Our Stories, Our Voices: August 2021

Art With Impact presents…


A virtual festival amplifying queer stories of mental health through film and conversation.

August 10-12, 2021.


The Our Stories, Our Voices festival celebrates queer mental health stories told by LGBTQ+ filmmakers and artists.

Over three days, filmmakers, mental health professionals, and community leaders will lead insightful, interactive workshops focused on the unique experiences of queer people and their mental health.

These workshops will pair film and dialogue to explore the diversity of mental health experiences within the LGBTQIA+ community, touching on queer identity, coming out, gender performance, decolonization, intersectionality, and more.

The virtual festival is free and open to the public. We encourage our community of college and university students, higher education leaders, mental health practitioners, and community supporters to join us in amplifying queer voices.


This year’s speakers are a diverse cohort of queer and allied artists, mental health practitioners, and advocates.


Led by filmmakers and community leaders, the festival features a selection of interactive seminars and engaging discussions, related to the films and LGBTQ+ mental health. If you are interested in learning about these sessions, and participating in these critical conversations, you can register to attend using the links below.

Day One
August 10, 2021


1:00pm – 2:30pm PT

Coming Out Twice: Finding the Right Time to Tell a Story One of the biggest challenges for LGBTQIA+ folks remains coming out to their communities, and disclosing that they don’t fit within the heteronormative expectations of our culture. Equally hard, but less discussed, is the ‘coming out’ about mental health issues and discussing mental illness, in what remains a very ableist society. In this session, Mariana Osuna and 1990’s Chris use their award-winning short films to explore what it means to be queer and living with mental health challenges, in an environment that makes it hard to be either.


4:00 – 5:30pm PT

Gender Performance and Mental Health Drag culture has brought “gender performance” into mainstream media, but what does it mean to “perform gender” in day-to-day life? What does it take to be authentic while meeting gender expectations in your community? Join filmmakers Steph Young, Jake Ivany, and Paolo Riveras as they screen their short films and discuss gender expression, gender expectations, and what effects they have on our mental health.

Day Two
August 11, 2021


1:00 – 2:30pm PT

The Intersection of Queer Sexual and Mental Health The patriarchal medical field has always been a breeding ground for discrimination against queer humans, especially in sexual health and education. Simply asking questions about sex practices comes with risk to personal safety, along with feelings of anxiety, shame, and guilt. This sex-positive session, led by Lucie Rachel, will use film and spoken word to explore the mental health struggles of seeking physical and sexual wellness as a queer individual, while providing solidarity and resources to our underserved queer community.


4:00 – 5:30pm PT

The Colonization of Gender and SexualityThe influx of “corporate Pride” shines a harsh light on how thinly-veiled appropriation passes for allyship in a white capitalist society. Combined with cultural and social expectations, it has made navigating the intersection of race, sexuality, gender and mental health an exhausting and confusing endeavor. Filmmakers Campbell X and Victoria Anderson-Gardner will lead this session in conversation with 1990’s Chris to address these topics, and to beg the question of how we decolonize queer love.

Day Three
August 12, 2021


1:00 – 2:30pm PT

Queer Identity and Artistic Expression We communicate who we are in a hundred different ways through the work we do, the places we live, and the art we create. How we present ourselves to the world, and our relationship to our physical environment, are equally important elements of defining ourselves. Through exploring their award-winning films, Hao Zhou and Mariana Osuna will lead a conversation around how identity informs art – and how our art informs our identities.


4:00 – 5:30pm PT

Intergenerational Wisdom and Queer History Across Cultures When we speak intergenerationally, we have to find a shared language to have meaningful dialogue. We need a meaningful dialogue to understand the damage done by those in power, and the legacy left to us by those who fought against them. We welcome you to join this conversation with filmmakers Campbell X, Bennett Singer, and Hao Zhao, and Chaplain of the National STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association, Reverend Magora E. Kennedy, as they promote love and understanding between generations of queer and racialized folks to explore how far we’ve come and how far we will go.


Staging Face

Touch Me Don’t Touch Me

Still We Thrive

Frozen Out


Factory Talk

Continue to Live

The Side Effects of Normal


Our Stories, Our Voices would not be possible without our supporters. Our sponsors share our passion for mental wellness, LGBTQ+ equality, and art for social change. We are proud to partner with these collaborators to uplift queer stories.