pic Jim in Bold, Glenn Holsten, USA, 2004, Video, 78 min, created by Halifax's YoungGayAmerica.

Jim in Bold tells the poignant story of Jim Wheeler, a gay teenager from the small town of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who was driven to tragedy in 1997 by the seemingly overwhelming homophobia all around him. Glenn Holsten's moving, award-winning documentary trenchantly examines the constant ridicule that Jimmy endured at Cedar Crest High School and the pain his friends and family felt after the tragedy, while also, miraculously enough, celebrating the young man's life and work. Many of Jim's moving and heartfelt poems are skillfully interwoven throughout the film.

But beyond the moving story of Jim Wheeler, Jim in Bold also tells the inspirational story of three young gay men: MikeGlatze, BenjieNycum, and ScottMacPhee?, who've begun a project entitled YoungGayAmerica. Traveling across the United States, from Utah to Jim's home town of Lebanon, they show how queer youth are often succeeding far beyond what many thought possible just a few years ago. In Utah, the threesome interviews a group of gay Mormons. In Pueblo, Colorado they meet two youths who have started their town's first Gay Pride celebration. Finally, they interview members of a high school gay/straight alliance, showing the rapidly growing gay American youth community which Jim Wheeler sadly could not access.

Intertwining the stories of Jim and Young Gay America, the film honestly and movingly shows just how bad homophobic America can be, and also how good things are starting to become. By focusing on these stories of strong queer youths, Jim in Bold demonstrates the potential power that queer youth have, and the fact that young queer people are starting triumphantly to choose joy and life over tragedy and death- that they, in short, are going to stand up and be heard. — Emily O'Brien

More info at http://jiminbold.com/