For LGBTQ pride month in June, Comcast is promoting its on-demand subscriber site with films including the gay classic “Brokeback Mountain,” lesbian drama “Carol,” and TV’s “Queer As Folk,” as well as made-in-Miami coming-out videos.
The Xfinity LGBTQ Film & TV Collection, which launched a year ago, contains more than 800 TV shows and movies with LGBTQ characters, according to Jean-Claire Fitschen, Comcast’s executive director for multicultural services in TV.
“Our customers told us that it is important to see stories representing the rich diversity of experiences throughout the community, inclusive of different ages, races and genders,” Fitschen writes on the Comcast corporate website. “They want to see LGBT characters with fully developed backstories, including life and love interests. Our customers have also expressed a desire for more entertaining stories about every day LGBT heroes and stories of community empowerment.”
Several well-known brands are associated with the programming, including The Advocate; Autostraddle, a website for lesbians and bisexual women; GLAAD; the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); Out & Equal Workplace Advocates; and PFLAG.
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“The collection provides a home for some of our community’s most important and unique stories. One of the most impressive parts of the collection is how they are making an effort to amplify a diversity of stories derived directly from our community,” Fitschen said.
The collection is easy to find online at www.xfinity.com/lgbt or by speaking “LGBT” into the X1 television voice remote.
“I’m From Driftwood aims to help LGBTQ people learn more about their community, straight people learn more about their neighbors and everyone learn more about themselves through the power of storytelling and story sharing,” according to the archive website.
The archive contains more than 1,000 videos. Five of the 20 on Comcast/Xfinity feature people with South Florida ties.
Nicholas Pineiro, originally of Little Havana, made his video six years ago. It’s about “coming out and being gay in Cuban culture.”
“Hispanic culture is really machista, really cemented in gender roles,” Pineiro said in his video. “Men are men and tough and burly and they don’t cry, and women are women and they are the providers and whatnot for the families.”
Pineiro, now 33, describes in the video how at age 19 he came out to his parents. “Dinner kind of went a little bit awkward after that. It was silent, but I just remember feeling elated to get this weight off my chest, to be able to say out loud to my parents — reveal this big part of who I was.”
It took a few months, but Pineiro said in the video that he eventually got his parents’ full support. Since 2011, his video has had about 21,000 YouTube views.
Pineiro, a volunteer for the Out Miami Foundation, says he’s glad he particpated in the “I’m From Driftwood” project.
“I thought it would be an opportunity to lend a voice to Hispanic LGBT youth,” Pineiro told the Miami Herald on Thursday. “I really thought it would be beneficial for someone in the same situation. I thought it was important to get my story out there so others would not feel so alone.”
Now CEO and partner of Deep Antiquity, an independent clothing line in Miami, Pineiro has begun a new “project with friends to bring awareness and a network of support for LGBTQ domestic-violence victims.”