The Appalachian Media Institute (AMI) is proud to share Not a Daughter, the second of four youth productions from Envisioning Our Future– the 2016 Summer Documentary Institute (SDI). Each summer for the past 28 years, the SDI has invited central Appalachian youth aged 14-22 to engage in place-based education, documentary media making and creative youth development at Appalshop. The SDI provides a nurturing space for young people to explore the ways media production skills can be used to ask, and begin to answer, critical questions about themselves and their communities.
For 8 weeks throughout June & July, our youth interns and peer trainers participated in daily workshops in the Boone building– Appalshop’s digital classroom. During this time they also had the opportunity to travel twice to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to engage deeply in the city’s various models of community-based arts, through a collaboration with Carnegie Museum of Art.
Not a Daughter is a documentary film by AMI peer trainer Oakley Fugate that tells the story of Oliver Baker, a LGBT-Q youth growing up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky.
Oakley Fugate (22, Whitesburg KY) provided insight into his motivation for creating the piece, stating: “Not A Daughter is a film that shows that even today– in a small town that’s famous for the coal industries treatment of residents as subhuman– that there is still discrimination. I’ve been taught that Whitesburg, Kentucky is a place that accepts all. While there are many wonderful people here, we must admit that real prejudice exists.
Recently, our elected officials tried to pass a bill that would have had guards at certain restrooms to make sure that residents use the restroom that matches the gender designated on their birth certificate. Never mind that there are few Trans residents here. Never mind that there is not one documented case of a Trans person preying on people in a bathroom, yet there are dozens of cases of people being assaulted because they “looked” Trans. To hear someone who lived in this town their whole life say that they don’t feel safe walking through the streets alone is sickening. And the fact the people use their religion as a means to oppress people is sad. This film shows a modern day horror story of abuse because someone wanted to be free and live his life and love who he loved.”
Oakley provided additional context in stating: “Growing up, I was taught in church that LGBT-Q citizens were from the devil and were the cruelest and most vile people. When I was 12, I learned for myself that this wasn’t right and that people shouldn’t use their hatred to force their views on a child. I never realized how privileged I really was. Although I was picked on and discriminated against (I was diagnosed with Aspergers and children can be very cruel), I never had a parent tell me I was going to burn in hell. I can walk down the street and nobody will yell slurs at me. I can be myself and not be condemned. People take that for granted”
You can watch Not a Daughter here:
To share this film with your community or to arrange a screening, please contact [email protected] For additional resources and support from central Appalachian youth, please get in touch with The STAY Project (www.thestayproject.com).
The 2016 Summer Documentary Institute was made possible by the generous support of our partners from PhotoWings, Making Connections News, Economic Hardship Reporting Project and JPB Foundation.