Contact: TJ Murphy, Director of Programming

Partnering with Hugh Lane Foundation, Reel Q will launch “Reel Youth” on June 5, 7-9 pm, as the first of several online events for Pride 2021. First up, a one-of-a-kind night of award-winning film shorts for the younger LGBTQ+ community and allies: a virtual party with games, prizes and discussion, hosted by drag-tastic Akasha L. Van Cartier, one of Pittsburgh’s foremost drag queens.

The virtual night begins with a selection of four award-winning short films: 

  • In the gender-bending “Meta,” directed by Sydne Horton, a self-conscious trans boy who’s been nominated for high school prom king unexpectedly confronts a most embarrassing moment of his trans experience;
  • Director Vanessa Kwan’s animated “Losing to Alexis Lee” presents the beautiful track star as a force to be reckoned with;
  • Morgan Jon Fox’s heartwarming “The One You Never Forget” (a Reel Q’s audience award winner in 2019) shows that a gay teen’s first date might lead to unconditional love and acceptance; and
  • In “Thanks to Her,” directed by Sam Mccoy and Sam Orlowski, a high school senior’s life gets turned upside down after an altercation with an out and proud classmate. 

Following the screening of the queer shorts, the directors and cast of the locally created film “Thanks to Her” will participate in a live Q&A — and discuss upcoming exciting summer opportunities for their new feature length film! 

“Reel Youth” is ONLY open to persons 13-21 years old. 

To attend, RSVP at  

Please use your personal email address if possible as school email servers sometimes block outside organizations. A Zoom link will be emailed to you on June 5 for this event. Come for the movies and stay for the games, prizes, and special guests all night long!

About our Hosts:

Nationally recognized performer Akasha L. Van Cartier has been entertaining audiences for 21 years. In Pittsburgh she started Drag Queen Story Hour with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, where she reads to children throughout the Tri-State area, raising money for the Humane Animal League.

The Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation strives to address bias across the many intersections of our communities to create spaces and opportunities for LGBTQ+ and HIV+ individuals to be their authentic, courageous selves.

Created in 1985, Reel Q celebrates LGBTQ+ culture by fostering appreciation and visibility through film and other forms of media and providing crucial services to the media vitality of Pittsburgh, which is designed to support queer artists specifically.

For more information on our month of Pride films and events, show times, guest artists and post-screening panel discussions, please check out Reel Q’s website at:

About Reel Q 

Reel Q was created in 1985 to organize and manage year-round cinema that serves the educational and cultural needs of its audiences and is an organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer and LGBTQ-supportive persons. Reel Q is made possible because of the generous support of: The Heinz Endowments, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Opportunity Fund, The Fine Foundation, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, UPMC and UPMC Health Plan.