Members of the Boston LGBTQ theater troupe True Colors attend the premiere of The Year We Thought About Love, a documentary about their work, at the Bright Family Screening Room of the Paramount Center on February 17. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)
Members of the local LGBTQ youth theater troupe True Colors on February 17 attended the Bright Lights screening of The Year We Thought About Love, a documentary about their work by filmmaker Ellen Brodsky, who was also in attendance.
Viewed in the Bright Family Screening Room, the film follows the members of True Colors and delves deep into the lives of the young actors as they express their non-gender-conforming identities through acting.
“This film really speaks to the transformative power of theater,” Brodsky said.
In a discussion with the audience, the True Colors’ actors explained why the film is important to them.
“I was shy and depressed before I joined True Colors,” said member Kriss. “But now, I’m as out there and as gender-queer as possible.”
The Year We Thought About Love director and producer Ellen Brodsky, associate producer Pam Chamberlain, and director of photography Austin de Besche, at the Bright Family Screening Room on February 17. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)
Kriss and other members of True Colors do not identify themselves as male or female. Some even said they wished gender pronouns did not exist and that they hoped the film would help audiences understand gender fluidity.
True Colors members recounted a high school student saying he was no longer homophobic after seeing their performance. In addition, actor Alyssa found young audience members identifying with her as a transgender woman.
“I’ve had middle school kids come out to me as trans after we’ve done performances at their schools,” she said.
Others had more spiritual reasons for joining the troupe. Chi, a devout Christian despite the Baptist church’s condemnation of his homosexuality, said joining True Colors and participating in the film was a way for him to express his faith and prove LGBTQ individuals do have a place in religion.
“As a gay person, most people assume I cannot love God,” he said. “I wanted to defy that stereotype and show that I do love God and that I can have a relationship with Him.”
The dates and times of future The Year We Thought About Love screenings are available on the film’s website.
The Bright Lights screening was sponsored by Emerson’s Visual and Media Arts Department.