Monday, November 21, 2011

Israeli TV Star Assi Azar Visits PFLAG National

Israeli TV star Assi Azar is touring the United States this month, screening his film, “Mom & Dad: I have Something to Tell You,” in which he tries to understand his parents’ journey to accepting him after he came out as a gay man. Two years after coming out to his parents privately, he came out very publicly in the media. When he came out, Mr. Azar was already a famous host of a children’s television show, now he hosts Israel’s most popular show, Big Brother. Since coming out Mr. Azar has been an advocate for LGBT equality, and was named one of the 100 most influential gay people in the world by Out Magazine.

In the film Mr. Azar visits Support Groups for Parents of Gay Children (a group modeled after PFLAG) to try to understand why his parents had such a difficult time accepting him. Mr. Azar learns that his parents' needed time and education to help them understand the issues and process their own feelings about his identity. Mr. Azar says that coming out stories are often entirely focused on the individual who is coming out, but the event is life changing for the family members as well. He felt it was important that his film “is not from the kids’ point of view only, but from the parents’ point of view.”

Yesterday Mr. Azar, along with representatives from the Embassy of Israel, met with PFLAG National Executive Director Jody Huckaby, Deputy Executive Director Beth Kohm, and Policy Intern Laura Van Dyke to talk about how his moving film can be incorporated into the great work that PFLAG chapters are already doing. Look out for more updates from PFLAG National about the film “Mom & Dad: I have Something to Tell You,” and the possibility of a second screening tour sometime in the spring of 2012.