Live From Sundance: Telling Better Queer and Trans Stories
January 25, 2024
This week, At Liberty is coming to you live from the 2024 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, hosting a discussion with queer and transgender storytellers. The conversation delves into the challenges they face while navigating an onslaught of bills targeting trans people nationwide and censoring their narratives. This dialogue follows a recent decision by the Utah state House to advance HB 257, a bill that would criminalize trans people for using the bathroom—a stark example of the many threats against the trans community that have surged in recent years.
Nationwide, 22 states have banned gender-affirming care for trans minors, and over 300 new anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in 2024. We’re fighting back in the legislatures and the courts, but this is also a fight in the public discourse, one that demands us to fight back in cultural organizing. We must own our narratives and tell our stories because the queer and trans community will not be invisible.
In this episode, we’re joined by Lío Mehiel, an actor, filmmaker, and multidisciplinary artist known for starring in the films “Mutt” and “In the Summers,” both of which premiered at Sundance. We’re also joined by Jules Rosskam, a filmmaker, artist, and educator who has directed several films including “Transparent,” “Against a Trans Narrative,” and the recent Sundance premiere “Desire Lines.” Last, but certainly not least, we have Gillian Branstetter, our very own communications strategist for the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV project. Together, we spoke about the efforts threatening queer and trans storytelling, and how we persist in spite of them.
If you want to join us and the ACLU of Utah in fighting back against HB 257, sign this petition: https://secure.everyaction.com/Ql111CGWmUiOqyG_qjNrWw2