OUT IN THE SILENCE filmmakers come to rural Oregon

We are proud to announce the OUT IN THE SILENCE Statewide Conversations Tour, which will bring celebrated filmmakers of this powerful documentary to rural and small-town Oregon from November 4th to 14th!

ROPers believe in the radical idea that the people should be safe in our communities, safe to live, work, and love whoever they please. And it’s true that such a core human value has become radical in these times. Whether we’re talking about LGBTQ families or immigrant families, we know that for many of our neighbors, the right to live safely and with the freedom to exist is not a given.

Creating welcoming communities is hard, very hard, but also very simple – it takes dialogue, relationship, and time. Through relationships we come to understand that our diversity is our strength – and that diversity is a natural part of life in rural Oregon.

That’s why we are honored that longtime ROP friend Joe Wilson, director of the film Out in the Silence, will be joining us in rural Oregon for a whirlwind 10 day tour. Each stop on the tour will feature a film screening, and a conversation with the directors, but the true gems of the tour will be the facilitated community dialogues about what life is like for LGBTQ people in rural Oregon.

Out in the Silence is a movement documentary – in that it brings to us a story of regular people entering into dialogue, stumbling, struggling, revealing their hearts – and the skilled filmmaking allows us to see this very human process as part of a bigger story. This film is courageous, thoughtful, patient, and gives us the strength to be so as well.

From the filmmakers…

“OUT IN THE SILENCE is more than a movie, it’s part of the movement for justice, equality and human rights. Its primary aims are to raise the visibility of LGBT people in small towns and rural communities, help build bridges across identity lines and morally-charged religious divides, and strategically influence specific policy and legislative debates, particularly those aimed at improving the lives of LGBT youth.

Similar to the seemingly innocuous act of publishing a wedding announcement in a small town newspaper, the OUT IN THE SILENCE Community Engagement Campaign is based on the idea that small acts of LGBT visibility in places where they are rare and unexpected help to raise awareness and open up dialogue in profound new ways and create ripple effects and opportunities for change that go far and wide. More than 200 community screenings have already been held, and as JoAnn Wypjewski wrote in The Nation after observing a community screening in South Carolina, “OUT IN THE SILENCE screenings become forums, a place to meet where there has been no place, to talk where there is a desire to talk but little occasion.”

For more information about the film, see their website here: http://wpsu.org/outinthesilence/

If you’re curious to know about an Out in the Silence stop near your town, please contact cara@rop.org. There may be a very limited number of tour dates still available, and we’ll be making "coffeeshop dates" also available to ROP members who wish to support the tour by bringing together a group of friends for a meet and greet with the filmmakers.

The Out in the Silence Statewide Conversations tour is being sponsored by the Rural Organizing Project, Basic Rights Oregon, Oregon PFLAG, and the Community of Welcoming Congregations.

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