Open Dialogues: How the Faith-Based Community Can Better Include and Accept LGBTQ Individuals

September 16, 2021

Open Dialogues reveals in intimate detail how the LGBTQ community is often marginalized within families, schools, churches and public spaces

The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood will present a live public screening and discussion of its documentary short film Open Dialogues: Stories From the LGBTQ Community on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, located at 1530 Hollywood Boulevard.

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception, followed at 7 p.m. with the screening and discussion of the 20-minute film in the church sanctuary. Todd Delmay of the Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council will lead the interactive talk with First Presbyterian Pastor Kennedy McGowan and Temple Beth El Rabbi Alan Tuffs.

Completed in 2020, Open Dialogues: Stories From the LGBTQ Community captures the diverse coming-out narratives of seven Broward residents who took part in on-camera interviews. The film was produced by the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood, and was directed, photographed and edited by award-winning Miami-based filmmaker Freddy Rodriguez.

Open Dialogues reveals in intimate detail how the LGBTQ community is often marginalized within families, schools, churches and public spaces – and how individuals interviewed for the film learned to empower themselves in these spaces. The Broward residents who took part in on-camera interviews are Julie Marie Wade, Dan Bassett, Christine Walters, Omar Morales, Gary Keating, Franchesca D’Amore, and Michael Goodman.

This inter-denominational event will engage audience members in a discussion of how the faith-based community can better include and accept LGBTQ individuals here in Broward County.

“Our vision for our church is based on three words – invited, welcomed and loved,” Pastor McGowan said. “That’s what we feel God does. We want to give that to each and every person and have them feel that from us. This is one way for us to live out that vision for the LGBTQ community, which has not always been welcomed in the faith community.”

Pastor McGowan has served more than 25 years in Christian ministry, both here in South Florida and in Long Island, New York. First Presbyterian is among 21 Broward religious congregations who comprise Bold Justice, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that holds community leaders accountable to solve problems in Broward County. Rabbi Tuffs joined Temple Beth El of Hollywood in 1997, where he is committed to preserving Jewish tradition while remaining open to new ideas.

“The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood is excited to share our Open Dialogues film in the sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood,” said Joy Satterlee, the Center’s Executive Director. “This event supports the Center’s goal for Open Dialogues to foster greater inclusion and acceptance of the LGBTQ community here in Broward County.”

Open Dialogues was an Official Selection in OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival and 35th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, where it was awarded Best Broward Documentary. It was recently selected to be screened in the 2021 Orlando Film Festival from October 28th, 2021 to November 4th, 2021.

For more information, visit: https://www.artandculturecenter.org. Or call: (954) 921-3274.

The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that presents a year-round schedule of contemporary gallery exhibitions, artist talks, film screenings, and youth education and career development programs. The Center cultivates creativity and the support of the arts in our community through education, innovation, and collaboration.

Support for Open Dialogues: Stories From the LGBTQ Community was provided by the following funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: Helen and Frank Stoykov Charitable Endowment Fund, Ruth H. Brown Fund for the Arts, Dot and Keith Cobb Fund, and Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund.

About the Community Foundation of Broward:
Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation of Broward helps families, individuals and organizations create personalized charitable Funds that deliver game-changing philanthropic impact. 479 charitable Funds represent more than $200 million in assets, distributing $131 million in grants over the past 36 years. The Community Foundation provides bold leadership on community solutions and fosters philanthropy that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Foundation empowers visionaries, innovators and doers to create the change they want to see in the community – and to BE BOLD. www.cfbroward.org