Out In The Silence

Sun, June 6, 2010, 4:45pm

When filmmaker Joe Wilson submitted a same-sex wedding announcement to his hometown newspaper in Oil City, Pa., he had no idea what was in store. A flurry of hateful letters to the editor compelled him to leave the progressive bubble of Washington, D.C., and return to his roots for a firsthand look at what it means to be queer today in rural America.

Wilson responds to a desperate plea from the mother of a gay teenager who is forced to drop out of school when teachers turn a blind eye to relentless bullying. Meanwhile, a lesbian couple work to give back to their tight-knit community by renovating a rundown theater—only to be tormented by a right-wing radio host who denounces their “homosexual agenda.” Wilson also confronts an evangelical pastor whose mind slowly opens after seeing the young student stand up for his rights, proving that friendships can come in the most unlikely of places.

Fresh on the heels of Mississippi teenager Constance McMillen’s fight to take her girlfriend to the prom, OUT IN THE SILENCE serves as a candid reminder that the nationwide struggle for equality is far from over—and that the next generation of leaders has arrived. – Jimmy Radosta

Out in the Silence: Dirs Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer 2009 USA 57 min.

Community Parnters: Rural Organizing Project, Basic Rights Oregon and Portland PFLAG