Photo and Story by Connor Burnard / Contributing Writer
The theme of this year’s conference is “All Identities – Removing Obstacles to Inclusion.” The film festival shared stories and perspectives from members of the LGBT+ community, both fictional and nonfictional.
The event featured 10 films submitted by members of the LGBT+ community, including “Rink,” written and directed by Gail Hackston; “Headspace,” written and directed by Jake Graf; “Fauk My Life: Pilot,” written and directed by Stephanie Neroes; “Nails,” written and directed by Jack Faulkner; “Breakfast,” written and directed by Tyler Byrnes; “Denim: The Music Video,” directed by Sorcha Bacon; “Dress to Express,” written and directed by Stone May; “Counting,” written by Kari Morris and directed by Dana Pal; “Por un Beso,” written by Marco Laborda and directed by David Velduque and “Dusk,” written and directed by Jake Graf.
Both the conference and the film festival intended to address issues faced by the LGBT+ community and to open a dialogue about the issues.
“Events like this where we’re celebrating people that are being creative and telling their stories and telling their narratives, I think it opens up the opportunity for students to feel like they have the space to tell their stories,” said Kristopher Roberson, the vice president of MT Lambda. “We also want people on our campus and in the community to know that we are here and that we have a lot of resources to help people, and our primary goal is to help people and educate people and to support our community.”
In presenting the film festival and conference, MT Lambda hopes to foster an atmosphere of inclusivity and safety for the LGBT+ community and participate in political and social activism.
“Anyone is welcome as long as they’re willing to follow community standards, which is just be respectful,” said MT Lambda Public Relations Officer Justin Fox. “We are people’s friends and classmates. We deserve the right to be treated equally, but we understand that some people are ignorant of certain issues. And that’s why we do the conference. That’s why we do [MT] Lambda…we want to educate people. We want to start that dialogue.”
The 2017 LGBT+ College Conference will continue Friday and Saturday at MTSU with speeches, panels, learning sessions and performances.
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