Despite community petition IDAHOBIT screening of Boy Erased will go ahead

Update: The screening has been moved from the park to the Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre, across the road at 6:30pm.

A petition has been started by members of the community who are concerned over the free showing of 2018 film, Boy Erased, at Richmond Park on Friday, May 17 for IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersex and Transgender), however Hawkesbury Council says the screening will still go ahead.

These community members are concerned by the MA15+ rating that the film carries as it contains drug use, coarse language, sexual themes, violence and rape.

A still from the 2018 film, Boy Erased.

A still from the 2018 film, Boy Erased.

Youth Pastor at Richmond Anglican, Mikala Sinfield said, "we are concerned by the level of strong sexual violence, assault, drug use and language in the film... and that it carries a MA15+ rating.

"The point of the showing is to promote inclusion but by showing a MA15+ film they are excluding younger teens.

"We are hoping that council reconsider showing the film."

She elaborated on the film's content saying, "I think they should provide a clear picture of other views... if we're going to be representative, I think every view should be shown.

"Each issue has to be taken on in its own way ... The complexities of this issue [LGBTQ] isn't clear cut ... This kind of issue has to be dealt with in a certain way."

"We don't want anyone to be discriminated against... but as far as I know, I haven't heard of politically motivated movies being shown in public like this.

"We are concerned about the MA15+ rating ... We are concerned with the violence, sexual themes, rape, swearing and drugs in the film. Less so, the political charge."

Hawkesbury City Mayor Barry Calvert still supports the event at Richmond Park, and said, "IDAHOBIT is set up with the goal of ending homophobic and discriminatory behaviour and that's what the film is about. It challenges homophobia and discrimination."

On the screening Mayor Calvert said, "Organisers will ensure that under 15-year-olds will not be allowed to enter to watch the movie unless they are accompanied by an adult ... they're not getting to watch it themselves.

"The screen will be set up so people passing by won't see it, so it'll only be the people entering who will be able to watch it. The staff will ensure this.

"We're not trying to break the classification laws, it will be the same as a movie theater."