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FORBIDDEN: UNDOCUMENTED AND QUEER IN RURAL AMERICA – FREE!
October 20, 2016 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
UNDOCUMENTED AND QUEER IN RURAL AMERICA
directed by Tiffany Rhynard
Activist MOISES SERRANO and Producer / Editor HEATHER MATHEWS to be in attendance!
“In a year full of hateful, divisive rhetoric aimed at both undocumented immigrants and the LGBTQ community, this film shows how one dedicated person can make a positive impact for their community with compassion and earnest advocacy. The 2016 Programming Award for Freedom goes to Tiffany Rhynard and Moises Serrano for FORBIDDEN: UNDOCUMENTED AND QUEER IN RURAL AMERICA. —- OUTFEST Jury, in their award citation for FORBIDDEN, granting that film a Special Jury Award for Freedom.
Growing up in rural North Carolina, Moises Serrano fell in love with a country that refused to recognize his full humanity — both as an undocumented immigrant and as a gay man. The documentary project FORBIDDEN follows Moises’s personal journey as a young gay man hoping to get into college and as a tireless activist fighting for the rights of the undocumented to have a place in this country.
When Moises is 18 months old, his parents risk their lives bringing him across the US/Mexican border to rural North Carolina in search of steady work. Years later, as an undocumented, gay man full of ambition and talent, he is barred from attending community college, faces limited job opportunities, and regularly deals with prejudices against both his brown skin and sexuality. At age 21, he is on the brink of suicide. Out of his darkest moments he discovers his life passion—his role as an activist.
Moises’ story is a transformational journey from depression and despair to a life of passion and purpose. At his lowest point, he meets several undocumented immigrant activists who encourage him to publically share his story outside the Yadkin County Courthouse. Although a big risk, speaking out sparks a sense of purpose for Moises and leads him, along with other activists, to establish El Cambio, an organization committed to immigrant and migrant rights in North Carolina. His natural leadership skills and charismatic personality quickly lead him to the spotlight. Around this time, Moises meets his current partner Brandon, and falls in love for the first time. After years of conflict about his sexuality, heightened by teasing from family and peers, Moises finally does not feel alone. He begins incorporating LGBTQ activism into his immigrant rights platform, seeking ways of combining the energy of both groups for maximum political impact. In North Carolina’s current hostile political environment, Moises continues to gain notoriety as a speaker, organizer, and political activist in both the immigration and LGBTQ communities.
Universal moments of independence such as moving out of his parent’s house, purchasing a car on his own, and contemplating marriage interweave with the political victories of DACA and DOMA. This crossover brings to light how closely intertwined the personal and political are for Moises and the millions of people in similar circumstances. Moises seeks to engage his parents generation in ‘coming out of the shadows” to join the fight for reform. Due to the weakening national immigration bill, the threat of deportation will likely remain for years. Fighting for in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants is also central for Moises, who himself has not been able to attend college due to North Carolina laws and the financial challenge of paying out of state tuition.
Special Programming Award for Freedom, OUTFEST 2016
CREAM CITY FOUNDATION
ACLU OF WISCONSIN
VOCES DE LA FRONTERA
LATIN AMERICAN, CARIBBEAN, AND U.S. LATIN@ STUDIES
The 31st Annual Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival opens on Wednesday, October 12th and continues October 14-23.
The Festival is presented by the Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres in the UWM Peck School of the Arts.
The Festival is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Cream City Foundation, Wisconsin Gazette, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Pride, Jack H. Smith of Shorewest Realtors, Bronze Optical, and Joseph R. Pabst.