WINDY CITY TIMES
||Gay immigrant activist/filmmaker Vargas here June 13, 14
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times
This article shared 4446 times since Wed Jun 11, 2014
The openly gay journalist, filmmaker and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas has had a storied career. After graduating from San Francisco State in 2004 he joined the Washington Post covering everything from the video-game boom to the HIV epidemic in Washington. In 2007 Vargas was part of the paper's team covering the Virginia Tech shootings which won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize. Following coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, Vargas joined Huffington Post. In 2010 he wrote and co-produced the documentary "The Other City" which was based his articles about the AIDS epidemic in Washington, D.C.
In 2011 Vargas added the title of "immigration activist" to his biography when he penned an essay for the New York Times Magazine in which he revealed his own status as an "undocumented immigrant." Vargas, who was born in the Philippines had discovered this when he was 16 and attempting to obtain a drivers license but had kept it secret until "coming out" in the article. He later commented that coming out in high school in 1999 was "less daunting than coming out about my legal status."
After the essay was published, Vargas became the public face of undocumented immigrants and testified on the subject before a Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013. More recently, he founded Define American, a non-profit organization intended to open up a dialogue about the criteria used to determine who is — and who isn't — an American. He himself has commented, "I am an American. I just don't have the right papers." Vargas's passion for the issue and his journey is chronicled in his 2013 film "Documented" which is having its Chicago debut at the Gene Siskel Film Center ( 164 N. State Street ) beginning on Friday, June 13. Vargas will be present for audience discussion at the Friday and Saturday screenings. www.siskelfilmcenter.org/documented_june .
This article shared 4446 times since Wed Jun 11, 2014
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