Happy Marriage Equality, America! YouTube just released their very own video tribute celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision expanding equal marriage rights nationwide. During the Driving Equality trip across the country, I met dozens of activists who were tirelessly working to achieve the right to marry and heard from so many people who told me they were keeping the hope alive, even in the midsts of great setbacks, that one day marriage equality would be the law of the land in their state too. Today is that day.
We are so honored and proud that YouTube asked us, and included a short clip from “Driving Equality Across America” in their video tribute to Marriage Equality and LGBT Pride. What an honor to have been a small part of this movement.
I am excited to announce that the documentary film, “Driving Equality Across America” is now available to rent ($1.99) or buy ($4.99) on Amazon Instant Video! You can watch the film on your computer, smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire, iPad, Roku, PlayStation, XBox, Wii, or compatible Blu-ray player. Please share this link with anyone you think might enjoy the film. If you like the movie, please rate it on Amazon. Leaving a review on Amazon is even better and would really help the film reach a larger audience. Thank you all so much for your support in this filmmaking process. It’s been an amazing journey. This would not have been possible without all of you.
Shareable link: http://amzn.com/B00TO1RWXE
It was an honor to premiere Driving Equality Across America in front of an enthusiastic audience in Boston’s Fenway Health auditorium. To be honest, I was very nervous to see how the viewers would receive the film. It was incredible to have such a warm reaction to the movie. I was overjoyed.
We started the night with refreshments and live music performed by Karen Grenier, who’s song, It Gets Better, is featured in the film. Then the audience filed into the auditorium. Former Massachusetts State Representative and current Executive Director of AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Carl Sciortino, gave me a touching introduction, describing the first time we met; 10 years ago in the public gallery of the Massachusetts State House during the fight for marriage equality. It was an honor to have a hero of the LGBT rights movement introduce me (and he’s in the movie!). I said a few words about the film, the lights dimmed, and the screening began.
I took a seat, listening to and watching the reactions of the audience. It seemed as though they were enjoying the film. After the movie there was a round of applause. I stood up front and began taking questions from the audience. They loved the film. I was overjoyed. For the next 30 minutes, I fielded questions and told stories about the three and a half month journey across the country interviewing LGBT people, allies, and opponents. It was clear that the audience was engaged and really enjoyed the film. After the Q&A session, I signed copies of my book, Driving Equality Across America: Posts from the Road and chatted with the moviegoers. It was a great event. I could not have imagined a better, more successful film premiere.
Join us for the World Premiere of Driving Equality Across America at Fenway Health’s 1340 Boylston St. location. We will be showing the film in the beautiful 10th floor auditorium. This event is completely free and all are welcome to attend.
Driving Equality Across America Premiere Film Screening
July 31, 2014 6:00pm – 8:15pm
Fenway Health @ 1340 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02215
6:00pm – 7:00pm – Refreshments
7:00pm – 7:45pm – Film Screening
7:45pm – 8:00pm – Q&A with the filmmaker, Chris Mason
Driving Equality Across America is the product of a 107-day, 22,000-mile trek through most of the lower 48 states in an effort to meet, interview, and share the stories of LGBT Americans, their allies, and their opponents. This film follows the filmmaker’s trip across the country as he meets LGBT Americans where they live, in small towns and big cities. Through touching interviews, some heartbreaking, others inspiring, Driving Equality Across America offers a glimpse of the filmmaker’s journey into the heart of LGBT America.
In addition to the film screening, the accompanying book, Driving Equality Across America – Posts From The Road, will be available for purchase (cost: $10) and signing.
On this day in 1978, San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated. Below is a clip from my film, Driving Equality Across America, in whichDan Nicoletta, a friend of Harvey Milk, remembers how he heard the news that Harvey had been assassinated.
The Driving Equality book is now available on Amazon. You can purchase it here.
Or you can purchase a signed copy of the book directly from me. Follow this link to purchase a signed copy using your PayPal account or credit card.
Below is the book description:
The Driving Equality project started off as just another big idea. A 107-day, 22,000-mile trek through most of the lower 48 states to meet, interview, and share the stories of LGBT Americans and their allies. It was a daunting plan, but Chris Mason was determined to make it happen.
This book follows his journey across the country as he meets LGBT Americans where they live, in small towns and big cities. With little more than a camera, a computer, a sleeping bag, and a sense of adventure, all packed into one van, Chris and his friend Potter hit the road for nearly four months. Chris chronicled the trip with daily posts and photos from the road. Follow along as Chris travels into the heart of LGBT America.
