Creating Awareness to Break Prejudices
Monica Lenius
mleni264@uwsp.edu
In modern-day America, the fight for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning equal rights and bully-provoked suicides are constant breaking news. People’s fear, prejudice and discrimination of the LGBTQ community create the need for allies and awareness to these issues.
 
This is the mission of the Faculty and Staff Gay-Straight Alliance. Bringing together individuals and creating visible awareness of all sexual orientations will promote a safe and open environment for everyone to be himself or herself. A recent project developed by FSGSA is the film festival that will be taking place throughout the months of March and April.
 
The goal behind this festival is to “spread LGBTQ awareness through films that explore different areas of sexuality than people are used to,” said Zacharia Young, the Rainbow Center Director and designer of posters for this festival. Each film will have an introduction by a faculty member and post-screening discussions with the audience.
 
The film festival began with “We Were Here” last Wednesday, produced and directed by David Weissman. This film illustrates how the AIDS epidemic, or what was known as the “Gay Plague,” came about and the effects of it in the early ‘80s. It is mainly set in San Francisco where their humane way of handling the AIDS epidemic among the gay community became known as “The San Francisco Model.”
 
If viewing the first film wasn’t possible, there are six other free screenings of award-winning independent films. The schedule of screenings is as follows:
 
W 2/29 We Were Here 
R 3/8 Gunhill Road
W 3/14 Tomboy
R 3/29 Mosquita y Mari 
W 4/4 Circumstance 
M 4/9 The Wise Kids
T 4/17 Hit So Hard
 
“I encourage anyone and everyone to go see these movies. It’s important, especially in today’s society, that people are exposed to things that are outside of the norm, in order to gain a better understanding of it,” Young said. “The movies are all free and they’ve all won awards and/or recognition at big film festivals, so you know they’re good.”
 
All of these films will be in the Dreyfus University Center Theatre beginning at 7 p.m. except for “Mosquita y Mari” which will be shown at the Noel Fine Arts Center Room 221. For more information on the plots, reviews, or issues addressed in these films; check out www.outonscreen.tumblr.com.