Stonewall Gallery Gets Message Across Through Video

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The True Colors Exhibit. Photo credit: John McDonald.

Travis Bryant is a YouTube sensation who painfully describes his father’s reaction to his coming out as gay.

“Don’t worry we can fix this,” Bryant’s father told him, offering to use funds set aside for college for conversion therapy instead.

“That was the biggest slap in the face,” Bryant said. “That hurt me more than anything and it still hurts.”

Bryant was 15 when he decided to tell his parents he is gay. Now 30 with more than 180,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, Bryant is a successful content creator and unapologetic gay man.

“I’d rather be hated for the person I am that loved for somebody I’m not,” he said.

Bryant’s testimony is part of a new video exhibition at the Stonewall National Museum’s Wilton Manors gallery. “True Colors: In Our Own Words, Video Stories in Queer America” is on display at the gallery through November 5.

“There’s still a lot of people that think it’s easy to come out,” remarked Judge Robert W. Lee after hearing Bryant’s video presentation. Judge Lee, chairperson of the Broward County Civil Court Division, was one of a dozen attendees at Friday night’s opening reception. It was a rescheduled reception due to Hurricane Irma.

“We took everything over to the archives and boarded this gallery up,” said Chris Rudisill, executive director of Stonewall National Museum & Archives.

Rudisill said the gallery suffered no damage and electricity was restored to allow the “True Colors” exhibit to continue. In addition to Bryant’s contribution, the exhibit features stories from well-known celebrities Dan Savage and George Takei and inspiring messages from transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.

“I saw that trans young people were using YouTube to share stories and that launched the idea,” said Rudisill.

Some of the exhibit participants offer advice. For Kat Blaque, the comments section is never a good place to dwell.

“In general comment sections tend to be a massive time suck that often results in fighting with total strangers and resolving absolutely nothing,” said Blaque, a transgender activist.

Takei, the legendary actor of ‘Star Trek’ fame, asks for support for Rainbow Railroad, an organization assisting LGBT people escape the atrocities in Chechnya. There are reports of “honor killings” by relatives of gay men in the small Russian territory, Takei said.

On a lighter note, Savage describes how he first met his husband Terry Miller at a nightclub.

“I was staring at the cute boys dancing because I don’t dance,” Savage said.

Miller was dancing and Savage was smitten.

“I said you have a pretty mouth and he said the better to eat you with,” Savage recalled. “It was love at first innuendo.”

The couple married in Canada in 2005 and have an adopted son. Their organization, It Gets Better Project, recently celebrated its seventh anniversary. It Gets Better serves as a vehicle for LGBT youth to combat bullying and prevent suicide.

“You have to tough this period of your life out and know that the bigots don’t win,” Savage said.

Call 954-763-8565 or visit stonewall-museum.org for more information.

 


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