As the recent #OscarsSoWhite movement has highlighted, being a person of color in Hollywood isn’t easy. But when that person of color is also an open member of the LGBT community, the experience is even more difficult, and proper access to the industry is doubly difficult.
Aiming to ease such hurdles is Outfest Fusion, a festival where films by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of diverse racial backgrounds are screened and filmmaking workshops are held. Outfest Fusion kicks off Friday and runs through March 16.
“It’s more than just having a festival to celebrate and showcase [multiracial LGBT filmmakers],” said Christopher Racster, executive director of Outfest, Fusion’s parent festival. “It’s our responsibility to make sure that we are helping those voices find a home, be seen, make better films, make more films.”
Outfest Fusion was founded in 2004 after a number of “community members who happen to be people of color” voiced concerns that some of their films were getting lost in the much larger, busy fray that is July’s Outfest Los Angeles festival, according to Racster. The belief was that such diverse voices within the LGBT community needed to be lifted so that the communities they represent could be sure to see themselves reflected on screens.