Torn in Middle America

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Still Point Pictures
Still Point Pictures
Van and Nancy Harrington of Norman, Oklahoma, struggle to understand the suicide of their openly gay son, Zack, in “Broken Heart Land.” The 19-year-old was embraced and accepted by his family. But after Norman residents split over a city proposition to observe LGBT History Month, the teen took his own life.

Film looks at aftermath of young gay man’s suicide in Norman, Okla.

An Oklahoma couple grapples with the suicide of their openly gay son in Broken Heart Land.

The University of North Texas Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Studies Program will screen the 2014 documentary at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 184 in UNT’s Radio, TV, Film and Performing Arts Building, at 1155 Union Circle.

The documentary by filmmakers Jeremy Stulberg and Randy Stulberg follows the parents of Zack Harrington, who committed suicide at age 19 after the family’s hometown of Norman, Oklahoma, bogged down in a hot debate over the city’s proposal to recognize a whole month as LGBT History Month.

Though the Harringtons identify as conservative Republicans, the couple accepted and embraced their son when he confided his sexual orientation to them as a young teenager. Stunned and baffled by his death, the family discovers journals that revealed Zack’s struggle for self-acceptance in the face of cultural and religious hostilities toward gay people.

The screening is free, and is also presented by the UNT Psychology Department.

For information, support and resources for LGBT Denton County residents, visit OUTreach Denton online at http://on.fb.me/1pmJ475. Parents, families and friends of Denton County GLBT residents can also contact Denton Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays by visiting the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/DentonPFLAG .

— Staff report


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