Check out this video clip of the moment it is announced that marriage equality will win in Maine. On Election Day, I was in Portland filming for the documentary and captured this moment on tape. It will be used in the film.
As 2011 comes to an end we like to remember the year’s successes and look back at past achievements. This was a big year for the Driving Equality project. We hired an incredible editor, worked with an amazing musician to compose an original soundtrack for the film, and collaborated with a very talented graphic designer to create popping titles. Because of all their hard work, and support from people like you, the Driving Equality film is close to being finished!
As we look back at this past year’s accomplishments, we also think about the past achievements of the Driving Equality project.
Remember when we confronted the man in the parking lot who was gathering signatures for the anti-gay ballot initiative in Washington state? He was lying to voters to get more signatures. That video was reviewed by Washington legislators! (VIDEO)
Remember when we sat down with Shirley Phelps of the “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church. We spent four hours in her home while she told us that God hated us and wanted us to die. (VIDEO)
Remember when we interviewed Dan Nicoletta, Harvey Milk’s friend and camera shop employee. He told us the story of how he found out about Harvey’s assassination. (VIDEO)
Remember when we sat down for a conversation with Sam Brinton, the young man who was forced through ex-gay aversion therapy. He told us what it was like to be electrocuted for being gay. (VIDEO)
The Driving Equality project collected all of these stories and we will share them with you in the film.
The Official Driving Equality Teaser!
This is a quick overview of the The Driving Equality Project:
Days on the Road: 107 (May 10, 2009 – August 28, 2009)
Miles Driven: 22,342
States Reached: 48 (Will Alaska and Hawaii will be next?!)
Hours of Footage: 102
Interviews Conducted: 84 (Including LGBTQ activists, allies, opponents, politicians, police, and people on the street)
Conversations About Equality: 500+
New Friends Made: Countless!
Part One of The Driving Equality Project was a huge success. We reached, and then surpassed our goals on every account. The conversations we had and interviews we conducted in almost every part of the country have given me a much greater understanding of the daily lives of LGBTQ people in America and the work that needs to be done to ensure full equality for all.
Now on to Part Two: Sharing these stories with you in a documentary film!
I made it home safe and sound today. It feels good to be back in Cambridge. I am thinking about what my next steps will be. It will take some time to process the trip and adjust to being home.
You can help out the Driving Equality project by donating to the New Computer Fund. I need to raise $1700 more to purchase the computer. This computer will be used to edit the final documentary.
I am on the home stretch today, driving from Buffalo, New York to central Massachusetts. I will spend the night at my parent’s house in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, before completing the journey and returning home to Cambridge, the city I started in 106 days ago. It is hard to believe that I’m almost home after over three months on the road.
My trip is almost over. I drove to Buffalo, New York last night, and then decided to cross the border in Canada. The Canadian border guard asked me what I was doing with the film equipment. I told him that I was making a documentary about gay rights in the United States. He asked, “for or against?”
I told him, “for.” He smiled approvingly, but sent me to have the van search in “secondary.” Readers of this blog will know that this is the sixth time the van has been searched. I have made it very clear that I strongly oppose illegal searches of my vehicle. I should also note that I am more than happy to comply with legal searches, such as this one at the national border. During the search of the van, I had to go in and speak with a woman from Customs. She asked what I was doing. I told her that I am driving around the US making a documentary about gay rights. She replied, “You know it’s legal here!”
Realizing that she was referring to same-sex marriage, I responded with my typical, “yah! That’s awesome!. She was excited and proud of her country. It was awesome.
I hung out in Niagara Falls today and performed my duties as a tourist to the best of my ability. This place is pretty incredible.
I was in Cleveland, Ohio today at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Greater Cleveland. I had the pleasure to meet with Sue Doerfer, the Director of the Center. We talked about what it is like to be LGBT in Ohio, the need for a Center, and the city of Cleveland. Ohio does not have any legal protections for LGBT folks, but the city of Cleveland is trying to make up for that. The city just created a Domestic Partnership registry. Couples can register as partners, making their relationships official in the eyes of the city. However, because the state and federal governments do not recognize the Domestic Partnerships, no legal rights are gained.
I was quite impressed with the work going on at the Center. While I was there, a bunch of young people came in to use computers and relax in the safe environment. I wish every city, large and small, had an LGBT community center.