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9th Annual Queer Film Series begins Oct. 6

BOONE – Appalachian State University presents the 9th Annual Queer Film Series featuring four documentaries and a romantic comedy. All screenings will be shown on Mondays at 7 p.m. in Room 114 Belk Library and Information Commons.

Films will be followed by discussion and are free and open to the public.

The series begins Oct. 6 with “Venus of Mars” (105 minutes, 2004), a documentary about a transgender Minneapolis glam rock band singer named Venus who is negotiating relationship frontiers with his/her wife of 20 years, Lynette. Born male, Venus is “in between” – taking female hormones, but not planning to have sexual reassignment surgery. To some, Venus is a pioneer. To others, s/he is a freak.

“For the Bible Tells Me So” (99 minutes, 2008) will be shown Oct. 13. This multiple award-winning documentary explores the conflict between religion and homosexuality in the United States and how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to stigmatize the gay community. The film looks deep into the hearts of several families who have struggled with having a homosexual son or daughter. The film includes interviews with former U.S. presidential candidate Dick Gephardt, who has a lesbian daughter, a gay bishop in New Hampshire’s Episcopal church, and Bishop Desmond Tutu.

The Oct. 20 screening features “Be Like Others (Transsexuals in Iran)” (74 minutes, 2008, in English and Persian with subtitles). In the Islamic Republic of Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death. Twenty-five years ago, however, the Ayatollah Khomeini pronounced transsexuality legal and allowed for sex-change operations, since nothing in the Koran specifically forbids the surgery. Intimate and unflinching, this documentary takes a provocative look at a generation of young Iranian men choosing to undergo sex change surgery to love safely.

“Saving Face” will be shown Oct. 27 (97 minutes, 2005, in English and Chinese with subtitles). This lesbian romantic comedy focuses on Wilhelmina, a young surgeon, who has hidden her sexual orientation from the conservative Chinese community of Flushing, N.Y. But when her widowed mother (Joan Chen) becomes pregnant and is kicked out by her own parents, Wil suddenly has to juggle her mother’s secrets with her own, which include a new romance with the daughter of her boss.

“Saving Marriage” (2008) will be shown Nov. 3. Three years in the making, “Saving Marriage” is on the scene as the state of Massachusetts grapples with a simple question: Should gay and lesbian couples have the right to marry? The film presents personal stories of people shaping history: career politicians who stand up to their constituents and follow their hearts, seasoned lobbyists who see the holy grail of the gay rights movement suddenly within reach, and regular people thrust into the world of politics by an issue that could change their lives.

For more information, contact Drs. Jill Ehnenn at, Kim Hall at, or David Orvis at