CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The founder and director of the Appalachian Queer Film Festival says the event, which gets started in Lewisburg on Oct. 23, is about bringing different perspectives to West Virginia.

“This festival presents the opportunity to have a conversation in an entirely different way to change hearts and minds for folks living in West Virginia about what it means to be LGBTQ and be Appalachian at the same time,” Tim Ward, a Huntington native, told MetroNews.

LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

To preview next month’s festival, organizers are hosting two free screenings in the coming days of “The Campaign,” a film from director Christie Herring that tells the story of the fight to defeat California’s Proposition 8 and defend same-sex marriage.

Those screenings were scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. at the Kanawha Players Theatre in Charleston and Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Marshall University’s Smith Hall Room in Huntington. Herring, whose film will also be shown at the AQFF, will be on hand to talk about it.

“Growing up in West Virginia, I’m from Huntington, as a gay man, as a gay kid, I didn’t really have the opportunity to see myself on screen ever,” Ward said. That’s what motivated him to try to find ways to give other people such chances.

Many of the films that will be shown next month premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and will be making their debuts in West Virginia.

Ward said there is no longer a negative connotation for the word “queer.” “It’s a word, for me, that symbolizes community and, honestly, that’s what the festival is about. It’s about sustaining the community through dialogue, through conversation, through film,” he said.

For more information about the inaugural Appalachian Queer Film Festival, which runs from Oct. 23-26 in Lewisburg, click here.

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  • Moco man

    RDC.........I consume what I do kill. No, I am not a sick person. Next time you eat a hamburger.......remember, at one time that was part of a living creature........

  • James Lane

    Wow. You people really hate homosexuals. I'm talking deep down, to the bone hate. The only good news in all of this is that 100 years from now any of your descendants whom you have passed this hatred to will have to keep it in the closet and hold secret meetings like the KKK has to now. As far as Judgment Day goes and homosexuals being cast into the lake of fire, you might want to read up on the things our savior said about loving people.

  • Moco man

    Kristin........if we really want to show our strength and how much pride we have in our state........I don't think we will really " knock it out of the park" with a queer festival

  • Moco man

    I promise you RDC.........the hunters in this state by far outnumber the queers.........hunting was at one time a means of survival........I don't think that makes one a sick person

    • RDC

      Moco, you don't think killing a living creature for the fun, thrill, or "sport" is not sick???

      • C'mon RDC

        Let me guess RDC, you buy your meat from a store where the animals were not harmed! Classic liberal! Ha!

  • Roger

    If you want to advertise that you are a queer, then I guess its all right. I'd think that you would want to keep it a secret, but I guess not. I'm sure that this subject will be brought up again at the judgement bar, and the outcome will not be good. Deny if you wish, but when it happens it will be too late.

  • Moco man

    How about something for the family or something West Virginians are interested in like a hunting and fishing expo.......

    • No Hiney

      Hunting and fishing sports brings mega bucks into every state in this nation. And most importantly it's governed by regulations and therefore legal. The last time I checked, sodomy was not legal. Butts were made for ext only. Keep a low profile and all is well. Why bring wrath upon yourselves?

    • RDC

      "something for the family or something West Virginians are interested in like a hunting and fishing expo......." Yeah something for the real sick ones (Hunters).

  • WV Man

    Queer as in peculiar or queer as in Sodomite?

  • Moco man

    What a joke.........they can take that queer stuff somewhere else. Bring something constructive and useful in.........

  • Yea right!

    I think we're all being pranked by Metro News! Ha, good one guys. Hey when does the " I wanna marry my sister " festival start?

  • Fatunsassy

    I find the whole idea disgusting!
    I am truly ashamed of my birth state!

    • Tim


  • jfk

    I am very disappointed that this queer festival is in our state much less Charleston. Hopefully they will meet great opposition and loose allot of money and never come back.

  • knows

    sorry metro news....must have been million ppl on this site took along time till my comment showed up

  • knows

    metro news......only censors report here

  • husker red

    Witnessed a gay parade in Pittsburgh on accident was hilarious...go watch and laugh its hilarious

  • Mountain Navy

    Oh ya I can that going over well in WV.