HBO’s documentary “Perverted Education” chronicled the life of a teacher who is forced to teach students who are gay.
Now, the film’s creator says she is not going to let her film be erased.
Kathy Johnson told CNN that the documentary is “about the power of words” and her goal is to expose the negative stereotypes that teachers often perpetuate in order to instill shame and guilt in their students.
“I want the film to be a beacon of hope for those who might have been silenced,” Johnson said.
“My hope is that people can see the truth of it and say, ‘Oh, that was not my teacher.
I can do better.'”
The documentary focuses on a teacher named Donna who is part of a program that allows students to learn about sexual orientation through the lens of a psychologist.
Donna, who has a “gendered” name and is black, told CNN her classroom was a safe space for her students.
“I didn’t feel like it was a place where I was ostracized,” she said.
“Perverted education” chronicles the struggles of Donna and other educators to help students navigate the LGBT community.
“We were not taught about gender, and that was our real struggle,” Donna told CNN.
“It’s a real thing that we don’t talk about, because we’re afraid that it will hurt our students.
That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been in.”
The film was filmed by filmmaker and activist David J. Fricke, who is known for his activism against homophobic education.
In the documentary, Donna is seen being interviewed by the director, who asks Donna about her sexuality.
Donna responds that she doesn’t feel comfortable with the question.
“When you’re a teacher, you don’t need to be asked about your sexuality,” Donna says.
“And the idea of you having to be comfortable being your own person, being who you are, it’s like, what is that about?”
After the director says this, Donna appears to give in to her fears and says, “I guess you’re right.”
“It’s like the teacher who can’t speak about the child’s sexual orientation,” she says.
“And that’s when we started to realize how much we had to do to make that happen,” Frickes said.
The film has gone viral and has been shared more than 400,000 times.
Donna’s story was not covered by any media outlets, but the film has received critical acclaim.
The “Pervert Education” project has been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, which states that “it will help to protect and support teachers who face discrimination because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
“Pervert education” has also been featured in a variety of media, including a series of news stories on The Huffington Post, where the project has received more than 2,000 comments.
Fricke has been active on Twitter and Facebook since the project began, but he is not planning on making a major splash on the social media platform, as some have in the past.
“No, I’m not going there, because I don’t want to get in trouble,” Ficke told CNN, “but I’m really excited about what it could mean for the future of LGBT inclusion in the country.”