“Open your heart, open it wide, spread kindness so much that when you’re done, people will be in a better place.”
I feel that we brought this quote to life on the evening of Saturday January 14th when approxi-mately 150 people came to ChOTF to see the film, “Letter to Anita” This film tells the story of a woman named Ronni Sanlo who, after coming out as a les-bian and losing custody of her two young children in the late 1970’s turned her life into building commu-nity through her personal, political and professional struggles. The film offers insight into the history of the LGBT movement in the 1970’s and the enor-mous impact singer/entertainer Anita Bryant had on the anti-gay campaign.
I thought this was a very insightful film and it provided me with a deeper and more specific under-standing of the adversities the LGBT movement has faced. It also gave me fuller awareness of the role Anita Bryant played during the “anti-gay” crusade in the 70’s and its life changing and far reaching impact. I thought one of the most powerful lines in the movie came toward the end when Ronnie tells inter-viewer Meredith Baxter that she was grateful to Anita Bryant for being in essence the catalyst that galva-nized activist in action and brought the LGBT move-ment to life.
It was exciting to see the tables in the Fellow-ship Hall filled with so many people and even more exciting to know that the director, Andrea Meyerson, and main character, Ronni Sanlo, were among the audience. Many of those in attendance were marvel-ing that this movie was being shown at a church in Orange County and it was wonderful that they left now knowing that we have “safe space” for all within our Christian community. I would like to thank our Open and Affirming Ministry for sponsoring this movie night and I look forward to similar events in the future.