QDoc Saturday Film Review – I Am

I am is filmmaker Sonali Gulati’s coming out letter to her mother.  Eleven years after her mother’s death, Sonali explores the possibilities of how her mother might have reacted to her sexuality by returning to her childhood home in New Delhi and gathering the coming out stories of Indian queers and their parents.

Some might think a film of coming out stories from a country which only decriminalized homosexuality in 2009 would be intolerably grim.  But the film includes many heartfelt interviews with Indian parents philosophizing on parental acceptance, the meaning of unconditional love and the process of letting your children become who they are. Some of these parents showed real bravery to stick by their kids and to change their own expectations.  They’ve challenged the expectations of their extended families and a society that is very focused on heterosexual marriage.  Many are clearly still struggling with it, but there is a lot of love in this film.

Continue reading »

QDoc Saturday Film Review – On These Shoulders We Stand

Last night I took a friend who was visiting from New York to the airport.  We got in a great philosophical conversation about whether gay rights are the inevitable result of a free society.  At this point in history, it’s possible to view gay marriage and other advances as “just a matter of time”.  The truth is there are people who faced police brutality, unemployment, societal rejection, and death to make this conversation even possible.  There are people who still face these horrors, but that’s another film…

On These Shoulders We Stand puts us across the living room from a fabulous cross-section of the activists of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  There’s Ivy Bottini, founder and president of NOW New York.  She was sacked when the term “Lesbian Menace” was coined.

There’s Dale Reynolds, the Hollywood leading man who founded Gay Actors RAP to fight homophobia in the film industry.  Then there’s Reverend Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church who helped organize the first Pride Parade in L.A. a year after Stonewall.

Continue reading »