A few years ago, my college organized a queer prom for high school kids who lived in the extremely conservative neighboring town and didn't feel comfortable at their own prom. When we got to the event, we were met with dozens of angry protesters, all old enough to be these kids’ parents, screaming excerpts from the bible, and declaring that we were all going to hell. While the few kids who weren’t scared away stayed inside the building, a bunch of us went outside to confront the protesters. They were yelling their beliefs, and we were yelling ours right back at them. We called them ignorant. They called us sinners. We were all extremely heated, and the experience was cathartic. But at the end of the day, it achieved nothing. Hearing hateful one-dimensional slurs from a group of strangers left us more defensive, more hostile, and less likely to listen to and communicate with the other side. And the same went for them. Everyone left more certain in the belief that their own side was smarter, righter, and more enlightened.
How in the world could this ever lead to progress?
This is a film about love and humanity.
In North Carolina, there is a proposed constitutional amendment that will outlaw all same-sex unions. I plan to move down there to explore how this proposed amendment is affecting the people of the state in the two months leading up to the vote in May. I will get to know a variety of families, church leaders, members of organizations, and individuals who will be affected by this in some way, or who simply have an opinion on it.
While I myself definitely have my own feelings towards the issue, the film will explore the reasoning behind all sides, in order to start a conversation and understand each other on a human level, rather than painting one side as the three dimensional heroes and the other side as the two dimensional villains.
Understanding doesn't necessarily mean agreeing. It means just that: understanding. Finding out how people got to where they are. Exploring what motivates them. Humanizing people who, to their opposing sides, are often regarded as cardboard cutouts. For some reason, people are often hesitant to take this approach, as if seeking to understand is essentially letting the other side "win." But I disagree. With an issue that generates such emotion, hostility, and opposition on either side, I believe that taking a step back and understanding the human beings involved is the only way to truly make change. Knowledge is power.
The film is not just targeted toward people who already support same sex marriage and need more reason to support it. We're not trying to preach to the choir; we're trying to get people to listen to each other.
Before I go to North Carolina, I'm shooting an element of the film here in New York, where same sex marriage was made legal this summer. (All of the footage in the video above was shot here in New York). If anyone wants to talk to us or be interviewed, either in New York, in North Carolina, or in between (literally...we will stop on our road trip down there to talk to you), don't hesitate to get in touch. I'm interested in talking to everyone (gay, straight, single, married, etc.)
Why We Need Your Help
As of right now, the film is self-funded. We are very passionate about the film and we're going ahead with it regardless of grants or sponsors, so every contribution is vital. I mean it when I say that no donation is too small.
For more information, or if you want to participate in this film, email: Becca@edgefilmproduction.com
Music by Luke Brandfon (http://www.myspace.com/lukeybrandfon).
- (30 days)