A Weekend with NOGLSTP: Film Festival Celebrates LGBTQ+ Identities, Addresses Social Challenges

September 28-30, 2018—Purdue University’s NOGLSTP (National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals) hosted its sixth annual film festival, spanning Friday to Sunday night in Rawls Hall. The event featured six movies and several discussions on issues faced by (and within) the LGBTQ+ community.

Members of NOGLSTP put on the free festival each year to advocate acceptance, promote positive identities, and educate the public on gender and sexual minorities. This year, the featured films sought to explore “problems within the [LGBTQ+] community not usually discussed,” organizer of the festival Gabby Hinson explained.

Several documentaries screened over the weekend provided insight into social challenges: Gaming in Color followed the lives of queer people in video gaming culture, while Same Difference captured the gender role-based discrimination that occurs within the lesbian community.

Other movies such as teen comedy Alex Strangelove (produced by Ben Stiller) offered audiences a more light-hearted evening affair.

The film festival concluded on Sunday night with Pariah, a drama about a black teenager and her struggle being a lesbian in a conservative Brooklyn family. Following the movie, an interactive discussion took place concerning racism faced by black lesbians. Those in attendance learned about the marginalization of queer black women, despite the progress of LGBTQ+ institutions.

When asked about the future of NOGLSTP’s film festival, Hinson stated the possibility of hosting a film series, showing movies throughout the semester or year, rather than putting on another weekend event. The organization also hopes to screen previously unreleased films and other non-market productions.

NOGLSTP will assist Gamma Rho Lambda in hosting a discussion on racism and LGBTQ+ equality with The Vixen (from the television show RuPaul’s Drag Race) this October 14. The event, free and open to the public, begins at 7 pm in Fowler Hall.