Torrey Pines began as a song, penned by the band Your Heart Breaks and Kimya Dawson in 2007. It artfully describes Clyde Petersen’s own childhood, commemorating a life changing road trip and queer self-discovery, but the story began to outgrow the song and eventually blossomed into the quirky, punk, queer film sharing the same name.
Yet the title track remains a quintessential component to the Torrey Pines multimedia experience, creating a symbiotic relationship between motion and sound.
When you first listen to “Torrey Pines”, you hear an echo of nostalgia. Tender guitar strumming, almost spoken lyrics, and a gentle rhythm all contribute to a comforting atmosphere, a perfect partner to the animated rolling hills and paper puppet characters. There is a humble quality in the music (and DIY animation), yet that simplicity is partly what makes the story so relatable. True, Clyde’s autobiographical tale is anything but simple, but he uses his own experiences to creative a narrative for queer youth, mental health, and to offer hope to people who feel like an alien in their own home. These sentiments are articulated best in this stanza of the song:
The shit that you’ve been through is the reason you’re you
And I bet someone is listening with a similar history
Once the words are spoken and it’s all out in the open,
It will help other people feel a lot less broken
So open up your mouth and let it all out.
The honesty that runs throughout Torrey Pines is unapologetically present, yet the personal details speak volumes to mission of the project. In a video interview with Art Zone, Clyde ends the interview with the following wish:
“I want teenagers to be able to see it. I want queer youth to see it and just, like, hopefully like not feel so alone for like one hour of their life and just be like ‘maybe my life’s messed up too but there’s other people’s stories out there.’ So that’s my general hope.”
In the spirit of Clyde’s lyrics and mission, we’ve collected a list of organizations, educational resources, and trans advocate that are serving the Boston queer community and beyond with their stories of queerness and resilience. While this is not an exhaustive list, these are just a handful of people and organizations that have gone out into the open in an effort to help people feel a little less alone and little less broken.
We hope you will join us for Torrey Pines, FEB 14 – 17, and continue to contribute to the conversation of supporting queer and trans youth, researching mental health, and striving for a world with more queer narratives.
Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Youth (BAGLY)
BAGLY: The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, is a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization, committed to social justice and creating, sustaining, and advocating for programs, policies, and services for the LGBTQ youth community. BAGLY provides community-based leadership development, health promotion, and social support programs for Massachusetts LGBTQ youth communities, and is a leader in local and national LGBTQ youth advocacy and workforce development.
GLAD Forward is a group of young LGBTQ people and allies in the Greater Boston area who believe we can make a difference, change lives, and have a great time doing it. We’re here to network, party, learn, and do more – together.
Point Foundation (Point) empowers promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.
Greater Boston PFLAG
We are a group of parents, families, friends, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. We help change attitudes and create an environment of understanding so that our LGBTQ family members and friends can live in a world that is safe and inclusive. We accomplish this through support, education, and advocacy.
Boston GLASS (Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services) provides a continuum of services to LGBTQQ+ youth of color and their allies in the Greater Boston area. As a leader in LGBTQ+ youth services, we also provide education and consultation to other providers and community organizations.
The Theater Offensive’s Mission is to present the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer lives in art so bold it breaks through personal isolation, challenges the status quo, and builds thriving communities.
The mission of Fenway Health is to enhance the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and all people in our neighborhoods and beyond through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy
Wicked Queer, The Boston LGBT Film Festival (formerly “the Boston LGBT Film Festival) was founded in 1984 by film programmer George Mansour. The Festival has been hosted by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston since 1992 and, as of 2012, is presented across the greater Boston Area.
Skylar Kergil is a transgender singer-songwriter, activist, educator, writer and artist who is from Acton, MA but currently resides in Boston. After high school, he attended Skidmore College, serving on the board of the Pride Alliance, as a Peer Mentor, and an active member of the community until graduating on May 18, 2013 with honors and leadership awards. While he majored in Studio Art with a concentration in drawing and photography, he pursued a wide range of classes and interests in gender studies, environmental studies, philosophy, poetry and biology. As of now, he is traveling to educate, working on his music, and writing a book about his transition through high school and college.
Minnesotan Ash Hardell is a YouTuber and stop-motion animator who is open about their bisexuality, posting videos that try to explain thei life to those who might not get it. Their ABCs of LGBT+ series is a fun and eye-opening intro for people looking to broaden their specific understanding of LGBTQ+ culture, and the corresponding book of the same name, published in November, became a #1 best seller on Amazon.com.
A contributor to Everyday Feminism, the Huffington Post, and PRIDE: feminist activist, illustrator and speaker Kat Blaque takes to YouTube to break down the gender and race dynamics prevalent in today’s society. Her channel features a wide variety of content including “WHY RACHEL DOLEZAL ISN’T CAITLYN JENNER” to an LGBT interview series entitled Intersect as well as to a wealth of resources on women’s issues and race issues. In her weekly video series True Tea, Kat openly answers questions from her 115K subscribers that range from “IS RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE RACIST?” to “HOW CAN I READ HISTORY THAT ISN’T WHITEWASHED” and beyond.