Couple’s video travel diary transformed into film

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Lisa Dazols, left, and Jennifer “Jenni” Chang discussed their film, Out and Around, at the Castro Theatre Monday night. Photo: Khaled Sayed

A lesbian couple’s video travel diary in which they interviewed LGBTs

around the world brought people to the Castro Theatre one night this

week, as part of a Lesbians Who Tech and eBay event.

The documentary, Out and Around , stars Jennifer “Jenni” Chang and

Lisa Dazols and follows their journey, interviewing LGBT activists

from countries with very different laws and cultures.

The couple were inspired by the videos from the It Gets Better Project,

which started in 2010 in response to young LGBT people who took

their own lives after being bullied in school. The project features

homemade YouTube videos where people share their own stories of

growing up gay, coming out, and voice encouragement to LGBT youth.

Chang decided to take a year off from her day job at eBay to travel the

world with the love of her life, Dazols. In 2011, they left their normal

lives behind and picked up a video camera, traveling to 15 countries

through Asia, Africa, and South America for one year.

“I think we did a good job filling this theater with our friends,” Chang

said during the Monday, September 14 event at the Castro Theatre.

“This film started out as a very small idea by two people who had no

business making a film, but we wanted to do something meaningful

with our time off. We wanted to take the same spirit of hope from the It

Gets Better project and bring it to the world.”

Dazols, 36, is a licensed clinical social worker working in HIV care at

UCSF. Chang, 33, is a business manager for eBay. The couple met

doing the AIDS Life/Cycle in 2007 and have been together since. They

were married in 2013. Chang said that she is still struggling to get her

parents to accept her as a lesbian and accept her relationship with

Dazols.

Without any film experience, they bought a book on how to make a

documentary, and went in search of the people who are leading the

movement for LGBT equality.

Dazols said that the film has exceeded their expectations in every way.

They are now officially partners with the It Gets Better Project and

Logo TV, which premiered the film last month. It’s scheduled to be

shown at the I Imagine Film Festival in New York this weekend.

“This is home for us, so there are many people in the audience who

were with us for the very first launch party, following our blog, and

backing us on Kickstarter,” Dazols said. “What we learned is that there

are no ideas too small. They can actually happen when you plug into a shared mission by others.”

While interviewing LGBT leaders across the world, Chang and Dazols say they realized that their journey could have larger

impact beyond just self-growth. Their documentary captures the momentous changes occurring in the status of queer people

around the world today.

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