November 9, 2018
Community Newsletter
Embracing Our Diversity
at the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
By Nate Close
Most of us who live here on Long Island would agree that this is a special place. We have an incredibly rich history and culture, and are fortunate to live in one of the most diverse places in the country. The opportunity to live alongside people from countless places of origin and walks of life has been invaluable to the formation of my own identity and the respect I hold for all people.

In October, Cinema Arts Centre hosted the 21 st annual Long Island Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The Cinema Arts Centre has a long history of supporting our local LGBT community. We have shown LGBT themed films dating back to the 1970’s and have hosted the LIGLFF since its inception.

This year was the first time I had the pleasure of attending this wonderful event. With all the political and social strife affecting our country, particularly those within the LGBT community, the themes explored by the festival’s lineup have never been more significant. The eight films shown this year were expertly curated by members of our local LGBT community, many of whom have been involved in our Cinema Arts family for many years.

The festival’s opening film, The Miseducation of Cameron Post starring Chloe Grace Moretz, centered on a high school student who was forced to enroll in a Gay Conversion Therapy program after being caught in a romantic relationship with another girl. The GCT program portrayed in the film uses shame to encourage the suppression of one’s true self, as is common among programs of this kind. But even after a loss of freedom and a campaign of indoctrination, some of the participants, including Cameron, defiantly maintain their identities.

Clearly apparent from the chorus of laughter which rang out from the audience after each clever quip, was the filmmaker’s fantastic use of humor to address a serious subject - one that has impacted so many people’s lives. The sarcasm and wit displayed by Cameron and her friends was directly representative of their strength of character and identity in the face of the destructive agenda and repressive tactics of GTC.

One of the most important themes explored by the film was the way in which society maligns people who don’t fit into a certain preordained mold dictated by our culture. Despite the situation they find themselves in, the characters in The Miseducation of Cameron Post turn that malignity into their own form of power through their rebellion and the connections they form with each other. The film is a testament to how strong and supportive the LGBT community is as a whole. The film reflects the tragic reality that many people continue to face rejection, discrimination, and persecution from their communities, and even from their families and loved-ones, simply due to their sexual orientation or gender expression. We are once again seeing a rise of legislation meant to limit the rights of LGBT Americans. However, such intolerance only increases the resolve of the LGBT community as community members find their own sense of family in the relationships they build, and find their voices in concert with all who fight for justice.

Blood doesn’t always make a family; respect, understanding, and shared experience can be far more important. This statement holds true when we look to another of the incredible and touching films selected for this year’s festival, Transmilitary .

Transmilitary is a documentary film that details the real-life struggle for recognition and fair treatment by a number of Trans servicemen and women in the United States Military, all of whom want nothing more than to serve and protect our country and the civil rights of our citizens.

Each of the enlisted people who were interviewed had unanimous respect and admiration for their fellow soldiers. They were among the most dedicated, capable, and hard-working professional soldiers that our country is fortunate enough to employ, yet they were often forced to hide their true selves in order to avoid discrimination by the country they serve.
I was deeply moved by the story of one solider in particular, Logan Ireland. Logan explained that he felt more comfortable while serving in a combat role in Kandahar, Afghanistan than he did back home in the United States. In Afghanistan, he was able to live as his true self and express the gender with which he aligned, but at home he would be forced to grow his hair out, wear female dress blues, and conform to all other female regulations and standards.

Under the current administration, Logan’s future, and that of all 15,000 trans service members, still hangs in the balance. Transmilitary reminds us that banning trans individuals from military service hurts us all. The loss of these dedicated and highly capable soldiers cannot be justified through the use of political ideologies.
Each of us deserve to live our lives as we see fit, to love who we love, and to embrace the gender expression with which we align. We as a society need to eliminate the shame associated with being different. Diversity of thought and identity only makes us stronger. The knowledge and understanding we gain by learning from people who are different from ourselves should be celebrated.

All of us who care about the cinema owe our appreciation to Steve Flynn, the festival organizer - and everyone else involved in the festival - for helping to bring these wonderful films and the issues they explore to the attention our local community.

