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For local gay activist José Ramirez, youth program coordinator at La Clinica del Pueblo, The Other City is more than just a documentary.
Ramirez, who is HIV-positive and Latino, is one of the people featured in the film, filmed about a year and a half ago.
”It was just an opportunity to have Latinos represented,” he says of taking part in the production that shines a light on parts of Washington that are sometimes overlooked in the battle against HIV, such as AIDS hospices and needle-exchange programs.
”I feel like sometimes this city is very black and white, and [people] forget about other immigrants,” says Ramirez. ”I did it just to speak up and say, ‘Here’s a face,’ and [HIV] does exist within the Latino community. For Latinos, it’s being able to see that and be like, ‘Oh, shit, that can happen to me,’ or, ‘I need to think about what I’m doing,’ if they’re having unprotected sex.”
Proceeds from the 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 20, screening of The Other City at E Street Cinema will benefit La Clinica’s youth drop-in center, Mpodérate!, which caters to ”queer youth” between 13 and 24, at 3055 Mount Pleasant St. NW. The term ”Mpodérate!” is a play on two Spanish words, roughly translating to ”empower yourself.”
”The money is going to an education fund at Mpodérate!, for GED classes and ESL classes,” says Ramirez.
Alicia Wilson, executive director of La Clinica, is scheduled to speak before the documentary. Afterward, organizers will offer a Q-and-A session with some of the people in the film, including Ramirez, as well as the film’s director, Susan Koch.
While The Other City will be playing at E Street Cinema on other dates, only funds Sept. 20 will benefit Mpodérate!
Ramirez says he’s hopeful that the local LGBT community will use the screening as an opportunity ”to give back.”
The Other City fundraiser for Mpodérate! begins at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 20, at E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Advance tickets are available at Mpodérate! for $10, or $15 at the door. For more information about Mpodérate!, visit ‘lcdp.org.