Film screening benefits gay causes

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East End filmmakers Beatrice Alda and Jennifer Brooke are screening their critically acclaimed and provocative documentary “Out Late” at Bay Street Theatre to benefit local gay, lesbian and transgender charities on Saturday, December 6.

Ms. Brooke and Ms. Alda, a proud gay couple and cofounders of Sag Harbor-based production company Forever Films, produced and directed the film. This will be the couple’s only East End screening of “Out Late,” which tells the story of five individuals who made the choice later in life to come out as gay, lesbian or transgender.

The film won best documentary at the Long Island International Film Expo in July and was selected for screenings at more than 20 film festivals, including Newfest in New York City and the international human rights festival Artivist in Los Angeles. In May, Ms. Alda and Ms. Brooke were invited to screen “Out Late” for major donors to the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. and it has or will be screened at film festivals in Barcelona, Madrid, Montreal and Egypt.

“Out Late” explores why some gay, lesbian and transgender men and women wait to reveal their sexuality until late in life—as late as their 50s, 60s and 70s—and reveals the turning point that finally prompted them to come out. The five people from various locales, from Canada to Florida to Kansas, open their lives to Ms. Alda and Ms. Brooke and give viewers an inside look at the difficult and ultimately liberating process of becoming honest with themselves and others after decades of keeping secrets and enduring a closeted life.

The screening is open to the public and will benefit Long Island gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender non-profit organizations SAGE-LI and LIGALY, dedicated to meeting the needs of the Long Island GLBT senior and youth communities by providing education, advocacy and social support services.

SAGE-LI, Service and Advocacy for GLBT Elders and LIGALY, Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth, serving young people age 13 to 21, are part of the Long Island GLBT Services Network. According to SAGE-LI and LIGALY chief executive officer David Kilmnick, Long Island’s population of GLBT people age 50 and older has continued to grow over the last several years. LIGALY, his first and flagship organization, has been operating for 15 years, but the older gay community’s call for services and their growing need for a place to access those services and create social networks led Mr. Kikmnick to create SAGE-LI in 2007.

Mr. Kilmnick said GLBT seniors are often shunned or mistreated for speaking about their lives at more typical senior centers on Long Island. For example, the CEO noted that a gay senior grieving the death of a long-term partner can sometimes be treated as though his or her loss is not as significant as that of a married person, with no regard for the fact that same sex marriage is not possible in New York, under the law.

SAGE-LI is a safe place for GLBT seniors to enjoy life and socialize freely without fear of intolerance, Mr. Kilmnick explained. “This place has really become their family,” he added. “That’s what this is about.”

The Long Island GLBT Services Network is an association of three organizations representing different stages of life. Along with SAGE-LI and LIGALY, the network includes the Long Island GLBT Community Center, serving adults and families. All three organizations operate under one administrative umbrella and are located in Bay Shore. Mr. Kilmnick said he is currently raising funds to open a branch in Southampton.

Tickets to “Out Late” are $45 and all proceeds go to benefit LIGALY and SAGE-LI. The price includes a reception and a question and answer session with Ms. Alda and Ms. Brooke moderated by WLIU 88.3 FM’s Bonnie Grice following the film. Tickets are available at the Bay Street Theatre box office at 1 Bay Street on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor, open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (631) 725-9500 for more information.

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