Just Because I Am

Just Because I Am is an inspirational journey of an LGBT youth group and their enthusiastic gay mentor, who together give a response to homophobia by creating a performance on love, respect and tolerance.

In 2010, Windsor Pride Community invited LGBT youth of Windsor Ontario to participate in a social justice workshop led by gay activist and drama educator Chris Rabideau. The youth shared their experiences with homophobia and dramatized them into a play, which was performed for the public on International Anti-Homophobia Day.

Five days after the play, the group and their mentor were faced with a crushing reality that challenged their dream of a more inclusive and equitable society. But their spirit could not be broken as they rallied together in a march of solidarity showing tremendous resilience and strength.

Best LGBT Documentary –  Ferndale Film Festival 2011

Film by Gabrielle Pescador and Juan Javier Pescador

Produced by Pescador Arte LLC and Windsor Pride Community

Music by Julie Leadbetter

 

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Read about it on Windsorstar.com:  http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2012/06/18/windsor-documentary-on-homophobia-and-youth-gets-new-york-city-screening/

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Awarded “Best LGBT Documentary” at the Ferndale Film Festival 2011, Just Because I Am was premiered at a Safe School Forum in Windsor Canada.  The response was so positive that a curriculum was built around the film to address LGBT issues in Windsor and Essex County’s middle and high school communities.

In 2012, the Ontario government passed Bill 13, an anti-bullying law, which allows students to name their own clubs.  Now students are finally free to start “Gay Straight Alliance” clubs in schools (including Catholic ones) .  Bill 13 is saying to Ontario students, “You can be who you are. You will be safe and accepted at school and the Ontario government supports you in that desire,” according to Education Minister Laurel Broten.

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Day of the Dead Event Dedicated to Victims of Homophobic Hate Crimes

Gender Shifters, installation detail, Michigan State University Museum

Just Because I Am was screened at a Day of the Dead event at Michigan State University in 2011 dedicated to victims of homophobic hate crimes.   The event was aimed at raising awareness on homophobia, prejudice against sexual orientation and hate crimes. In the United States, Mexican communities have turned the Day of the Dead into a public celebration of Mexican/Chicano cultures, a venue to create art reflecting on collective experiences, an opportunity to bring the community together and a way to raise awareness of the issues affecting the lives of people in current times.

For more information on Pescador Arte Day of the Dead installations go to pescadorarteofrendas.wordpress.com

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