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Films on Gay/Lesbian/Transgender Issues Shown on Campus

BOONE–The Fourth Annual Queer Film Series at Appalachian State University begins Monday, Sept. 29, with “The Times of Harvey Milk,” the Academy Award-winning documentary of a San Francisco camera shop owner who became one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials, only to be assassinated less than a year later.

The series consists of five films. All will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in the Greenbriar Theatre in the Plemmons Student Union. Admission is free, and the public is invited. Discussion will follow each presentation.

Other films include “Paragraph 175″ on Monday, Oct. 6. The hidden story of the persecution, incarceration and murder of gay men and lesbians at the hands of the Nazis is examined in this documentary by Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. The film follows Klaus Muller, a historian who uses archival footage, photographs and testimonials from several surviving camp detainees, to document the ten last known gay survivors of Hitler’s “purification” program of all sexual “degenerates.”

On Monday, Oct. 13, “You Don’t Know Dick: Courageous Hearts of Transsexual Men” explores the motivation to change one’s gender. The documentary features women who have lived within bodies they don’t accept, have tried to adapt to social expectations they can’t fulfill, and have experienced devastating personal pain that cannot be obscured by denial. So as a result, they have embarked upon an enormous struggle to recover dignity and an identity denied.

“The Trip,” shown on Monday, Oct. 20, is an ambitiously epic gay romance that traces the course of two men from their initial meeting as teenagers in 1973 until 1984. The time is the socially turbulent 1970s when radical politics and the emerging gay rights movement clashed with the rigidly conservative establishment.

The series concludes with “Venus Boyz” on Monday, Oct. 27, a documentary about Drag Kings, women who, after assuming male alter egos, parody male archetypes and subvert masculine power strategies while exploring concepts of male eroticism. Transgendered men who have transformed their bodies through surgery or hormones are also profiled, elaborating on masculine metamorphosis as existential necessity.

The series is sponsored by Appalachian’s Women’s Studies Program in cooperation with B-GLAAD (Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians and Allies Associated for Diversity). Contact Dr. Kim Hall at hallki@appstate.edu or Dr. Jill Ehnenn at ehnennjr@appstate.edu for more information.

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