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Designing for Impact - Case Studies (Continued): Out in the Silence

Out in the Silence Sometimes fear and hatred come from ignorance. When that occurs, the best way to eliminate hate is to foster understanding.

The film “Out in the Silence” started with an "unexpected" same-sex marriage announcement on the local newspaper of Oil City, PA. Letters and phonecalls from all over the town rushed in. A few people showed their support, but many expressed their resentment.

Among the supporters there was a mother. Her gay teenage boy C.J. was being bullied in school so badly that he refused to go to class and even became suicidal from time to time.

Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, the filmmakers and the couple in the marriage announcement, knows exactly how it feels to be a gay man in a small town. They found C.J. and were determined to help. They tried to connect people in and outside the LGBT community, searching for common ground. The results? "Out in the Silence" is their message to the world. It aims to raise awareness of what LGBT people face especially in relatively rural area. It has inspired so many people, activated so many gay and lesbian organizations and grown into a huge campaign.

Five weeks into our release of designing for impact report case study, this time we will look at how "Out in the Silence" initiated LGBT campaigns. We will analyze the way the filmmakers have responsed to obstacles, and used various media and distribution channels to build networks and reach out to a broader audience.


Read the complete case study:


Watch the film online:



Other case studies featured in the report will be available soon:

Oct. 21: Not in Our Town

Oct. 28: A Lion in the House

Nov. 4:  The Line

Nov. 11: Lioness

Nov. 18: Out In The Silence

Dec. 2: State Of Fear: The Truth About Terrorism

Stay tuned!

For more information or to download the report, please visit: