TORONTO, ON (March 9, 2023) – On the evening of May 30, 2023, hundreds of Toronto’s most influential 2SLGBTQIA+ leaders and influencers will attend the Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival Centrepiece Gala screening of Supporting Our Selves (SOS) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3X5). From award-winning director Lulu Wei (There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace), SOS is a film exploring how and why the Queer community in Toronto, Canada has grown and evolved over the past 40 years, through the lens of one grassroots organization and its impact.
Watch the trailer for Supporting Our Selves (SOS) here.
In 1980s Toronto, when most queer people lived under the radar and sexual orientation wasn’t yet included in the human rights code, a little-known organization called the Community One Foundation quietly began its work (known then as The Gay Community Appeal). What started as discreet ‘SOS’ fundraisers held in private homes, blossomed into a foundation that supports a multitude of organizations including many pillars of the queer Canadian experience including The 519, Inside Out, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, The Pink Triangle Press, Sherbourne Health Centre, the Bill 7 Award, and the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives.
Through the vital activism of its subjects, Supporting Our Selves paints a vivid portrait of a queer Toronto and its complexities. Along the way, we meet Christopher, a trans woman from Uganda who, although having only been in Canada a few years, has already started her own organization to support queer African refugees like herself, leZlie lee kam, a tireless lifelong activist for queer people of colour who is constantly looking for ways to support queer and trans people of all ages, Jay, who is creating space and support for 2SLGBTQIA+ people with disabilities, and the passionate group of individuals who were inspired to work together to launch Community One Foundation, 40 years ago.
“Our 40+ year history is rich with powerful and moving stories of how the 2SLGBTQIA+ community has come together to help one another in Toronto,” says Sam Katz, Community One Foundation Co-Chair. “We are thrilled this incredible team of filmmakers have chosen to help share and examine the story of Community One Foundation, and can’t wait to celebrate this milestone together at Canada’s top 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival.”
A limited amount of tickets to the screening are available to the public by visiting https://insideout.ca/toronto-films/centrepiece-gala-supporting-our-selves/.
About Community One Foundation:
Established in 1980 as the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal, Community One Foundation provides grants to 2SLGBTQIA+ community projects in Greater Toronto Area including Durham, Halton, Peel and York Regions, focusing on the areas of arts and culture, health and social services, and research and education. The Foundation also promotes community philanthropy through strategic partnerships such as the Bill 7 Award and the LGBT Giving Network.
About Inside Out:
The 33rd annual Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival is taking place May 25-June 4! For over 30 years, Inside Out has worked to bring the community together through giving their audience new opportunities to engage with 2SLGBTQ+ stories through the medium of film. Celebrating queer cinema with in-person screenings at TIFF Bell Lightbox, and digitally streaming online Ontario-wide, join @insideoutfestival this summer!