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By Imani Williams
DETROIT – Domestic Violence is an issue in same gender loving relationships in our community. To address this, Black Pride Society presented the ‘Stop the Violence’ remix Film Fest on Nov. 16 at Focus Hope in Detroit.
Kalimah Johnson the evening’s facilitator discussed violence in the sgl community, from verbal and emotional to physical sometimes leading to murder and suicide.
The films shown at the festival – “Lark and Cher,” “Black Aura on an Angel” and “The DLChronicles” – were selected because they showed with stark reality just how unhealthy relationships can become if issues are not resolved, organizers said.
‘Lark and Cher’ had some ties to Detroit as it portrayed with many similarities the real life tragedy that took place between a young teen Detroit lesbian couple three years ago. In September 2003, Larketa Collier & Sharon Patterson were immediately picked up and placed in juvenile detention for the murder of Bertha Atkins, Larketa’s grandmother. Atkins was murdered because she did not approve of the teen’s relationship. The teens killed Atkins and tried to cover it up with a house fire on Detroit’s east side. They then in a very chilling manner went to the movies in an attempt to establish an alibi. The Detroit community was outraged and lesbians were once again vilified. This real-life tragedy may have had a different outcome if the teens or the grandmother had known that a PFLAG Family Reunion, SPICE or LGBTG youth agency existed in Detroit.
“Black Aura on an Angel,” showed the deepest of emotional pain, the kind that eats you up slowly from the inside robbing a person of any real type of quality of life. The film portrayed a lesbian couple in a very toxic relationship that ended up costing them both their lives. Kimberly Jones, BPS says this film was selected because it showed some of the stereotypes that society feels that lesbians represent, “We wanted to show this film because it depicts lesbians as crazy, over emotional, and unstable,” said Jones. “We need to talk about this and discuss how we can end this type of thought.”
The last film of the evening was, “The DL Chronicles,” (Series II), which was inspired by all the media hype around the issue of brothers having secret and or living double lives while having sex with men.
A resource table containing a barrage of resources on staying healthy including recognizing and combating domestic violence was available for attendees. BPS encourages community members to get involved and to take advantage of available programs and information.
The evening was sponsored by Club Innuendo, Pandora’s Box, Club Palladium, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.