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The Daily Wildcat

 

    Queer Films come out on campus

    Queer Films come out on campus

    Were you one of many students who was surprised to see drag queen bingo on the UA Mall last October? Have you heard about the upcoming plans for UA’s Coming Out week? If so, you’ve experienced some of the many programs put on by ASUA Pride Alliance. And if not, you’re just in time to take part in Pride Alliance’s newest event.

    Pride Alliance is a campus organization that seeks to further the LGBTQ community and empower LGBTQ students. This group is almost entirely student-run, organized largely by student interns and directors with a little help from UA faculty. Each year, Pride Alliance holds many events that raise awareness about gay issues, as well as celebrate people and inspire students to be themselves. This fall, they’re introducing their latest tradition: a “”Queer Film Series,”” which hopes to bring LGBTQ issues out into the open.

     

    A controversial kickoff to the series

    The Queer Film Series will feature three films each semester. The first, which plays tonight at 7 in Gallagher Theater, is called “”8: The Mormon Proposition.”” In October and November, the series will show two other films, both also on Wednesday nights. For each film in the series, a featured guest speaker will discuss the issues raised by the movies.

    Cindi Azuogu, a pre-physiology student and ASUA Pride Alliance intern, explained that tonight’s feature “”is really controversial, without question”” because “”8: The Mormon Proposition”” explores the lives of several filmmakers and their struggles with growing up gay in the Mormon church. Likewise, the film investigates the Mormon church’s involvement in passing Proposition 8 in California.

    “”It’s a little charged because there are a lot of people struggling with that, that line of religion and sexuality,”” Azuogu said. “”(The movie questions) where to stand on that line and what it means.””

    Azuogu was sure to note that Pride Alliance doesn’t intend to send a bad message to the religious audience.

    “”It’s just good to see both sides of the opinion,”” she said. What’s more, the film is particularly relevant to Arizonans because recent propositions such as 102 and 107 raise the same questions as Proposition 8.

    “”(It’s) a good film that’s really eye-opening,”” Azuogu said. “”The stories that you hear will be really effective to help people see many of these issues.””

     

    Driving home the issues

    Another exciting part of the Queer Film Series is the discussion led by a guest speaker. Azuogu explained that featuring knowledgeable speakers with experience in LGBTQ affairs gives students access to personalized, hands-on information that can help bring a greater understanding of the issues. Listening to the speaker’s experience drives the points home; it allows students to realize that they, too, can step up to support change.

    Tonight’s speaker is Cindy Jordan, an LGBTQ activist who worked on the first “”freedom to marry”” initiative in Washington, D.C.

    Jen Hoefle, the program director for LGBTQ Affairs at the UA, was involved in selecting Jordan to speak at tonight’s showing of “”8: The Mormon Proposition.”” Hoefle explains that Jordan “”is a media strategist who has a very wide-ranging career.”” Jordan worked closely with the “”No on 107″” movement in Arizona — and since Prop 107 didn’t pass, a presentation from Jordan promises to be especially relevant and inspiring after tonight’s film.

     

    Bigger goals for the film festival

    Altogether, Pride Alliance hopes to start a new tradition by kicking off their Queer Film Series tonight. Azuogu explained that as the first annual series, “”It’s the start of something new and fresh for the history of Pride Alliance, which is really cool, and it’ll definitely be continued throughout the years.”” Taking part in tonight’s film showing is not only a part of the history of ASUA Pride Alliance, but it’s also another historical step toward social justice and equality in Arizona and the United States.

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