Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

State of Pride : YouTube star Raymond Braun investigates


When queer Oscar winning filmmakers  Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedmann were commissioned by YouTube Originals to make a  documentary to mark the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall they chose Raymond Braun a young LGBT YouTube star to front the project.  Braun, once recognized on Forbes’ 30 under 30,  was born 21 years after the Riots but had a pitch perfect sensibility about the state of Pride today, and so he was the ideal candidate to investigate how the LGBT community of today, especially its youth, perceive the relevance and significance of Prude today.

Braun  travelled across the country visiting cities who have held Pride Marches and Festivals of decades, such as San Francisco and Washington, but also cities and towns where homophobia is still rife and where they are hardly known for their inclusivity.. The latter ones were particularly heartwarming seeing communities very cautiously coming together and getting so very excited at any small success in organising their first Prides .  It all seemed light years away from the extravagant celebrations we have taken for granted in the likes of SF for years, and at the end of the film, it certainly made us appreciate them all even more.  

Braun is an adept interviewer and on top of that his very natural charm not only relaxes some of the first-time-Pride participants, but also had them eating out of his hand.  None more so than handsome Carter, stuck in a wheelchair since he broke his neck, and who shared his inspirational story about coming out as gay to his traditional Mormon family in Salt Lake City.  He won his family over to supporting his sexuality as he also did even quicker with the audience.  All of his family participating in their first Pride in Salt Lake City, which naturally had more religious fanatics  objecting than usual, was definitely a wonderful highlight of the film. 

Where previously a black trans women filled us with horror with her tale of a man who followed her home to possibly kill her, seeing Carter’s family gave us all some hope that some things are getting better in some places for our community.

This refreshing look at relevance of Pride today  was perfectly summed up by Braun himself.  He said even in there came a time in our future and we totally achieved all the equal rights we are still fighting about,  then we should still have Pride.  It is after all a marvelous celebration of our community , and we need to always remember the journey it took..


Posted by queerguru  at  12:30


Genres:  documentary

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