ideastream and KeyBank Bring Screening of PBS Documentary "The Pursuit: 50 Years in the Fight for LGBT Rights" to Cleveland
In celebration of the progress of the LGBTQ civil rights movement, The Pursuit: 50 Years in the Fight for LGBT Rights made its Cleveland debut at the Ohio Theatre in Playhouse Square in August 2016, one day before Pride in the CLE, the event that replaced the canceled 2016 Cleveland Pride parade.
Presented by WVIZ/PBS ideastream and KeyBank, the powerful documentary reflects on 50 years of change since protesters gathered in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July 4, 1965 and publicly called for an end to discrimination against homosexuals.
The film follows the stories and experiences of Gay Rights movement pioneers during the last 50 years. It features interviews, archival images, and footage of such leading LGBTQ figures as Michael Palumbaro, founding member of the Gay Activist Alliance, and John James, who marched in the first 1965 peaceful demonstrations at Independence Hall. It also features Jason Rudman, a KeyBank executive and ideastream Board member. He and husband Alvin McCray share their journey to start a biological family through surrogacy during a time before marriage equality existed.
Key Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
“As Cleveland’s hometown bank, KeyBank is a strong supporter of the city’s LGBTQ community, and we’re proud to see one of our own team members and his family featured in this important film,” said Kip Clarke, KeyBank’s Cleveland Market President. “Bringing the screening of this historical documentary to Cleveland was one way for KeyBank to give back to our neighbors while honoring our commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
KeyBank’s Rudman said he is honored that his family could play a small role in helping to tell the story of the LGBTQ movement, both nationally and locally.
“I am proud to call Cleveland my hometown, and the screening was just a small way to honor and commemorate the progress made in our own backyard. And, Alvin and I believe that celebrating any and all LGBTQ stories helps change the hearts and minds of the larger community in the continued pursuit of equal rights for all,” said Rudman.
Mary Grace Herrington, ideastream’s Chief Development Officer, said the screening was held as a free community event to make it more accessible to more people. Hundreds attended the screening.
Following the screening, guests remained for a Q&A and panel discussion moderated by 90.3 WCPN Senior Reporter/Producer, David C. Barnett. The panelists included Esther Baruja - Minister, United Church of Christ, Archwood UCC church and Equality Ohio Volunteer; Greggor Mattson - Associate Professor of Sociology, Oberlin College; Chair, Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies Program; Mason Caminiti - Claims Adjuster, Progressive Insurance; Gay Games 9 participant; Ambassador, Athlete Ally; and Alvin McCray - Marketing and Communications specialist focused on pharmaceutical communications; and Marketing Co-Chair, 2016 HRC Cleveland Gala. Alvin was featured in The Pursuit along with his husband, Jason Rudman and their first-born son, Roman. The couple have since added another member to their family, Edyn.