from the "Designing For Impact: Social Justice Documentary," a report by the Center for Social Media at American University:
Sometimes fear and hatred come from ignorance. When that occurs, the best way to eliminate hate is to foster understanding.
The film “Out In The Silence” started with an "unexpected" same-sex marriage announcement in the local newspaper of Oil City, PA. Letters and phone calls from all over the town rushed in. A few people showed their support, but many expressed their resentment.
Among the supporters there was a mother. Her gay teenage boy C.J. was being bullied in school so badly that he refused to go to class and even became suicidal.
Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, the filmmakers and the couple in the marriage announcement, know exactly how it feels to be a gay man in a small town. They found C.J. and were determined to help. They tried to connect people in and outside the LGBT community, searching for common ground.
"Out in the Silence" is their message to the world. It aims to raise awareness of what LGBT people face especially in relatively rural area. It has inspired so many people, activated so many gay and lesbian organizations and grown into a huge campaign.
Five weeks into our release of "Designing for Impact" report case study, this time we will look at how "Out in the Silence" initiated LGBT campaigns. We will analyze the way the filmmakers have responsed to obstacles, and used various media and distribution channels to build networks and reach out to a broader audience.
Read the full case study report HERE.