PIEDMONT -- With dual rulings on the legality of same-sex marriage expected from the U.S. Supreme Court this summer, the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Film Series committee will show a 2011 PBS documentary that examines the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
From celebrities such as Bravo network's Andy Cohen to everyday people like a gay couple in their 80s, "Out in America" from Emmy award-winning director Andrew Goldberg introduces audiences to the diverse range of people and experiences covered under the LGBT umbrella.
The committee will host a reception at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Ellen Driscoll Theater, 325 Highland Ave., before playing the one-hour documentary at 7 p.m. The film will also be shown at 6:30 p.m. April 30 at the New Parkway theater, 474 24th St., Oakland.
Teacher Julie Chang, a member of the film committee, said the group chose the documentary now because of the focus on gay rights after the high court's debate over Proposition 8, the 2008 voter-approved ban on gay marriage in California. The court is also deliberating the fate of a federal law that doesn't recognize same-sex unions.
"The loving relationships of the gay couples in the documentary who spoke about their individual stories were so well depicted and cut across a broad swath of America," Chang said. "We hoped it would bring in the young people from Piedmont High and surrounding communities."
Chang said members of the Queer Straight Alliance from Piedmont and Millennium high schools will be present for the film and participate in a discussion afterward.
"We have found that when young people are part of the discussion, the audience is more likely to stay after the film to hear what teens have to say," Chang said. "I like to hear cross-generation discussions on topics people are passionate about."
A website for the film promises "an uplifting collection of unique, transformative stories and inspiring personal narratives" from across the United States.
Those interviewed in the film, which was produced in association with Oregon Public Broadcasting, include Bay Area author Armistead Maupin and country music singer Chely Wright. Lesser known figures include activists, a gay minister, a Puerto Rican political candidate and police and military officials.
"Deeply moving and often humorous, viewers will get a glimpse of awakenings, first crushes, unlikely soul mates, intimacy and liberation," according to the website for Two Cats Productions, the company owned by the director. "While separated by circumstance and upbringing, the film's subjects are all united in their shared experiences of self-discovery, coming out, pride and love as well as a triumph over adversity and a true sense of belonging."
What: Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Film Series showing of "Out in America"
When: Wednesday -- 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. film and 8:20 p.m. discussion
Where: Ellen Driscoll Theater at Havens Elementary School, 325 Highland Ave., Piedmont