Director Marta Cunningham in attendance
Sun, May 19, 2013, 7pm
McMenamins Kennedy School Theater
Sponsored by HBO
“Somewhere along the line,” Ellen DeGeneres tells her television audience through tears, “Brandon got the message that it’s so threatening and so awful and so horrific that Larry would want to be his Valentine that killing Larry seemed to be the right thing to do.”
On December 12th, 2008, eighth-grader Brandon McInerney entered E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, Calif., with a stolen gun. His target was Lawrence “Larry” King, an openly queer classmate who had just started coming to school wearing women’s clothing. As has become all too familiar in our schools, ignorance led to bullying, and bullying led to violence.
Valentine Road, named for the street where King is buried, peels back the layers on what Newsweek described as “the most prominent gay-bias crime since the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard,” revealing two tragic childhoods filled with drugs, abuse and neglect.
Filmmaker Marta Cunningham shows how both Larry and Brandon suffered under a broken child welfare system, public school system and justice system — including troubling interviews with teachers and jurors who believe Larry brought the violence upon himself for “bullying” Brandon.
“They made a murder victim the cause of his own murder,” a detective says in the film. “I’ve never seen that before.” —Jimmy Radosta
Valentine Road: Dir Marta Cunningham 2013 United States 89 min.
Community Partners: GLSEN Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network • Basic Rights Oregon • Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition • Portland Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays • SMYRC Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center – A Program of Q Center