Trans videographer launches biggest storytelling effort for LGBTQ youth in Alabama
In October, Prism United and mobile region trans videographer Max Kuzma will increase the visibility of Southwest Alabama’s LGBTQ youth across the Campaign Who we area series of short documentaries featuring local LGBTQ youth sharing their lived experiences in their own words.
Corey Harvard (he she)general manager of united prismreleased the statement:
“Prism United’s Who We Are campaign aims to make Alabama a safer place. LGBTQ youth exist in every community, but where their presence is not visible due to repression and victimization, they suffer, experiencing higher rates of anxiety, depression, eating disorders , substance abuse and suicidality than their peers. When LGBTQ youth feel seen and heard in their community, these struggles diminish. This campaign aims to elevate the voices and stories of LGBTQ youth, center their journeys, and call for greater understanding and inclusion in Southwest Alabama.
Two of the first campaign feature videos Adrian (he she) and patrick (he she), LGBTQ youth in Mobile. “I sometimes make fun of myself when I was younger, because man, if only you could see your potential that you are going to have very soon,” Patrick said in the video. “Open up and be yourself, man – if only you could see that, you’d be fine.” The campaign will air seven additional short documentaries throughout October.
The Who We Are campaign shorts were created by Max Kuzma (he she), an award-winning trans cinematographer based in Mobile with over 9 years of film production experience and a passion for cinematic storytelling. Max said:
“As a trans filmmaker living in Alabama, working on this documentary series has been a dream project for me: an opportunity to center the voices of young LGBTQ people in a unique and cinematic way, giving these young people the opportunity to speak for themselves, which is so often denied. The Who We Are campaign is about listening to young people, understanding what motivates and energizes them, and celebrating their unique role in our communities.
The Who We Are campaign comes the same year that legislation targeting LGBTQ youth — particularly transgender and non-binary youth — swept the country. Many states, including Alabama, have debated the existence and equality of LGBTQ youth and have even passed laws restricting trans youth from areas of public life, from school sports to medical care. Alabama lawmakers passed a bill banning transgender youth from participating in school sports, and a chamber of the legislature introduced a bill to ban and even jail trans healthcare providers. We need to hear stories from young LGBTQ people in Alabama more than ever.
The campaign will air seven additional short documentaries throughout the month. Who We Are videos can be viewed on social media or on https://prismunited.org/who-we-are/see-us/. For more information about the Who We Are campaign, please contact Executive Director Corey Harvard at 251-599-6747 or [email protected]
About Prism United
united prism responds to the comprehensive needs of LGBTQ youth in the region, providing programs and services for LGBTQ youth and their caregivers, including programs for teens and tweens, programs for family members, as well as well as training and resources for organizations in the region. www.prismunited.org