Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Out With Dad

About a year ago I stumbled across a small budget Canadian web series (based out of Toronto) called “Out With Dad.” I’m in love. I think that anyone in the LGBTQ+ and allied community should give this series a shot. What is this wonderful, powerful show about?

It’s about “a teenage girl and her single father. Rose is coming of age, and coming out of the closet. Dad wants to make sure Rose's coming out is as easy and painless as possible. Sometimes he tries a little too hard.” Dad, whose name is Nathan, often tries too hard, but it’s adorable and he’s the dad we all wish we had when faced with ignorant hateful words as teens. Did I mention Rose is in love with her best friend Vanessa (played by Lindsey Middleton)? No? Oh yeah, that happened. Here's the trailer for season 1:

Admittedly, some of the early (short) episodes are a bit shaky, but Out With Dad has hit its stride and I really think dedicating a few hours to this show is worthwhile. Yes, earlier episodes looked and sounded more like a low budget production, but increased attention on the series has helped funding and the quality of the episodes has consistently improved. The camera angles are intense at times, often very personal, and the gimmick of most episode titles (Out with XYZ, etc.) took some time to grow on me. They also feature and promote fantastic local musicians. My favorite thing about the series, so far, is the use of “doubles” for Rose and Nathan – they filmed certain scenes twice with actors Kate Conway and Will Conlon each acting to a green screen, and then switching seats with themselves to film from the other perspective. Imagine a visual representation of that nagging voice in your head. I dig it. I think you will too.

The website for the series features a corkboard background (a corkboard of pictures are featured in the opening credits) and every episode as well as extra and interviews with the cast can be found there. Episodes are also on YouTube. Also, be Facebook friends with Out With Dad if you discover, as I did, that this show is just plain awesome.

The two-part most recent episode, Out with PFLAG, was written and filmed in cooperation with PFLAG Durham (part of PFLAG Canada – to which the episode is dedicated). The dramatized personal stories included in this double episode are taken from fan submissions. This series does funny, it does sad, it does happy and angry and scared and jealous and loving and protective and brave. The writers, director Jason Leaver, and the amazing cast tackle these emotions and the situations that inspire them with care, dedication and authenticity.

I’ve cried after watching Out With Dad. I’ve laughed and shouted and smiled and gone to hug my girlfriend because, damn I needed a hug… especially after my favorite episode (With Jacob and Vanessa, season 2). I highly suggest starting from the very beginning with the episode Rose with Vanessa (oh look! it’s right here on the page for you! how convenient!). PS, the photos in the opening are from the actors own childhoods. I think it's a really creative, personal touch.

If my word isn’t enough for you (why not?), here are some other opinions to consider. Out With Dad (the show itself) and cast members/characters have won the following awards:

LAwebFest 2012 Grand Jury Award and…
Outstanding Drama Series: producers Jason Leaver, Eric Taylor, Kara Dymond
Ensemble Cast: Kate Conway, Will Conlon, Lindsey Middleton, Corey Lof, Laura Jabalee, Darryl Dinn, Jacob Aheam, Wendy Glazier, Robert Nolan
Directing: Jason Leaver
Writing: Jason Leaver
Cinematography: Jason Leaver & Bruce William Harper

Indie Intertubes 2012
Best Actor in a Drama: Will Conlon (Nathan)
Best Writing in a Drama: Jason Leaver

Indie Soap Award 2012 Best Actress in a Drama: Kate Conway (Rose).

(I’m going to stop here, but that’s just since January. You get the idea.)

Sooo…. WATCH OUT WITH DAD! Watch it already! You won’t regret it. If you do check it out, come back here and leave a comment – tell me what you think about my favorite web series.

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