FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Sherry Kelley, a film producer from California, had the opportunity to speak to the television and video production class at Methodist University about her documentary project, “A Place Called Home,” which tells the story of what it is like to be a homeless LGBT youth.
The class was so inspired that several students volunteered their time and talents to produce a pre-trailer video under the guidance and supervision of their instructor, Associate Professor Paul Joseph. He was also instrumental in the approval of students using the school’s equipment to handle the assignment.
“A Place Called Home” is a film committed to bringing attention and meaningful change to the harsh reality of the lives of homeless LGBT kids — to bring to life the hardships they endure as only a film can, Kelly said. “I once read ‘A film alone won’t change the world, but a lot of good can come out of it.’, — a good that can change people’s hearts and minds. An article in Variety entitled ‘Why More LGBT Rights Stories Need to Be Brought to the Screen’ summed it up best: ‘It is also about touching their hearts.’ And, that’s what happens when people see the stories of LGBT people reflected on their television screens and in movie theaters.”
Overwhelming statistics show that one-in-four LGBT youth become homeless once they come out to their families. For those who are allowed to remain in the home, 46 percent choose homelessness due to the harshness of their home life. Unfortunately, once on the streets, they turn to “survival sex” in order to have a place to sleep at night so they do not have to undergo the abuses they endure at shelters, including their staff. Tragically, a conservative estimate shows that 1,500 commit suicide annually and one homeless LGBT youth dies on the streets every four hours. And six die daily from lack of shelter, healthcare and food, in addition to street violence.
“These kids suffer in plain sight — faceless, nameless and completely marginalized without hope or self-esteem,” Kelly shared. “They are, unfortunately, mere statistics on a page. But, they aren’t just statistics. They are children who have been thrown away by their families, friends, churches and society in general and who live lives of complete lack. They are also the catalyst of ‘A Place Called Home,’ a coming of age drama about Ally, an All-American girl, who struggles to accept her sexuality and ends up fighting for her life in more ways than one,” she added.
More information is available online including a link to the film’s crowdfunding page. Individuals, businesses or organizations are welcome to contribute to “A Place Called Home.” Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.