates is deeply moving—both musical and symbolic of the beauty diverse people make when they work together.