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Dealing with Difference: Opening Dialogue About Lesbian, Gay & Straight Issues cover image

Dealing with Difference: Opening Dialogue About Lesbian, Gay & Straight Issues 2003

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Human Relations Media, 41 Kensico Drive, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549; 800-431-2050
Produced by Paul Pagnucco
Directed by John G. Young
VHS w/print curriculum package (81pp), color, 35 min.

Sr. High - Adult
Gay and Lesbian Studies, Sociology, Human Rights

Date Entered: 04/19/2004

Reviewed by LaRoi Lawton, Library & Learning Resources Department, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

Sexual orientation is an essential human quality. Individuals have the right to accept, acknowledge, and live in accordance with their sexual orientation, be they gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or heterosexual (GLBTH). This is the ideal but sometimes not the reality in our society today, depending upon which part of America or the country you are talking about. The legal system should guarantee the civil rights and protection of all people, regardless of sexual orientation. Prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation, the way you dress, and or speak is unconscionable. Dealing with Difference explores the daily lives of young gay and lesbian youth today complete with the stresses and difficulties of growing up in a society that depending upon where you are, can illustrate quite vividly, acceptance or rejection of their respective orientation.

Using real teenagers in a school type environment, the viewer is shown a number of scenarios that go on in our society and schools today where GLTBH are harassed, insulted, and even assaulted. The scenarios run the gamut in that the participants are male and female and cross all ethnic backgrounds. When I viewed this video I could not help but think of Columbine where the viewer sees a group of students make fun of a young girl whose dress and style are made fun of. They call her “butch” and even question her male friend as to why he hangs out with her. As the scene pans out to her in the hallway, you cannot see her face but her body language gives you a clear and direct picture of the hurt she is experiencing by the barrage of hateful words thrown at her. This video allows the viewer/instructor to pause for meaningful discussion and debate. This is an excellent video perfectly timed with today’s ongoing controversies, and debates on this issue.