A West Virginia LGBTQ community's fight for visibility



Jeanne Peters and Kim Williams turn accidental activists after their West Virginia city government voted down an ordinance protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.

Abominations. Sexual predators. The gay agenda.  “I heard these people saying things about us, and they don’t know me,” Jeanne says. At a moment of division in the small industrial river town of Parkersburg, LGBTQ residents decide to fight back and spark a movement for change. At just 15 years old, Ivy Herriges holds local political leaders publicly accountable to support the rights of her family.  After being fired from a job for being transgender, Ashton Buzzard speaks out about the struggles and triumphs of being openly transgender and then seeks comfort in a church that may not be open to his openness. Collectively, their efforts result in the rebirth of queer community in an unlikely city. 

Outspoken is an intimate portrayal of the interconnectedness of religion and identity in small town America. In “the dead last city in the dead last state for LGBTQ people”, will this community begin to understand and thrive with inclusion?



“To be visible is to live my life aware that people may be paying attention and to be proud of who I am always.” - Jeanne Peters

outspoken web stills_02.jpg

“I've had mothers come up to me who have trans children and are like. . .a young child looks up to you because you are visible, because you are seen.” - Ashton Buzzard

OUTSPOKEN_stills website_01.JPG

“I know a lot of people who struggle with even being acknowledged as being more feminine or masculine. It's really empowering to know that [my family] will do whatever they can to make me more comfortable with me.” - Ivy Herriges

outspoken web stills_01.jpg
OUTSPOKEN_stills website_09.JPG