Courtesy image

The Cal Poly Pride Center Allies will be showing the 2009 documentary “Outrage” on Wednesday. The film, which exposes closeted gay politicians who actively campaign for anti-gay legislation, is being held in honor of Day of Silence.

Held this year on April 16, Day of Silence involves high school and college-aged students taking a vow of silence to address the problem of anti-LGBTA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, ally) behavior, such as vocal and physical harassment. Beginning in 1996, it has grown into the largest student-based campaign to bring attention to LGBTA issues. But because some students are unable to participate, the Pride Center is showing the film in honor of the event.

Student-coordinator for the Pride Center and physics senior Brandon Boswell, who organized the event, expects a crowd of about 30 and said the film will help depict LGBTA issues on campus as well as in government.

“These are your politicians, and they’re still in office right now. And there’s probably still many more that are closeted that we don’t even know about,” Boswell said. “I think it speaks not just about gay rights, but about politicians that are voting just to appease certain people.”

Boswell said the film will be a good supplement for those who support Day of Silence, not only because participating may not be feasible, but because it’s harder to make a statement on a college campus of 20,000 students compared to a high school body of 2,000.

“It’s mainly held at high school-level. It’s not very prevalent because campuses are so big, whereas in high school you saw those people every day,” Boswell said.

Biological sciences senior Seth Winkenwerder said that class assignments, his positions as student coordinator at the Pride Center and his role as a peer counselor with PRISM, Cal Poly’s LGBTA peer counseling and mentoring team, are difficult to do without speaking, especially around people who are not aware of the event.

“In college, often times the people that you work with or have class with are people that you’ve only known for a couple quarters, or had just met out of the purpose of taking that class,” Winkenwerder said. “You don’t have enough of a connection to rely on non-verbal communication to get your point across.”

However, participation is not entirely impractical at the college level. Journalism sophomore Ebony Chetto, the Student and Life Leadership student assistant for the Pride Center, plans on contacting her friends and professors prior to the event.

“I probably will talk to them or write them an e-mail before. Usually the professors are cordial with this event, and I’m really excited to participate. And the more people who do it, the bigger impact it will have,” Chetto said.

Whether students participate, the film will be a way to look into LGBTA issues. Boswell discovered the film after the Pride Center showed a film in February 2008 by the same director, Kirby Dick. The film, titled “This Film is Not Yet Rated,” addresses censorship and movie ratings.

“It was about films that got rated ‘R’ or ‘NC-17’ for seemingly ambiguous standards,” Boswell said.

After viewing the film a few weeks ago, Boswell said it was a suitable film to show because of its intimate look into the personal lives of closeted gay politicians and their adamant campaigns against pro-LGBT legislation.

“It was more about hypocrisy more than it was about politics,” Boswell said. “It was pretty eye-opening to see how closeted some of these politicians are and voting against things that they should supposedly support.”

The film not only focuses on the scandals of closeted politicians such as Idaho senator Larry Craig and Florida governor Charlie Crist, but also openly gay politicians such as congressman Barney Frank and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. Thus, the documentary intends to provide an unbiased look at homosexuality in politics.

Most people are finding out about the film through word of mouth or Facebook. Cuesta College student Derek Sisting, who is a member of the Pride Center Allies Facebook group, is especially excited to see the film not only because of the social interaction, but also to see how the presented political issues are effecting the LGBT community.

“I just really want to learn as much as I can about why these politicians are doing what they’re doing,” Sisting said. “I mean, they’re the ones who are making our laws, so it’s important to stay informed.”

Whether attendees hope to gain insight into the deceptive campaigns of closeted politicians, look further into LGBT issues, or simply see an interesting documentary, Boswell hopes that all will get something powerful out of the film.

“Even if you were someone who, say, didn’t support gay rights, you could probably still watch the film and feel that you don’t like hypocrisy and you don’t support these particular politicians,” Boswell said.

The film will be shown at no cost in the University Union, room 220 at 7 p.m.. A short discussion will follow the viewing.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *