Gay Themed Movies » 2009 » Out in the Silence (2009)

ccOut in the Silence (2009)


Directors: Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson
Genre: Documentary
Country: USA
Language: English
Duration: 56 min
Year: 2009



Stars: C.J. Bills, Diane Granley, Linda Henderson,Roxanne Hitchcock,Mark Micklos




Out in the Silence is a 2009 documentary film by Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer. It chronicles the chain of events that occur when the severe bullying of a gay teen draws Wilson and his partner back to the conservative rural community of Oil City, Pennsylvania where their own same-sex wedding announcement had previously ignited a controversy. The film focuses on the widely varying, emotional reactions of the town’s residents including the teen and his mother, the head of the local chapter of the American Family Association, and an evangelical pastor and his wife.
cjbillsThe Out in the Silence Campaign for Fairness and Equality in Rural and Small Town America uses the film as a tool to raise the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and promote dialogue and bridge building[14]. The campaign has held over 500 grassroots screenings in town halls, schools, churches, and community centers, many in isolated areas that had not previously experienced any openly LGBT events. The Center for Social Media and the BRITDOC Foundation have highlighted the campaign as an example of using film for social change.
In 2011, the Campaign initiated the Out in the Silence Youth Activism Award to highlight the work of young people on LGBT inclusion and equality.
Out in the Silence (2009)
  • Runtime:56 minutes
  • Actors:
    C.J. Bills
    Diane Granley
    Linda Henderson
    Roxanne Hitchcock
    Himself (as Reverend Mark Micklos)
    Mark Micklos
    Kathy Springer
    Joe Wilson
  • Plots:

    A gray winter sky hangs over lonely city streets, rotted oil derricks, and abandoned factories. This is Oil City, Pennsylvania, a fading industrial town in the heart of the American rust belt. It is the sort of town that Barrack Obama had in mind when he made his infamous comments about bitter small town residents clinging to their guns and religion as they watch the rest of the world pass them by. The peace and quiet is shattered when the filmmaker, Oil City native Joe Wilson, places the announcement of his wedding to another man in the local paper. The announcement catches the eye of Kathy Springer, a local woman whose teenage son, CJ, is being brutally tormented at school because he is gay. Ignored by the school authorities and with no where else to turn, she seeks help from Wilson and they begin a difficult but ultimately successful struggle to take on the school authorities who made every day “eight hours of pure hell” for CJ. The announcement has a very different effect on Diane Gramley, head of the local chapter of the ultra-conservative American Family Association. Infuriated by the prospect of the “homosexual agenda” invading her little town, she issues an action alert calling on townspeople to denounce same sex marriage and all other forms of “perversion”. Over the next four years Wilson navigates the ins and outs of being different in a conservative small town. He makes an unexpected friendship with an evangelical pastor that demonstrates the understanding that can develop when people on different sides of an issue lay down their swords and get to know one another. And he helps a lesbian couple renovate an historical downtown theatre that could catalyze the town’s economic revitalization – if the community will accept them. The greatest change occurs in Wilson himself as he realizes that while maverick acts such as the publication of his wedding announcement can create a splash, creating lasting change in small towns takes the courage and ongoing commitment of local folks to speak out and live openly.

    Written by
    Dean Hamer

    There may not be any secrets in a small town, but there is an expectation of silence. In A Town Called Oil City, the return of a native son to announce his same sex wedding and help a gay teen who is being tormented at school offers a chance to change the way things have always been done.

    Written by

  • Also known as: Out in the Silence ((original title)), In a Town Called Oil City (USA (working title)),
  • Rating: (142 votes)





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