On behalf of the Diversity Council of Penn State Schuylkill, Lauren J. Joseph, assistant professor of sociology, has arranged for the screening of the documentary, "Out in the Silence." The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, in the R. Michael Fryer Conference Center. Following the film screening, Reverend Mark Micklos, an evangelical preacher featured in the documentary film who developed an unexpected friendship with the filmmakers, will lead a discussion with the audience on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, religion, and learning to communicate across deep divides. Micklos is senior pastor at the Fern Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church.
"Out in the Silence" is a 2009 documentary film by Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer. It chronicles the chain of events that occur when the severe bullying of a gay teen draws Wilson and his partner back to the conservative rural community of Oil City, Pa., where their own same-sex wedding announcement had previously ignited a controversy. The film focuses on the widely varying, emotional reactions of the town's residents including the teen and his mother, the head of the local chapter of the American Family Association, and an evangelical pastor and his wife.
The aim of "Out in the Silence" is to expand public awareness about the difficulties that LGBT people face in rural and small town America and to promote dialogue and action that will help people on all sides of the issues find common ground.
"The Diversity Council is very pleased to host this event that will touch on issues of local Pennsylvania culture and social change, diversity and community, and mutual understanding and communication."
-- Lauren J. Joseph, assistant professor of sociology, at Penn State Schuylkill
This documentary was funded in part by Penn State through WPSU, an outreach service of the University. This event is free and open to the public.