Directed by Nneka Onuorah | USA | 2015 | 78 min
This film has been rated PG - Not recommended for young children, disturbing content
Same Difference is a feature-length documentary that presents the lives of two adolescent boys who identify as gay from a young age. Graeme Taylor, now 18 and off to college, grows up and goes to school in a supporting environment that allows him to thrive. Justin was just one of nine teens that took their lives while attending the Anoka-Hennepin School District between 2009-2011.
This resulted in state health officials declaring the school district a suicide contagion, leading to a department of justice investigation. The role the school played in these deaths is explored through Jefferson Fietek, the only openly gay teacher in the district at the time. Additionally Mellisa Thompson, a parent in the district, highlights the shortcomings of the school board and the administration. Dr. Dorothy Espelage, Ph.D, Dr. Antoine Douaihy M.D., and Dr. Liz Winter PhD, LSW, examine the current research on anti-bullying and offer solutions to handling gender issues among adolescents within schools.
Panel discussion to follow with Catherine Taylor and Michelle McHale.