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MOVIES 'Disarm Hate' features LGBTQ+ gun-control activists after massacre
by Vic Gerami
2020-08-18

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Narrated by the iconic actor Harvey Fierstein, the film Disarm Hate seeks to create awareness about gun violence against the LGBTQ+ community following the 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando that took 49 lives as the impetus

Directed by Julianna Brudek, the film chronicles nine diverse LGBTQ+ activists who come together after the Pulse nightclub massacre to join Jason P. Hayes, a hairdresser, and an activist from New Jersey who is on a crusade. Without political experience, Hayes builds a national rally to demand LGBTQ+ equal rights, fight the NRA, and challenge America's obsession with gun violence.

"I wanted to bring awareness to how disproportionately gun violence has affected the less privileged members of our community. Two weeks before Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered, Rita Hester, a trans woman of color, was murdered, and the media buried the story. Forgotten forever," said Julianna Brudek. She added, "I did not want that to happen to the Hispanic LGBTQs that lost their lives at Pulse Nightclub. As a community, we must remember the hate crimes, and work together to stop the violence perpetrated on each one of us."

Beginning as a road trip, the journey turned into so much more than anyone could have expected. Exploring their similarities and differences, the group develops a life-changing bond as they visit prominent sites of gun violence that have affected LGBTQ+ people nationwide. This common ground opens discussions between the travelers and the people they meet along the way, that look to alleviate these horrific hate crimes and bring a better understanding for all.

The renowned trans activist and media personality Ashlee Marie Preston who is a cast member and an executive producer said, "The threat of gun violence is intersectional. When someone's identity overlaps with multiple marginalized groups, their risk is compounded. Black Americans are 10 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than white Americans. Being a woman and trans exacerbates those odds." She continued, "Disarm Hate," which focuses on the discriminatory culture within America that informs the violence marginalized communities face. If we are ever to eradicate gun violence, we must interrogate the attitudes and beliefs that fan the flames of hate. Our journey was not about taking away people's guns, it was about removing the barriers that obstruct their ability to recognize our humanity."

The documentary successfully probes the emotional journeys of the activists, who squabble, laugh, cry, and even fall in love throughout their trip. It also examines opposing views and counterpoints to their calls for gun reform from a pro-gun perspective, as they visit a shooting range and engage with a member of the Pink Pistols, a pro-gun LGBTQ+ group.

Harvey Fierstein, who narrated the film, said, "Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."

Disarm Hate is available on multiple streaming platforms including Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNOW, Google Play/You Tube Rentals, InDemand ( Comcast & Cox ), Microsoft Store, and Vudu.

A noted journalist and columnist, Vic Gerami is also a radio-show host and media contributor who is also publisher and editor of The Blunt Post. Gerami is the host and producer of his prime-time radio show, THE BLUNT POST with VIC on Independent Radio KPFK 90.7 FM ( Pacifica Network ).

For the second time, Gerami was selected as a finalist in the Los Angeles Press Club's National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards "Columnist of the Year" category in 2019, having first made the final round of consideration in 2017. His celebrity Q&A column, '10 Questions with Vic' is internationally syndicated.

In July 2020, the Los Angeles Press Club announced that Gerami is a finalist in a record seven categories for the 62nd Annual Southern California Journalism Awards.


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