National Coming Out Day and Exploding Lineage! Film Screening

On October 11, 2013, 6:30pm, at IU Cinema there will be a free screening of Exploding Lineage! Queer of Color Histories in Experimental Media, featuring innovative work by a diverse group of 14 queer media artists of color..

March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. “Join in the march, rally, and other related events” Pamphlet. October 11, 1987. HRC Records.

March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. “Join in the march, rally, and other related events” Pamphlet. October 11, 1987. HRC Records.

Twenty-five years have passed since 300,000 to 500,000 people marched on Washington D.C. for gay rights; twenty-five years later, the fight for equality continues in the United States.

The events of October 11, 1987, represented the LGBTQ community’s frustration with the government’s response to the AIDS crisis and continued discrimination against gays.

At the time, the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights received little press coverage and it wasn’t until 1993, when another major March was launched, that the media began to pay attention to the issue of LGBTQ rights.

Still, for the gay community, the 1987 march signified a poignant moment of solidarity and unity.

In conjunction with the 1st anniversary of the 1987 march, National Coming Out Day (NCOD) was founded to celebrate individuals undertaking a significant right of passage – taking a stand to publicly identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, or queer.

Keith Haring. National Coming Out Day sticker, n.d. HRC Records.

Keith Haring. National Coming Out Day sticker, n.d. HRC Records.

October 11, 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights and the 25th celebration of National Coming Out Day. LGBTQ people and allies will come together to celebrate diversity, acceptance, and equality this Friday.  The theme this year is “Coming Out Still Matters – When people know someone who is LGBT, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Every person who speaks up changes more hearts and minds, and creates new advocates for equality.”

With this sentiment in mind, the the Black Film Center/Archive of Indiana University, several other IU departments, and Bloomington PRIDE are co-sponsoring a special free film screening at the Indiana University Cinema. The program of contemporary short films comes at a time when Indiana’s LGBTQ community fights HJR6, the proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to narrowly define marriage in the state as discriminatory and exclusive.

Hokum/Dr. K. Ryan Ziegler

Dr. K. Ryan Ziegler’s HOKUM draws on ideas of sex, gender, and Black masculinity and a soundtrack by Queer Harlem artists such as Gladys Bentley and Ma Rainey, to ask of its audience: what does it mean to take pleasure when viewing the queer Black female body?

Featuring innovative work by a diverse group of media artists, Exploding Lineage! Queer of Color Histories in Experimental Media, explores the complexities of identity construction in African, Asian, and Latin queer diasporas. The program, which premiered in 2012 at the 25th MIX NYC festival, includes KB Boyce’s Bulldagger Women and Sissy Men, a tribute to queer artists of the Harlem Renaissance, and Celeste Chan’s Bloodlines, a lyrical recognition of Chinese immigrants detained on Angel Island due to the Chinese Exclusion Act.  Among the twelve other  filmmakers is Dr. K. Ryan Ziegler, who was recently honored as an influential African American leader by The Root for giving voice to black transgender people through art and scholarship; and 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow Indira Allegra, a poet and interdisciplinary artist whose work explores forms of queer intimacy, text, trauma and racial identity through performance, video works and handwoven textiles.

Queer Origins/Celeste Chan

Artist, filmmaker, and curator Celeste Chan’s QUEER ORIGINS is an experimental animation laced with nostalgia.

The free screening of Exploding Lineage! will take place October 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm at the IU Cinema as part of its ongoing Underground Film series. Immediately following will be an open discussion with the program’s curators, KB Boyce and Celeste Chan. Boyce and Chan founded Queer Rebels in 2008 to showcase queer artists of color, connect generations, and honor our histories with art for the future.

Earlier on Friday, the Indiana University Bloomington’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services office will host KB and Celeste for an informal Brown Bag Lunch Talk with students.  This event begins at 12:15 pm. at the GLBTSSS office, 705 E. 7th Street.  For more information about the Brown Bag talk, contact GLBTSSS at (812) 855-4252 / 

The Exploding Lineage! event is presented by the Black Film Center/Archive and IU Cinema; and co-sponsored by Bloomington PRIDE, the East Asian Studies Center, the Center for the Study of Global Change, the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Department of American Studies, Department of Communication and Culture, Department of Gender Studies, Film and Media Studies program, and GLBT Student Support Services.

~Ardea Smith

About BFC/A

The Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFC/A's primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions. View all posts by BFC/A

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