Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In My Own Words: My Experience at Reel Pride 2013

"In my own words..." is a platform for our community members to share essays, poetry, art, reviews, commentary, etc. If you would like to submit something, please email Kaylia at or Chris at
Written by Alberto Duron for Gay Central Valley
Being an intern for Gay Central Valley, as well as attending for the purpose of fundraising at the Reel Pride Film Festival this past weekend has given me so much exposure and information about the LGBTQ community. As an added bonus I was able to watch different LGBTQ movies from around the world, such as Spain, Cuba, Russia, and the United States. Not only was this my first time attending the Reel Pride Film Festival, but it was also the first time I had stepped into the beautiful Tower Theatre as well. I was happy I could experience both the theatre and the festival at the same time. As a member of the LGBTQ community I have never been able to see this side of our community. However, attending and fundraising by working concessions at the Reel Pride Film Festival has allowed me to see exactly who our community is and the passion that they had for this festival. It was interesting to find out that everyone I saw or met at the festival were people I had never seen before. People cared to donate to Gay Central Valley and Starbucks just as much as they cared to buy snacks. 

The films that I was able to watch were amazing. La Partida (The Last March) shows us a true description of the struggle for someone to be closeted with a family, living in poverty, while at the same time falling in love.  Free Fall (made in Russia) gives us some insight into the oppression and discrimination of LGBTQ individuals that is currently occurring in Russia. Two German police cadets fall in love and soon find their love affair to get in the way of their careers and personal relationships. Heterosexual Jill, which was made in the United States, was a hilarious comedy about lesbians who try to find their way out of the “lesbian life,” but soon find out that natural attraction and love is hard to run away from. I personally thought my favorite movies were La Partida and Heterosexual Jill, because of the plot and story in La Partida and by how outrageous and funny Heterosexual Jill was. Although this experience was new to me, the movies that showed how culture in the LGBTQ community is were very real. The movies had struggles of love, drug use, partying, and being hidden in a discriminatory society. Of course in some way or another audience members could relate to the film, even members who did not classify themselves as LGBTQ.  What was shown in these movies depicts what happens in the real world, all around the world. The same issues that affect the LGBTQ community in the United States affect the same members worldwide. Being able to go to the Reel Pride Film Festival showed me not only our community here in Fresno but LGBTQ communities around the world and much of the struggles and triumphs that they go through. Due to the fact that we are different in a way that most members of our society cannot seem to understand, we are all facing discrimination and oppression. 

The Reel Pride Film Festival showed us the lives of LGBTQ individuals around the world and issues that they face in everyday life, and how those issues are not so different, no matter where we are.

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