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Membership: Where Are All the Women?

Last year’s Women’s Soiree
Last year’s Women’s Soiree

Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival. 31 years of groundbreaking filmmaking. Stories of discovery and romance, bravery and pride. Tales of individuals and families turned inside out and remade even stronger. Over 40,000 attendees every year, kissing, cheering and shedding sequins. The biggest and best LGBT film festival in the world! (OK, we’re biased.)

We all know about Outfest Los Angeles, love it, look forward to the Opening Night Gala and All-Girl Friday at the DGA. Maybe you’ve directed or acted in a film that screened there, or cheered on a filmmaker friend during her Q&A. Maybe you met your girlfriend/fiancee/wife at one of those awesome receptions where the Absolut flowed freely.

You know that telling our stories is powerful. It changes minds, and it changes lives.

Maybe you didn’t know, however, that Outfest doesn’t have a financial fairy godmother. Arts funding in the US of A is almost as hard to find as lesbian lead characters on primetime TV. We are grateful to our corporate sponsors, but Outfest and its essential programs survive largely thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of individual donors like you.

Or…not like you. Did you know for every male-identified major donor, only 1/8 of a woman…wait…hold on…for every female-identified major donor, EIGHT guys have stepped up?

Ladyfriends, we can do better than this. Lesbian leaders of America, we need you! (That’s not Uncle Sam pointing at you, it’s Angelina Jolie.)

We realize there are a lot of places to put your charitable dollars. There are a thousand organizations putting their hands out: Environmental groups. Public radio. Animal rights, human rights, women’s rights. Children’s hospitals. The AIDS LifeCycle. (Feeling guilty yet?) All worthy causes…but we’d like you to consider how becoming an Outfest Major Donor can help transform the world for our communities, our families and loved ones, and for LGBT kids close to home and in places very far away from LA. Places where seeing a gay, lesbian or trans story can open closed minds, heal broken hearts and families, and change the trajectory of a life.

Becoming an Outfest Major Donor will make you a leader in our community. We won’t make you give any speeches. But you will instantly become part of a magnetic, super-hot cadre of women helping to grow the country’s leading LGBT arts organization, whose important programs include Outfest Fusion and the Fusion Lab, the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, OutSet, Outfest Forward, and even NewFest in NYC.

Major Donors will receive two OutPasses to this year’s Outfest Los Angeles film festival, which will get you to the front of every line, to the VIP section of every party, to every screening you and your lady care to take in (and possibly into the pants of that babe in the cocktail line. Never underestimate the power of a VIP badge.) You could spend the same amount on individual tickets and miss out on the unfettered access and grateful acknowledgement, not to mention the exclusive events scheduled throughout the year.

At our special Major Donor parties, you will meet and mingle with awesome celebrity guests who support Outfest’s goals, magnetic cultural leaders like yourself, and earnest filmmakers with interesting hair. Your tax-exempt contribution will help fund essential programs that restore historic LGBT films, support LGBT filmmakers, and aid in the creation of new narratives for the triumph of love, equality and freedom.

You will be part of changing the world…one LGBT story at a time.

Major Donors are invited to the Outfest Women’s Soiree this Sunday, April 21 from 2-6 pm at the beautiful home of comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer! Come connect professionally and personally with celebrities, filmmakers and intriguing women galore over delicious nibbles and sparkling cocktails. RSVP here to attend.

Don’t forget your company’s matching grants program! Many employers will match your charitable contribution. Double the impact, double the good karma. For more information about the benefits of being an Outfest Major Donor, click here.

To learn more about Outfest’s exciting year-round programs, click here.

If, for whatever reason, this is not the year for you to become a Major Donor, not to worry! Outfest offers several levels of membership and welcomes your involvement in any way that works for you. You can still enjoy screenings, programs and social events, and the fun and inspiration of our vibrant community. See you at Outfest!

– Kate Brandt
Outfest filmmaker alumna and proud member