SUU Pride Alliance partners with B.W. Batian Foundation to create visibility for LGBTQIA+ community on campus

Southern Utah University’s Pride Alliance will host its annual B.W. Bastian Foundation Film Festival on April 4 and 5 at 6:00 p.m. in the Student Center Theater. The event will show two films  which promote conversation about diversity, equality and inclusion for queerness and other intersected identities: “Dog Valley” and “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America.”

The Principle Director for the grant, Andrea Donovan, says this event is a way to create Queer visibility and do the intersectional justice of work across differences.. 

“The films amplify conversations regarding minoritized groups, and is an opportunity for students to work across differences within our communities and recognize where we overlap,” she said. 

“Dog Valley” is directed by Dave Lindsay and written by Chad Anderson and will play on April 4. The film focuses on a story about a former SUU student who was murdered in a homophobic hate crime. Chad Anderson will be addressing the audience after the screening.

“Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America” is directed by Tiffany Rhynard and will play on April 5. The story is about how growing up queer in North Carolina affected Moises Serrano. Moises Serrano will be joining the audience on Zoom after the screening.

Donovan explained that the two films will address some of the relationships between queerness and rurality. The films aim to amplify work that focuses on equality and creates a space of discussion among students. 

“Viewing these films and participating in the conversation afterwards is an opportunity to participate in justice,” Donovan expounded. “This means working for intersectional diversity on campus because the more diversity and intentionality we have on campus, the better off we are as a Campus community.”

Student Film Festival Intern Allie Pierce believes that this event creates an easy way to get involved. She explained that watching the films gives students who do not normally participate in LGBTQIA+ events a chance to understand the community. 

“This event does a great job at bridging the gap between SUU’s Pride Alliance and the rest of campus,” Pierce said. 

The B.W. Bastian Foundation is a private foundation located in Orem, Utah that is dedicated to supporting local and national institutions in their outreach to communities regarding LGBTIA+ education. 

Since 2017, the foundation has awarded SUU Pride Alliance with funding to produce art in amplification of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Article by: Danielle Meuret

Photo courtesy of Steve Johnson on Unsplash