Out in the Silence

After filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer were married in Canada in 2004, Wilson posted an announcement of the gay nuptials in his hometown newspaper in Oil City, Pennsylvania to inform his old friends. His harmless celebratory notice almost burned down the town. It also prompted a mother and her gay son living there to reach out to Wilson with a story about a school system that was unable or unwilling to protect GLBT students. Wilson asked, “Hadn’t anything changed in 25 years?” So he returned to hardscrabble, rust-belt Oil City in 2005, documenting the experience in the film Out in the Silence. There he met gay high school student C.J. face to face. After being taunted daily at school (“eight hours of pure hell”), C.J. eventually had to withdraw to study safely online. Beside him was his unconquerable mom, Kathy, who fought valiantly for her son’s right to be himself. Wilson and a panel of locals will speak after the screening. 7 p.m. Rice University Media Center, 6100 Main. For information, call 713-348-4882 or visit www.wpsu.org/outinthesilence. Free to $5.
Wed., Oct. 28, 7 p.m., 2009
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D.L. Groover has contributed to countless reputable publications including the Houston Press since 2003. His theater criticism has earned him a national award from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) as well as three statewide Lone Star Press Awards for the same. He's co-author of the irreverent appreciation, Skeletons from the Opera Closet (St. Martin's Press), now in its fourth printing.
Contact: D. L. Groover