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Oct-15-2010 14:05printcomments

Student Teacher Removed From Classroom After Coming Out

Reflections From Basic Rights Oregon on the dismissal of a gay educator...


(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Out in the Silence is coming to Oregon!  We’re pleased to announce a statewide tour of the film, featuring filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer.  This stirring film documents the struggles of LGBT people in a small Pennsylvania town, and looks at how a community grapples with issues of fairness, equality and inclusion in rural areas.

From Baker City to Bend, Pendleton to Portland, screenings will happen across the state this fall.  Basic Rights is proud to co-sponsor the tour with the Rural Organizing Project, The Community of Welcoming Congregations and Oregon PFLAG.

Save the Date!

Out in the Silence and its filmmakers, Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer, are coming to a town near you!  Stay tuned to the BRO blog for more details.

Thursday, November 4thPortland
Friday, November 5thCorvallis
Saturday, November 6thScappoose
Sunday, November 7thLincoln City
Monday, November 8thPendleton
Tuesday, November 9thBaker City & La Grande
Wednesday, November 10thBend
Thursday, November 11thKlamath Falls & Grants Pass
Friday, November 12th Medford & Roseburg
Saturday, November 13thAstoria

About the Film

Small town community members across Oregon host nationally-acclaimed filmmakers and their documentary film OUT IN THE SILENCE to inspire a new dialogue about the experience of gay, lesbian and transgender people in rural Oregon.  This is a grassroots effort to get Oregonians talking to each other about fairness and respect.

OUT IN THE SILENCE is an uplifting documentary about courageous local residents confronting homophobia and status quo in their conservative small town in the hills of western Pennsylvania.

The story begins when native son and filmmaker Joe Wilson breaks the silence in the hometown he left long ago by placing his own same-sex wedding announcement in the local newspaper. While the publication of the announcement ignites a firestorm of controversy, it also opens up a world of unexpected opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies living in isolation in this rural community.

The film follows the stories of a mother who takes a courageous stand for her gay teenage son, an evangelical pastor and his wife who befriend Wilson and begin to rethink their most deeply held beliefs, and local residents who must decide what their cherished small town values really mean.  Over the course of four years, Wilson navigates the ins and outs of being different in a conservative, small town.

By hosting this film tour, community leaders in towns across the state are building bridges with their neighbors and bringing us all closer together.  They are encouraging thoughtful dialogue on a subject that has been relegated to heated political debate for far too long.  And they are coming out—as gay, as transgender, as family and as allies—in the all-too-quiet silence of rural America.

For small town residents who have long believed in treating their neighbors as they would want to be treated, these film screenings and discussions offer a unique opportunity to break the code of silence about our gay and lesbian neighbors.  And as Oregonians consider the prospect of allowing committed couples to join in civil marriage, this film offers an opportunity to reflect on our shared values of fairness and the Golden Rule.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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