Autry National Center Holds Free "Out West" Panel Sunday, December 13

Please join GLAAD at the Autry National Center’s “Out West” series for the panel discussion “What Ever Happened to Ennis del Mar?” on Sunday December 13, 2009 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Autry Center’s Wells Fargo Theater. The panel is a free event and the first in a series of programs examining the LGBT community’s contributions and influence in the American West and the Western genre. brokebackmountainshirtsConceived by author and filmmaker Gregory Hinton, Out West follows the current installation at the Autry Center of the two intertwined shirts worn by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Focus Features 2005 groundbreaking film Brokeback Mountain. The iconic shirts represent the struggle between heritage and acceptance in gay cowboy culture. The shirts are worn, with a slight red dust caked on the exposed areas that are not protected by the entwine, highlighting Out West’s focus on the LGBT community’s toil for safety and inclusion in the rural Western communities. The panel, titled after Ledger’s character Ennis, will open this discussion of LGBT representation in the American West before, during, and after the era depicted in the film, as well as exploring the Academy Award and GLAAD Media Award winning film’s significance in renewing the Western film for contemporary audiences. Virginia Scharff, author and professor of History/Director of the Center for the Southwest at the University of New Mexico, will moderate the panel that includes: William Handley, editor of The Brokeback Book and USC professor of English; Peter Nardi, author and professor of Sociology at Pitzer College; and Los Angeles Times and NPR film critic, Kenneth Turan. The Autry National Center was established in 2003 with a mission to explore the experiences and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past with the present to inform our shared future.