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VIDEO: Gay fans of KPBS to host viewing party for "OUT In America" premiere on Sunday

SAN DIEGO -- Emmy Award-winning director Andrew Goldberg has focused his lens on LGBT Americans in his newest film airing Sunday on PBS/Channel 15 in San Diego.

“OUT In America” is an unabashed glimpse into the lives of some well-known LGBT individuals across the U.S. and some amazing LGBT people who you have never heard of yet. The film is an in-depth look into LGBT Americans’ lives, using their own words and drawing on their personal experiences.

San Diego’s PBS station has special plans for Sunday’s premiere, the details of which are outlined below.

Goldberg told San Diego Gay & Lesbian News that he was inspired to examine the lives of LGBT individuals after he saw the struggles that a close friend had to face after coming out.

“My roommate in college came out and his family didn’t respond well,” Goldberg said. “It upset me to see him having to go through this difficult time for no reason. I couldn’t understand why they were doing it [shutting him out of their lives]; it really struck me.”

Some of the well-known LGBT individuals featured in the film include “Watch What Happens Live” host Andy Cohen, “Tales Of The City” author Armistead Maupin and country music star Chely Wright.

Some of the lesser-known people in the film include “The Harolds,” a bi-racial couple in their 80s who have been together for 45 years and are still smitten with each other.

“We’ve had a good life. We still love each other … it just gets better,” the Harolds said of their life together.

A 19-year-old Puerto Rican from Harlem, a gay rancher from Oregon, a West Point graduate and a former Army captain, and a transgender police officer in California are just a few of the other people who shared their experiences in the film.

“OUT in America is a more realistic portrait of LGBT life than almost anything seen on TV before,” said Goldberg, the founder and owner of Two Cats Productions in New York City. “So often, media coverage of LGBT life in America is polarizing or exploitative of controversy and homophobia, or alternately LGBT individuals are presented as caricatures of a stereotype. OUT in America however focuses on empowerment, diversity and relationships.”

“I think a vast majority of people who are in opposition to progress for LGBT people simply haven’t met enough LGBT people to realize that they’re normal,” he said.

“My hope is that people will see the film and realize that there are less differences between LGBT individuals and others than they thought,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg is well-known among documentarians for his work on films like “Jerusalem: Center of the World,” “They Came to America” and “The Armenian Genocide,” which featured narrations from Julianna Margulies, Ed Harris, Natalie Portman, Paul Rudd and Jared Leto.

Big plans by KPBS in San Diego to celebrate the premiere

KPBS in San Diego will air “OUT In America” on Sunday, June 5, at 8 pm. A repeat performance will show at 10:30 pm on Wednesday, June 8.

The KPBS Gays and Lesbians for Public Broadcasting (GLPB) will be hosting a live screening of the film and a reception in the KPBS studio at 5200 Campanile Drive in San Diego. The reception begins at 6:30 pm and will feature light appetizers, beer and wine. The event is free and open to the public but does require an RSVP for all guests.

The hosts for the premiere party will be Randy and Michael Clark, who are actively involved in the LGBT community in San Diego as well as KPBS supporters.

Special guest Karen Ochs, who is featured in “OUT In America,” will be attending the event.

During the live screening, there will be a phone bank in the studio. The telethon fundraising will break every 20 minutes during the screening to accept live donations by phone. Volunteers are needed to run the phone banks during the breaks, so if you’re interested contact Jennifer Majors at (619) 594-6374 or by email at jmajors@kpbs.org.

Watch the full episode. See more PBS Specials.