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Free Screening of Prayers for Bobby


by Stephen Becker 23 Jan 2009

Guest blogger Todd Camp is the Artistic Director of Q Cinema, Fort Worth’s Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival. As a young, newly out 26-year-old journalist, I’ll never forget meeting a charismatic, white-haired gentlemen named Leroy Aarons. His own coming out and his subsequent founding of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association made headlines […]

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Guest blogger Todd Camp is the Artistic Director of Q Cinema, Fort Worth’s Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival.

As a young, newly out 26-year-old journalist, I’ll never forget meeting a charismatic, white-haired gentlemen named Leroy Aarons. His own coming out and his subsequent founding of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association made headlines nationwide.

Roy was a whip smart, grandfatherly (God, he would have hated that adjective) mentoring force in my life who saw me through one of the darkest chapters of my journalism career, when some people with different political views than mine got me successfully removed from editing a newspaper magazine for young people.

I eagerly read his first book, Prayers for Bobby, a heart-wrenching true story of a young boy whose overbearing, intolerant mother made it appear that suicide was his only out. The book became a Lifetime movie premiering this at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Oscar-nominee Sigourney Weaver stars as Mary Griffith, an unforgiving zealot transformed into a gay rights activist by the passing of her son.

Like most Lifetime fare (they don’t call it “Television for Women . . . and Gay Men” for nothing), it’s a bit melodramatic. But the message is unmistakable and wounding. Anyone not moved during the movie’s gay pride parade finale should probably check themselves for a pulse.

We lost Roy to cancer in 1994, but I’m pretty sure he would have been proud. Q Cinema, Fort Worth’s Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival is honored to offer a commercial-free screening of the film at 8 p.m. Saturday at Moudy, 164S in the Moudy Building on the campus of Texas Christian University. It’s the very room where Q Cinema was born as a film discussion group in the late ’90s. The building is at the corner of University Drive and Cantey.

A word of caution: Bring Kleenex.

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  • Doug

    I can not believe there is no responses so far. The movie so echoed my own life. Being gay and raised in the bible belt of the Carolina’s. My mother never came to terms with the fact her 2nd son, (there was four of us) was gay. She tried to find peace with it by confiding with her minister, only to be told that in God’s eyes I no longer existed. No one understands the sufferings of the young gay people trying to find acceptance in a society that rejects the lifestyle. During the early 80’s I attempted suicide but luckily it was a failed attempt. During that decade I came to terms with myself, the realization that I am exactly as God intended me to be. I found confort in God. People do not realize that the Bible was written by man and that it is open to different meanings. In Dec. on 1991 I went home for Christmas and as I was leaving my mother walked me to my car. I will never forget her embrace around my neck and her saying maybe she was wrong. Two weeks later she passed away in her sleep, but I have the comfort of knowing she was coming around. To anyone that will read this, don’t give up hope, hold on to your faith. Today is a better day than it was yesterday and tomorrow will be even better.

  • grant

    i have never heard of this movie. sounds intense but i really would like to know if there is a point, some nugget of universal nugget of wisdom to aid me in my never-ending-quest make sense out of humanity, the universe and God? Seriously, there are thousands, maybe millions, of books, stories and movies that tug at the heart.

    i already saw “what’s it all about, alfie” and tennessee williams and william shakespeare provide a store of emotional drama to last us all a lifetime.