Blog Post 5: Dallas

Friday, March 10th, 2017

We woke up in our makeshift home (our car) in Dallas, climbed into the front seat and drove off to the YMCA for a $10.00 day pass which gives you full access to the locker room. Living in a car is great, but we've really not realized what we'd be missing in a regular hot shower. Our first interview today was one we'd been really looking forward to. Most of the connections we have on our route are some of the amazing people we met at SDLC and this was the first time we got to connect. Josh Rudner welcomed us into his gorgeous home and let us interview him and even film extra footage in his room, which is plastered wall to wall with things he has collected throughout his life - posters, pictures, signs, decorations, and more. Josh is an amazing person who is incredibly involved in the things he is passionate about and Lexie and I were both so humbled to hear his stories. After we left, we wished him well on his spring break cruise and headed off for our first anonymous interview.

Our goal for this project is genuine: to show the real lives and the real people in the LGBT community, but the reality is that a lot of the community has to hide themselves and live underground. There are so many people that don't feel comfortable and quite seriously wouldn't be safe being themselves and being out of the closet. We couldn't show what it's like to be LGBT and not show this darker side of it, but by its very nature, it can't be publicized. We've been contacted by so many LGBT people that truly want to help with our project and make a difference, but couldn't agree to being interviewed and having a spotlight on them. So we're starting a new segment of the documentary: anonymous stories. Because the stories of the people who are in the closet are just as important as the stories of the people who can live loud and proud. Hopefully, someday, everyone will fall into the latter category, but until then, we'll be here to listen to everyone. Thank you to the person who was willing to be our guinea pig by being the first person we talked to without personal details.

After that interview and a trip to Best Buy (we're rapidly running out of storage space on our hard drives and battery power for our equipment) we went to pick up some business cards we'd ordered. We'd designed a card over email with One Hour Business Cards here in Dallas so that we could tell people about our project without having to scrawl down links on notebook paper. Once we approved the design we called to give our payment information so they could be printed, but the person on the phone said their card reader was down and we could just pay when we picked them up. What happened when we got there nearly brought us to tears. The women at the front desk said she'd spent some time on our website and was so inspired by what we are doing that she payed for the order herself. We were in utter shock, as we have been by everyone that has reached out and been so kind to us on this journey. So many thanks to her and everyone who's helping us.

As much as we wanted to sit there flattered and just go around handing out our business cards to everyone, the day was not done yet. We crossed the street to one of the cutest cafes we've ever been in to meet up with another friend from SDLC and three of his friends he'd brought along. Our plan was to get to know everyone, film general footage and have them show us how they hang out in Dallas, then get the interviews done before the sun set. As our equipment started to fail us more and more (full camera cards and dead batteries) it became apparent the interviews would need to happen tomorrow and thats how we wound up with three whole days in Dallas. We still got a lot of general footage, so the night was not a waste from a filming standpoint. Either way, we had so much fun hanging out in the city and the warm weather we'd been missing so much in Colorado.

We'll still get the interviews today (March 11) and be on our way this evening: so much thanks to Josh Rudner, his family and our friends in Dallas.

Special thanks to Josh Rudner and his mom Lisa as well for insisting we stay the night at their house rather than in our car. A real bed, shower, and breakfast was so nice and their hospitality was amazing. We are so lucky to be meeting such amazing people on this trip and can't wait to see what happens going forward.