Across America, LGBT youth are finding themselves persecuted by the same communities that promise to protect their young people. As a result, they are forced to suffer in silence, furthering a tradition of this vicious victimization. The award-winning documentary by filmmaker Joe Wilson, Out in the Silence, tells the story of a handful of rural Pennsylvania residents struggling for inclusion amidst anti-gay sentiment. The story unfolds when Joe Wilson’s same-sex wedding announcement ignites a controversy after it is published in his hometown newspaper, a small Pennsylvania community he left long ago.

Drawn back by a plea for help from the mother of a gay teen being tormented at school, Wilson’s journey dramatically illustrates the challenges of being an outsider in a conservative environment. It also shows the potential for building bridges across differences in religion, politics and values when people approach each other with openness and respect.

This film screening is being co-presented by the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, the ACLU of Maryland, Equality Maryland, and the Maryland Black Family Alliance

The ACLU of Maryland has collected the stories of Maryland LGBT individuals’ experiences growing up, coming out, and living out in the open. These stories have been documented through film, writing, photography, and art. The collected stories will be compiled in an exhibit that will be premiered at the January 30 screening.

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