Equality U
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Equality U

USA, 2008, 91 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Coming Out, Documentary, Gay, Lesbian, Religion / Spirituality
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Dave O’Brien

This affecting documentary details the work of some remarkable young activists determined to confront the homophobia faced by their peers. The group of col-lege-aged, gay Christians undertakes a cross-country campaign to address the grim fact that numerous Christian colleges and universities forbid LGBT students from living openly or loving whom they choose. Decrying these policies as destructive of college communities and precious lives, the participants in the Soulforce Freedom Ride travel by bus from campus to campus, meeting with both queer and straight students, as well as with the administrators who enforce the draconian rules.
Seeking permission to visit each campus, they are often caught off-guard when campus officials renege on prior agreements, forcing dire decisions: Will the students face arrest for trespassing? Should they find alternative spaces to meet with queer students? If they compromise, what kind of signals are they sending? The answers do not come easily, and at times lead to pitched arguments over the meaning of their work. The moral and strategic questions they face are fascinating, as are the occasional displays of grace that emerge in some of the most unexpected places.
As they barnstorm through Virginia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and beyond, these gay-rights advocates share their own diverse stories of growing up queer in faith communities. Through them, the film presents a striking image of the hard and heroic work of true activism, in which difficulty and sacrifice are requisite to making real change. — SHANNON KELLEY



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