Pannel044_2Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival kicked off last Thursday.  Among the selection of films being screened this year was Debra Wilson’s “JUMPING THE BROOM,” which screened last Friday before an interesting documentary/musical from London entitled SONGBIRDS.

Yesterday, I moderated the Outfest panel “Color TV: Queer People of Color on Television.”  The panelists included: Deondray Gossett (Co-Director, THE DL CHRONICLES), Maurice Jamal (director/writer, DIRTY LAUNDRY, THE SKI TRIP), LS Kim (Professor of Film & Television, UC Santa Cruz), Alex Kondracke (writer, THE L WORD), Quincy LeNear (Co-Director, THE DL CHRONICLES), Pam Post (Director of Development, LOGO), and Mia Riverton (actress/producer, RED DOORS).

The 90 minute panel was well attended by a diverse crowd and touched on various issues facing our community including why is network television still hesitant to depict a realistic and representative range of LGBT characters, especially ethnic LGBT people and whether or not the roles of LGBT characters in television directly influence LGBT politics.  There was even some discussion on the media’s role in portraying the down low as a Black male thing only.

While most off the audience agreed that one show cannot be all things to all people, there was a feeling that there is some responsibility to depict the LGBT community accurately.

Audience questions ranged from why are only light skinned Blacks used to portray African American characters to how do we show the humanity in our community in a climate with preconceived notions of Blacks and other races.

All in all, it is was a great panel.

Other panel discussions being hosted by Outfest include “Rappin’ ‘bout Homo Hop” which will take place on Saturday, July 15.  Also on Saturday, July 15 is the Los Angeles sneak preview screening of Maurice Jamal’s new film DIRTY LAUNDRY starring Rockmund Dunbar, Loretta Devine, and Jenifer Lewis.

Outfest is going on for the next week and half so if you’re in Los Angeles, check it out.

Photos are courtesy of Steven with