South Florida Gay News (Wilton Manors, Fla.) (01.31.12) -
The 2009 documentary "Silence Is Death: Unheard Voices" was
commissioned by Palm Beach County in response to a report
showing the disproportionate toll HIV/AIDS is having on
Florida's black residents. Made on a $5,000 budget, the film
examines homophobia and the role of the black church in the
epidemic. It was produced by Lorenzo Robertson, an outreach
coordinator with the Florida Department of Health.
Black men who have sex with men are especially at risk, and
their life experiences are captured in the documentary. "I was
raised in the church where they said if you were gay you were
going to hell," recalled "Abdul," who feared he would lose his
loved ones and sense of community by coming out.
According to Robertson, state officials understand they must
engage black churches if they are to successfully tackle
HIV/AIDS. But gay black men also must assume responsibility
for their health, he said. "You can't make sure anyone else is
protected, but you can protect yourself," he said.
The film, which premiered in 2010, will be screened Feb. 12 at
the Wolfsonian Museum at Florida International University.
Tickets are free but an RSVP is required. For more
information, telephone 305-751-7283 or visit