Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Free Public Film Screening Tomorrow (9/15)

The Wyoming ACLU is proud to partner with Wyoming Equality to host a free community screening of the award winning film, Out in the Silence, Thursday (9/15) at 7:00 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn in Laramie.

The screening will be followed by a community dialogue with the filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, and Jeran Artery from Wyoming Equality aimed at engaging the audience in a conversation about fairness, equality, and inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender (LGBT) people in small towns and rural communities in Wyoming and across the county.

The film was produced in association with Penn State Public Broadcasting and the Sundance Institute, and is an Official Selection of the 2010 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival.

Exploring topics ranging from religion, safe schools and economic development, to discrimination, tolerance and understanding, Out in the Silence offers a compelling model for civic engagement and dialogue and is an ideal tool for bringing people of all ages together to begin the process of building bridges rather than walls on issues that have divided communities for far too long. These issues were brought to the forefront of the debate in the most recent Wyoming legislative session.

After Wilson’s own same-sex marriage announcement ignites a firestorm of controversy in Oil City, the small western Pennsylvania hometown he left long ago, Out in the Silence follows the stories of a mother who takes a courageous stand for her gay teenage son, an evangelical pastor and his wife who befriend Wilson and begin to rethink their most deeply held beliefs, and local residents who must decide what their cherished small town values really mean.

“What better places to promote dialogue and mutual understanding,” said Wilson “than in public libraries, churches, schools, colleges and universities, community centers and local theaters, those great institutions where families, friends and neighbors in small towns and rural communities come together to talk about and develop solutions to the most challenging issues of the day.”

Wilson and Hamer hope that events attract people from across the spectrum ready and willing to engage in constructive dialogue, including students, parents and educators, clergy, health and social service providers, civil leaders, and all those concerned about the well-being of all their communities.