Holding Hands

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 – 7:30pm
Australia 2009. Directors: Tonnette Stanford, Katherine Wilkinson

Image In the early hours of December 3, 2007, Craig Gee and Shane Brennan, a young gay couple, were brutally attacked while holding hands after leaving a bar in Sydney’s gay district. Craig suffered a broken leg, a shattered jaw and a fractured eye socket. When the police showed little interest in tracking down the perpetrators, the couple took their case to the media. A photo of Craig’s battered face on the cover of the Sydney Star Observer, accompanied by an article on the shameful inaction of local police, rallied Sydney’s queer community to action. The publicity brought more devastating consequences: Craig’s staunchly Catholic family cut him off for “humiliating” them by outing himself in the paper. As Craig suffers through numerous painful facial-reconstruction surgeries, Shane is left with the pressure of holding things together on his own — running the couple’s business and being the sole caretaker for his deeply depressed and traumatized boyfriend. Months later, Craig even seeks treatment in a psychiatric facility, suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. “Focusing on a subject that is tragically far too common within the gay community, Holding Hands examines the strength, love and commitment required to hold together a relationship in the aftermath of a brutal hate crime” (ImageOut, Rochester). Colour, DVD. 67 mins.

Post-screening discussion with Cathy Welch, a feminist counsellor who has worked in community anti-violence agencies and within the mental health system since the mid-1980s. Ms. Welch has worked as a front-line worker, an anti-oppression educator, and community organizer around issues that include homophobia. Currently, she is working for the Ending Violence Association of B.C. as a Program Manager and Coordinator of the Safe Choices Program.

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.


Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, QMUNITY, and the Ending Violence Association of B.C.