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HBO Documentary Film’s presents Valentine Road on October 7, 2013

 

ValentineRoad

I mentioned in a post the other day that October is a “National” month for many causes. Some causes not mentioned include October as being National Bullying Awareness Month, National LGBT Month and October 11th is National Coming Out Day. 

Bullying is still a huge problem in schools across the country, even with efforts to prevent it. Many students are also facing extreme prejudice by “coming out” to their peers as being gay, lesbian or bi-sexual. So what happens with bullying and sexuality collide? It can result in murder, heartbreak, unanswered questions and a community divided. Such is the case of Larry King and Brandon McInerney.

Larry King was a young man with a tragic background. When he was two years old he was adopted out because his biological father abandoned him and his brother and his biological mother was a drug addict.

Over the years Larry was diagnosed with ADHD and Reactive Attachment Disorder which is a condition where a child fails to develop relationships with his/her caregivers. Another words he had difficulty bonding with his adoptive parents.

Larry started to experience bullying when he was in third grade. Larry was a bit effeminate and his peers teased him for being “girly”. When he was 10 years old he “came out” as being gay, although some would say he was transgendered because he liked to dress like a girl and wear make up.

Larry was eventually removed from his adoptive home and placed in a group home.

HBO Valentine Road

Larry attended E.O. Green Junior High School. He was liked by most of his classmates, but others found his fondness for wearing heels to school and getting excited about wearing a dress to be a bit disturbing.

One day Larry was asked by his friends to play a game where he would walk up to his crush and ask him/her to be his Valentine. The problem was his crush was a boy name Brandon McInerney.

Larry was up for the challenge and interrupted a basketball game Brandon was playing with his friends and asked him if he would be his Valentine. Brandon was stunned. His friends couldn’t help but make fun of him and joke that Brandon and Larry were going to have “gay babies” together (Brandon is heterosexual).

For the next couple of days things intensified. Larry tried to get Brandon to notice him, even parading around in a dress and heels to get his attention. It got Brandon’s attention, as well as that of his friends and Brandon became even more of a joke to his friends.

On the morning of February 12, 2008, McInerney walked into Larry’s computer classroom with a loaded .22 caliber revolver and shot Larry King in the head. Both of their lives would never be the same again.

Valentine Road is an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and recipient of numerous festival awards in 2013.

HBO Documentary Valentine Road

This powerful and disturbing documentary goes deep to explore the background of both of the youths whose lives were forever changed that day. You’ll learn alarming details of abuse from their own parents (including one boy being punched in the fact), White Supremacy, intolerance, “finger pointing” and how two young boys slipped through the system and nothing was done to help them before leading up to that fateful moment in time.

This film raises concern for the safety of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered youths while challenging our country’s juvenile justice and educational systems.

Who is to blame for this situation? One boy is now dead and the other serving time in an adult correctional facility. Was justice serve? Who is truly at fault for this tragic event – The boys? Their parents? The school? The system? This film leaves A LOT of room for discussion.

This is a heart-wrenching documentary which will leave you shaking your head in disbelief. It’s such a horrible tragedy that ultimately effecting not only the lives of their peers but also their school and their community.

Tune into Valentine Road on Sunday, October 7, 2013 on HBO. Please check your local TV guide for air time and channel.

For more information about this or other HBO Documentaries visit www.HBO.com/Documentaries.

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Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and “mini zoo” consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher’s assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.

Comments

  1. what an interesting documentary to watch and also a tragic one. It’s a shame that such an outcome had to happen
    Kim-Tram recently posted..Best Dressed at the 65th Emmy’s Awards

  2. Did you know the Inside Out Series by Lisa Renee Jones is being developed for TV? Producer Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland, Must Love Dogs, Austin Powers and more) is giving you the chance to be connected direct to her for inside info, casting chats and more. Just send an email to rebecca@team-todd.com and say – I WANT TO BE AN INSIDER!

  3. I love watching all the new shows on cable. I am glad people are paying more attention to the kids that are hurting.—

  4. Olivia Rubin says:

    I thought today was the 7th and I am on my ipad…just went over to my Comcasr TV app which is synced to my DVR at home. I am currently getting free HBO for a promo and I was able to set up a recording…well its setup to tape tomorrow nite at 9:45. The reason I chose HBO over other premium channels is beciase of the documentaries, I enjoy all I learn from them . Thank you for showing me this story.

  5. Richard Hicks says:

    Glad to come across this post. WIll be tuning in when it comes on.

  6. An important show on tonight. So glad it’s getting air time and seeing more and more discussion online helps too.

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