“The generation that fought hardest to come out is going back in to survive”

Gen Silent is a critically-acclaimed documentary from filmmaker Stu Maddux that explores the challenges of six LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, trans) seniors who face the difficult choice of hiding their friends, their spouses and their entire lives in order to survive in the health care system.

For Family Fest 2011 the Frank Harr Foundation will open the event with a meet & greet reception for Gen Silent director, Stu Maddux, on Thursday, September 29, 2011, at 7 pm. Local film organization Working Films will host the meet & greet at the firehouse at 602 S. 5th Avenue, Wilmington, N.C. on the corner of Castle St. The reception is free and open to the public with catering provided by Front Street Brewery. Filmmakers and media creators interested in learning how to use their projects to promote social change are encouraged to attend. Stu will discuss how he is using his film to encourage more hospices and service agencies to address the specific needs of LGBT elders.

The 63-minute film will screen for free the following day, Friday, September 30, 2011, at 3 pm at UNCW’s Warwick Center. There will be a Health Fair starting at 12:30 pm that will include vendors serving the LGBT community, seminars focusing on legal issues facing LGBT individuals and couples, and LGBT sensitivity training for healthcare providers. The South East Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC) will sponsor four hours of continuing-education credits for nursing professionals for $15, payable at the door.

Following the screening will be a panel discussion about the movie and the realities faced today by LGBT individuals and couples in the healthcare system. Panelists include Stu Maddux, Gillian O’Reilly (MSW from Lower Cape Fear Hospice & Life Care Center), Rev. John McLaughlin (St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church), Connie Vetter (attorney), Eleanor Covan, Ph.D. (UNCW Gerontology) and Scott French (SAGE: Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders). This is a free event.

Major sponsors of Family Fest 2011 include Lower Cape Fear Hospice & Life Care Center; UNCW LGBTQIA Resource Office; SEAHEC; Virginia Hager, attorney at law; Connie Vetter, attorney at law; St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church; Level 5 at City Stage; Hampton Inns of Wilmington; and the Frank Harr Foundation.

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