PREFACE: At the bottom of this review is a list of relevant links and and information.
Hello internet, my name is Dustin VanCour. I am a straight, white male with a beautiful wife and an equally beautiful 2 ½ year old daughter and I support HUMAN rights. Last weekend on June 15th, 2014 I had the opportunity to see a documentary directed by my good friend Michael D. Gough called “Add the Words.” This film was also co-directed by the equally awesome Cammie Pavesic.
Add the Words is documentary about the ongoing battle not only for gay rights, but for equal rights. The name “Add the Words” comes from the non-profit organization of gay rights activists in Idaho to add the words “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity” to Idaho’s state constitution under the Idaho Human Rights Act. If these words are added, people will then not be able to be discriminated under these terms.
This film follows the story of the Add the Words organization and their fight to amend the Idaho State Constitution. Lead by former Idaho Senator, Nicole LeFavour. You follow their every move and emotion as they work to put an end to what should be a simple amendment. Not only do you follow the activists, you are treated with several interviews with people whose personal stories will absolutely break and warm your heart. The one that hit me the hardest was that of Madelyn Taylor. Madelyn’s spouse, Jean Mixler, passed from sever emphysema. A veteran in our United States Navy. Madelyn’s story was beyond adorable and yet, still absolutely heartbreaking. Under State law, she is not allowed to be buried with her spouse in a state sanctioned cemetery. Federally operated cemeteries however, will allow it. (More on Madelyn’s Story here via Boise Weekly.)
As for the film itself; it was moving to the bone. It was full of laughs, love and heartbreak. Again, the personal stories involved regarding people of gender change, gender identity, gay or lesbian were all brutally honest. It truly was a tale of human acceptance; a story of unity and equality that should be shared not just in Idaho, but with the rest of the country and all over the world. Love is a unified concept. Everyone knows what love is, and if you love what it means to be human, then this film is for you.
Now, you may ask yourself, “What’s the harm in adding the words?” The short answer is not a thing. For those of you who may not know, Idaho is a very conservative and religious state. The idea of anything regarding same sex or gender identity is pretty much a losing battle. These biases have gotten in the way of human acceptance for generations. Afro-Americans, women, gays, and most recently anyone even remotely resembling anyone from the middle east. The biases and stereo types of anyone’s religious and personal perspectives should not affect the ideals of a constitution that should benefit ALL humans regardless of sex, religion, age, ethnicity, “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.” We are the HUMAN race, and regardless of who you are the same human morals should apply. In terms from the Nerd world, I believ Wil Wheaton put it best, “Don’t be a dick.”
I shall end this by saying, I have gay friends. They are some of the best people who have entered my life. What makes them different than any other friend? Nothing. They are beautiful, loving individuals, same as my straight friends, whom I respect with all my heart. This movie is the vision and the message we as people need to see and hear. When you get the chance to see this film, please do so. Its message will move you. Below are related articles and links regarding this film and the people involved. Please check them out and show any support you are able to offer. Thank you for reading.