Ignorance is powerful. It closes people's minds to that which is different from them, and creates a barrier that is difficult to break down. Ignorance means an unwillingness to understand, to find common ground, and to accept diversity.
The media is powerful. With constant bombardment of advertisements, television, and the internet, the modern human is an unwitting subject to cultural suggestion, soaking up values, norms, and ideals like a sponge. This can be good, or this can be bad. The media is driven by money, and dictated by and directed to those who have that power. This is why the stories being told on television and in Hollywood are primarily hallmarked by cisgender straight characters, almost always white.
But media also has the power to be good. There are stories with other types of characters, because these humans exist. And it's hugely important to show them, to make them visible, and to let their voices be heard. How else can we balance the power?
The Devotion Project does exactly that. But this is perhaps a fortuitous side effect to the project's true purpose: to demonstrate happy, loving LGBTQ couples and families so that LGBTQ youth have role models to look up to. With six videos planned, filmmaker Antony Osso has completed four mini-documentaries focusing on LGBTQ love stories - detailing not only the more romantic anecdotes about first meeting and falling in love, but as well dealing with the trials and tribulations affecting two people that promise to spend their lives together. Short, sweet, and well-told, each film successfully paints a portrait of two individuals wholly in love, devoted to one another and their life together. These couples are fantastic role models for young members of the LGTBQ community, who are so frequently deprived of positive images for their futures.
But what makes these stories even more powerful, on a larger scale, is that these unions are also fantastic role models for straight couples. And it's here where ignorance can truly be stamped out. Nothing is different when it comes to love. Humanity is the same, whether gay, straight, bisexual, or transgender. Raising a child is no different. Having a family is no different. Navigating the complications of a relationship is no different. Ultimately, loving one another is no different. By showing what is the same across all cultural, sexual, and gender identities, The Devotion Project is a huge step forward in the effort to break down the barrier between ignorance and acceptance.
I encourage you to watch all four videos completed thus far. They're all gems, although "More Than Ever" and "Listen from the Heart" are particularly touching - make sure you have tissues! As for the final two videos, The Devotion Project is still seeking funding. If you'd like to donate, go here. But at the very least, please take some time to watch the films, and even share them. The more people that engage in these stories, the more we can work towards better LGBTQ visibility in the media, and positive representation in the common cultural landscape.
Because The Devotion Project proves one thing: that love is the most powerful of all.
"More Than Ever"
"Say Only Yes"
"Listen from the Heart"
You can also follow The Devotion Project on Tumblr.