A documentary about LGBT politicians made by a lesbian Atlanta filmmaker is about to get some major exposure starting Tuesday night. “Breaking Through: Out of the Closet, Into the Halls of Power” will premiere on Georgia Public Broadcasting tonight with an encore screening on Sunday, Oct. 11, as well as be available for streaming on the GPB and PBS websites for the next month.
“Breaking Through” director, writer and producer Cindy Abel first started working on the project in 2010 after a rash of suicides caused by anti-LGBT bullying.
“We wanted to show that regardless of the barriers that seem to be in our way—sexual orientation, gender identity, race, poverty, addiction, homelessness, gender—any of those things that we think are going to prevent us from being something that we really want to be, those are all surmountable,” Abel tells Georgia Voice. “And it was a way of letting people know that if we’re willing to do the work and do what it takes, we can live open, authentic lives that are also full of love and very fulfilled.”
Abel isn’t the only Atlanta connection to the film, with a big chunk of screen time going to Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan, plus interviews with Fulton County Commissoner Joan Garner, former Decatur Mayor Pro-Tem Kecia Cunningham and state Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates). Other LGBT politicians featured include U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Houston Mayor Annise Parker, former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank and many more—23 total, in fact.
The interviews aren’t the standard “Meet The Press” style political sitdown. The subjects get intensely personal at times, with Parker even pulling up her sleeves to reveal her scars from when she was a cutter.
“It’s about politicians and their personal stories but it’s not about politics,” Abel says.
“BREAKING THROUGH:Out of the Closet, Into the Halls of Power”
Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 11 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 11 at 12 p.m.
Georgia Public Broadcasting
Also streaming at video.gpb.org and video.pbs.org for at least a month.