‘BEFORE YOU KNOW IT‘, the first feature film to raise the curtain on a profoundly neglected segment of the LGBT community, its senior population, will have its New York Premiere at The Film Society of Lincoln Center on Sunday, June 23, 2013. Director PJ Raval will participate in a filmmaker Q&A to follow the film.
This observational documentary, addresses issues that aren’t often discussed in the LGBT community. The statistics are startling (e.g., LGBT seniors are five times less likely to access social services than their heterosexual counterparts and twice as likely to live alone). ‘BEFORE YOU KNOW IT‘ acquaints audiences with three individuals who exist these abstract and disheartening numbers. Dennis is a widower who did not identify as gay until his 70s. The newest resident at Portland’s LGBT senior living facility, Rainbow Vista, Dennis tentatively explores his “new” identity and penchant for dressing in women’s clothing under the name “Dee.” Ty is a seasoned LGBT activist who passionately leads the Harlem division of SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and yearns for a life of legally-sanctioned matrimony with his partner Stanton. Robert is the owner of Robert’s Laffite, a Galveston, TX neighborhood bar that caters to gay seniors. Robert struggles to retain the legacy of his community bar when confronted with legal troubles and his own failing health. While these men are all seniors, in a sense, each are at different stages in life. Dennis’s sexual/gender awakenings conjure adolescence, Ty’s preoccupation with marriage and “settling down” are stereotypical mid-life concerns and Robert’s waning health and investment in Laffite’s legacy signify old age.
For Tickets to ‘BEFORE YOU KNOW IT’ Click – HERE
“The inspiration behind BEFORE YOU KNOW IT can be traced back to 2008,” states Raval. “When I was touring with my last film TRINIDAD, screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (PHILADELPHIA STORY, A SOLDIER’S GIRL) was kind enough to organize a reception for the film at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center in Kingston. At the reception there happened to be a large amount of seniors present and surprisingly enough they were GAY seniors. At that moment I realized how little I’d seen or heard of them as a community, and I started to question why?”
“I eventually went around the room and spoke to many of them thanking them for the reception.” Raval adds. “In return they shared personal stories with me ranging anywhere from living many years being in the closet, or witnessing a large portion of their community die off during the AIDS crisis, or even grappling with the fact they’ve lived long enough to see gay marriage getting legalized in certain states. I realized, this particular group of people had seen such a large amount of change during their lifetime. I wondered if younger generations were aware of the experiences these seniors had lived through. I was fascinated with how both age groups were on opposite sides of the spectrum yet in the same LGBT community. I thought about how much the youth could learn from hearing the seniors’ stories and how the seniors’ stories are so unique and need to be captured now before they disappear.”