For Coquitlam native Calan Breckon the idea that you can’t go home again is simply not true. Not only is he going home, he has also setting out to make a difference in his hometown with The Diversity Project, a documentary which follows the creation of a Gay-Straight Alliance / Diversity Club (GSA/DC) at his old high school.
Already back at Centennial High School in Coquitlam helping to establish the GSA/DC, Breckon said the idea to document its creation on film came to him not only because he thought it would make an “awesome documentary”, but with a hope that it would help others as well. For Breckon, the need to help students at his old school comes from his own struggles as a student at Centennial.
“I didn’t feel like that support system was there for me,” he explained. “I didn’t feel like I could truly be myself and come out without severe repercussions like bullying.”
With the launch event for The Diversity Project taking place at Centennial today (February 24), Breckon is hoping for a positive response from students and their families much like the positive response he is already seeing from the school’s faculty.
“The faculty has just been amazing. As soon as I approached them with my ideas they were ‘yes, yes, yes’”, he said. “They think it’s fantastic to have such a great program introduced and believe that it has the power to help a lot of people”.
But getting the film made means more than just getting the support of the students and faculty at Centennial and the reason Breckon has chosen IndieGoGo, an online funding portal, to help raise the necessary cash. And while Breckon admits the fundraising has started off slowly, he says the team hasn’t started their big push yet.
“We’re waiting until we have a teaser trailer made and a few more media releases floating around so the word gets out there,” he explained. “I have no doubt in my mind we will reach our goal but until then it’s pretty much all coming out of my own pocket”.
Ultimately for Breckon and his team, which includes director Milad Torabi, editor and camera operator Stephen Emery and photographer Heather Pennell, the goal is to present a film that will connect in some way with each person that sees it and help spark a conversation which he says is key to creating acceptance and understanding.
The Diversity Project is an independent documentary film based around the creation of a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) / Diversity Club at a high school in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. The film follows the clubs creator, Calan Breckon, as well as students, school faculty and parents through the ups and downs of establishing a successful GSA/Diversity Club. The main focuses of the film will be to promote diversity, education, understanding and compassion for not only the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community but for anyone who has ever felt out of place or like they don’t fit in.