WASHINGTONThis Friday, Sept. 4, PFLAG National will release its latest film project, PFLAG VOTES, as part of PFLAG Votes 2020, its broad get-out-the-vote initiative for the general election. Likely voters are encouraged through PFLAG Votes 2020 to exercise their rights through one or more activities: registration, education, mobilization, and voter protection. Marking 60 days before the election, PFLAG VOTES will premiere on the organization's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube channels at 9:00 a.m. EDT on Friday.
"This is the most important election of our lifetime. So much is at stake. Lives are literally on the line if we don't vote this year," said filmmaker Nick Oceano, director of PFLAG VOTES. "As a queer Latinx man, it is my privilege to get to work on the PFLAG Votes campaign, and my hope that it inspires others to do all they can to make a plan to vote: by mail, early vote, or on November 3rd."
The pandemic has impacted how voting will occur this year. Already, transgender and HIV+ individuals and their loved ones have expressed fears about voting in person during a pandemic, as well as concerns about obtaining identification at a time when many government offices have been closed. Through the PFLAG Votes 2020 initiative, the nation's longest-standing organization supporting the LGBTQ+ community is emphasizing that voters make a plan to vote.
"Voting in 2020 is complex, and voters can't wait until Election Day to make a plan. That is why PFLAG National is so excited to again partner with Nick Oceano to produce dynamic content to engage the families and loved ones of LGBTQ+ people. PFLAG VOTES is beautifully shot, and a really important tool that will motivate and engage likely voters to exercise their right to vote," said Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National.
The four-minute film is accompanied by mini-videos, offering extended interviews that delve more deeply into the stories of each family. All films are directed by award-winner Oceano, who previously directed the short film, LAS FAMILIAS DE PFLAG EN ESPAÃ'OL for the organization. PFLAG VOTES features PFLAG families from communities across the country, representing a diverse spectrum of voters. Participants share their motivation to vote, their plan to vote, and urge viewers to join them in making a plan, too.
Quotes from PFLAG VOTES:
"Voting is important to me because my son who is not gay has different rights than my son who is gay in terms of hiring, firing, living and housing." Kathy Godwin, President of the Board of PFLAG National
"In 2020, I'm voting because I want my son to live life to the fullest by enjoying total freedom and equality in all phases of his life as a gay man." Marisela Rodriguez, a Mexican American mother
"My youngest granddaughter [turned] four on the anniversary of the 19th Amendment being passed nationally. So that's one of the reasons why I will be voting." Dr. Marilyn Willis, proud mother of a Black transgender daughter
"I want to be able to see leaders in office that support the LGBT community because we still don't have full equality for LGBTQ people. It's important for me to vote for people that support my children and the community." Sheila Lopez, a Navajo mother of two openly gay children
"What difference can I make? And what if a million people thought that? What if a million people individually thought, 'What change can I make?' But if a million people realized that, yes, your one vote can count, and it does matter, that's so powerful." Sung Tse, a Korean American mother of a transgender son
"I have the pleasure of working with two fantastic young filmmakers, Stephanie Tran as line producer and Jake Korupp as editor. Both are former students of mine from California State University Long Beach who both, like PFLAG, are passionate about working on projects that support diversity, inclusion, and equality," Oceano said of his production team.
Paired with PFLAG VOTES is a social media activation using the hashtag #2020VotePlan. Users follow steps to making their own plan at PFLAG.org/2020VotePlan, and like the video suggests, share their plan and "I'm voting because" motivation on their own social media channels. Additional resources and information about the 2020 election can be found at pflag.org/pflagvotes2020 .