A first ever gay film festival is coming to Syracuse this weekend. Organizers hope this Equality Film Fest will be the first of a yearly event that can help raise money for the Q Center at AIDS Community Resources.
The Q Center, which serves 250 teens each year, has been losing funding. Youth Services Director Marissa Rice hopes the film festival helps.
"We grew tremendously over the last 12 months," says Rice. "Then we lost 3 employees in our Youth Services division because of funding cuts. So we grew, but lost employees."
The Q Center offers education and support groups as well as a safe place for L-G-B-T-Q teens to go, and that's important, according to Heather Crate, Q Center Program Director.
"In society in general, they're being told they're different or there's something wrong with them," says Crate. "So having a space where they can meet so many other people who are like them and learn about so many people in our society who also are like them. It really helps validate their identities."
Learn more about the Equality Film Fest by visiting AIDS Community Resources.