One result of trauma is a breakdown in communication between people who share a common experience. Sadly, the lives of gay people have not been witnessed or validated by our culture, through its media, it's justice system, or its religious institutions.
The Park View Project challenges the viewer to question the language of hate in our culture, and to consider the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people.
The friends of Talana Kreeger were frustrated in their attempts to locate a church that was willing to host her funeral, in light of the publicity surrounding her murder. A scheduled memorial service had been cancelled at the last minute, when a local church became aware that the deceased was lesbian, requiring a hurried relocation, to the Church of the Good Shepherd, where the Reverend Burton Whiteside welcomed the grieving friends of Talana.
Two years later, in 1992, several of these mourners were among the founding members of St. Jude's Metropolitan Community Church, part of a Christian denomination that affirms the humanity and spirituality of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and straight people. In the words of one of these early leaders, "We wanted to have a place where we could marry you and bury you."
On Friday, February 22, 2008, the Park View Project partnered with St. Jude's MCC to host a Memorial Service, to honor Talana Kreeger and other victims of hate crimes in their community, and to inspire social justice and healing.
The Park View Project will extend the power of this story, through learning modules that will invite individuals and groups, in schools, churches, and community organizations, to consider the impact of hate in our culture.
We have had dialogue with Equality NC, about their advocacy for the “Safer Communities Act”, an unsuccessful bill in the North Carolina State House that would have revised the hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation, as well as their current opposition to the HB2 “Bathroom Bill.” The Park View Project will initiate outreach to key constituencies, with the support of an Audience Engagement Consultation by Working Films.