“Disarm Hate” chronicles nine LGBTQ+ activists’ trip to an anti-gun rally and differences among them
BY VIC GERAMI
Narrated by the iconic actor Harvey Fierstein, “Disarm Hate” seeks to create awareness about gun violence against the LGBTQ+ community following the 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando that took 49 lives.
Directed by Julianna Brudek, the film chronicles nine diverse LGBTQ+ activists who come together after the Pulse nightclub massacre to join Jason P. Hayes, a hairdresser, and an activist from New Jersey who is on a crusade. Without political experience, Hayes builds a national rally to demand LGBTQ equal rights, fight the NRA, and challenge America’s obsession with gun violence.
The documentary follows the cross-country trip of the nine activists from Los Angeles to Washington DC on an RV, visiting various places along the way. Despite the seriousness of the subjects tackled, gun violence, Second Amendment, gun safety, LGBTQ+ rights, the film is very entertaining and has many light-hearted moments. It conveys the diversity within the queer community, including cast members who are not completely pro-gun control. At times, confrontations break out as each one shares their thoughts and experiences with gun violence, identity issues, and being LGBTQ+.
“I wanted to bring awareness to how disproportionately gun violence has affected the less privileged members of our community,” says director Julianna Brudek. “Two weeks before Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered, Rita Hester, a trans woman of color, was murdered, and the media buried the story. Forgotten forever.”
“I did not want that to happen to the Hispanic LGBTQs that lost their lives at Pulse Nightclub. As a community, we must remember the hate crimes, and work together to stop the violence perpetrated on each one of us.”
Beginning as a road trip, the journey turned into so much more than anyone could have expected. Exploring their similarities and differences, the group develops a life-changing bond as they visit prominent sites of gun violence that have affected LGBTQ+ people nationwide. This common ground opens discussions between the travelers and the people they meet along the way, that look to alleviate these horrific hate crimes and bring a better understanding for all.
Renowned trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston, a cast member and an executive producer said, “The threat of gun violence is intersectional. When someone’s identity overlaps with multiple marginalized groups, their risk is compounded. Black Americans are 10 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than white Americans. Being a woman and trans exacerbates those odds… ‘Disarm Hate’ focuses on the discriminatory culture within America that informs the violence marginalized communities face.”
“Disarm Hate” is available on multiple streaming platforms including Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNOW, Google Play/You Tube Rentals, InDemand (Comcast & Cox), Microsoft Store, and Vudu.
Vic Gerami is a radio show host, media contributor and publisher and editor of The Blunt Post.