Today we are forced to contend with a political climate that seeks to disenfranchise LGBT people and deny them of their identities. The power of art and film is invaluable in the fight to bring attention to these injustices and combat intolerance. By attending events like this and seeing films like The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Transmilitary , audiences are given the opportunity to empathize with the film’s subjects and to see these issues through a new perspective. The Long Island Gay and Lesbian Film Festival serves as a poignant reminder that these are not new issues. LGBT people have been fighting for equal rights, respect, and common decency for decades. It’s more important now than ever before to continue that fight, hand in hand with allies, friends, family, and people like you- the amazing supporters of the Cinema Arts Centre.

Stay tuned for our next LIGLFF curated event, Cherry Grove Stories , a documentary film that recounts the unique character of Cherry Grove, a community on Fire Island, New York that became a safe haven for the gay community during a time when two men holding hands in public was illegal and gay Americans were targeted for arrest and prosecution. Cherry Grove Stories offers a fascinating look into this inclusive Long Island community and the relationships that formed around it. See it at Cinema Arts Centre on December 13 th
Please consider the Cinema Arts Centre in your year-end giving. CLICK HERE
We often talk about the importance of Membership, and it’s true that members are the heart of the Cinema. But when members also give an additional gift at year end to the Vic Skolnick Life of Our Cinema Campaign, these critical funds help to empower our program directors to make choices based on artistic and social merit, take risks, and include works from under-represented artists, and illuminate under-explored topics.
These above-and-beyond-membership donations are such a meaningful way for our community to fuel our programs and operations, helping us to make an impact in so many areas of our lives.
We make a difference in our community by:
  • Using the power of film to create empathy in a world where empathy is greatly needed
  • Providing a venue for conversations and connections, serving as a true community center and what many of our members call their “home away from home”
  • Generating approximately $7,000,000 in spending in our local economy through our role as an employer and our ability to attract visitors to our area
  • Educating and mobilizing on important issues that are relevant to our members and patrons
Sponsor Spotlight: Matthew Curry
Program Sponsorship is an important way businesses or individuals can offset costs and allow the Cinema Arts Centre to re-invest more of our ticket revenue right back into community programs. We are pleased to share the following message from on of our most recent sponsors:

My name is Matthew Curry, I am a Financial Advisor with Prudential. My main office is located at 445 Broadhollow Road in Melville. I have been proudly serving my clients with Prudential for over four years. My team of advisors has over a hundred combined years of experience with Prudential. I am actively involved in the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and have been a member for over three years. I am a current resident of Huntington Village. Being a local resident, it is a great honor to be part of Cinema Arts Centre community.   

My team and I assist individuals, families, and business owners with a broad range of financial services. We specialize in risk management strategies, estate planning, retirement planning, and investment management strategies. Whether you are providing for a family, getting ready for retirement, or planning your legacy, we can help you overcome your challenges and meet your goals. Everybody’s financial goals are different, but my team and I are here to work with you to achieve them.     

Prudential has been helping clients reach their financial goals since 1875. My team and I are here to lead you on the path to financial freedom. Please feel free to contact me on my office line at 631-927-3322 to schedule an appointment or ask questions. You can also reach me by email at Please follow my Facebook Page for up to date financial information at               

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities at the Cinema Arts Centre, please contact .
It's That Time of Year Again!
It's time to start thinking about the film lovers on your holiday shopping list.

Cinema Arts Centre Gift Cards can now be used at the Box Office, Online, and in our Sky Room Cafe. In order to serve you (and the film lovers on your list) better, we accept Cinema Arts Centre Gift Cards for the purchase or renewal of Membership , tickets to any of our screenings and events, and for our delicious organic popcorn, and all the offerings in our Sky Room Cafe .

CLICK HERE or purchase at our Box Office.
 The Cinema Arts Centre is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. The mission of the Cinema Arts Centre is to bring the best in cinematic artistry to Long Island, and use the power of film to expand the awareness and consciousness of our community.
Thanks to our November Program Sponsors:
Thanks to Stuart and Ginger Polisner for their ongoing support of our Real-to-Reel and Creativity Series.

When you visit a business that supports the cinema, please let them know how much it means to you.
Major Grant Support
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