GLSEN To Release LGBT-Themed Shorts Directed By Hollywood Stars

Images via Netflix & 20th Century Fox

GLSEN is working with some big-name Hollywood talent to produce LGBTQ-themed short videos.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, GLSEN, an American organization that works on ending discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in the education system, has announced a new film project. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, GLSEN has reimagined its annual Los Angeles Respect Awards into Respect Everywhere.

Respect Everywhere is a digital experience that will have Hollywood talent helping to tell stories about LGBTQ student advocates. Some of these big Hollywood names include Octavia Spencer, Antoni Porowski, Matt Bomer, Joe Mantello, Rob Hardy, and Kalen Allen. Each one of these celebrities acts as a director for a short video. All of the videos will then premiere on Monday, October 26, on GLSEN’s website.

Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer directed the story of Jessica Chiriboga, a mixed-race lesbian, scholar, activist, athlete, and quadruplet who was raised in a Christian household. Bomer directed the story of Austin Laufersweiler, a Georgia native who advocates for LGBTQ rights. Porowski directed the story of Darid Prom, a queer Cambodian immigrant attending Swarthmore College. Hardy directed the story of bisexual and non-binary trans student JP Grant who’s a scholar, artist, athlete, and aspiring teacher. Mantello directed the story of Gabriel Ian DiCenzo, a high school senior from LA. And lastly, Allen directed the story of E. Smith, a Harvard freshman who was GLSEN’s 2019 Student Advocate of the Year.

But that’s not all. This digital event is also the start of GLSEN’s 30th-anniversary celebrations!

“We knew GLSEN’s 30th anniversary would begin in a world profoundly challenged by the COVID pandemic, the fight for racial justice, and a continued assault on hard-fought LGBTQ+ rights and gains for LGBTQ+ youth,” said GLSEN executive director Eliza Byard. “It was imperative to center a diverse group of LGBTQ+ student stories for this year’s Respect celebration. They will give you hope for the future and the energy to fight for the next thirty years.”

Said Octavia Spencer on the project: “I was honored to meet Jessica Chiriboga and tell her story for GLSEN Respect Everywhere. Jessica is an exceptional young woman who struggled to reconcile her Christian faith with her sexual orientation, but in the process, she became a leader and activist making a difference in so many people’s lives.”


Source: The Hollywood Reporter,

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