Screening of Blindsided: Domestic Abuse, Disabilities, & LGBTQ Relationships

Connor Reilly reports in St. Augustine, Florida.

A panel of Professors, experts and students gather at Flagler College in Kenan Hall, room 300, to lead a conversation on the film Blindsided and the problems of abuse specifically with disabled LGBTQ community members. Dr. M. Basas, Coordinator of Deaf and Blind Education at Flagler College, answers a question about Patricia Livingstone, the individual which the film is centered around.
The discussion panel portion of the event retains a full crowd of Flagler College students. Numerous questions asked were concerned with relationship abuse, and the problem of said abuse being taboo to the general public when it occurs within the LGBTQ community.
The panel reviews the “LGBTQ Power & Control Wheel”, a chart which provides a cohesive explanation to most of the reasons as why abuse starts in the LGBTQ community internally. The chart focuses on Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia giving reasons as to why phobias exist within the LGBTQ community.
Madison Gordon, Vice President of Club Unity stays after the event to answer questions from fellow Flagler College students about abusive relationships. “Abusive relationships are rampant in the LGBTQ community, personally being in one before is one of the reasons I joined Club Unity. What we try to do on campus is promote a sense of acceptance for everyone in the LGBTQ community, and awareness for those who are not in the community,” said Gordon.
Gordon speaks about the violence which can come about when any romantic relationship turns toxic. Gordon speaks from her own experience, answering a question on how to remove yourself from an abusive relationship after becoming dependent on a partner.
Dr. M. Basas listens to a question reiterated by the panel discussion facilitator. “Some of the biggest problems the LGBTQ community faces is internal phobias of Bisexual, Transexual and homosexual individuals. On top of phobias coming from members outside the LGBTQ community, these internal phobias are added issues which panel discussions like this strive to understand. We’re starting to talk about these issues, that’s the most important thing,” said Basas.
The panel discusses the film with students after the completion of the discussion. The film focuses on Patricia Livingstone’s struggles as a lesbian woman who experienced not only onset blindness and deafness, but abuse from multiple romantic partners throughout her life.
The panel listens to a student’s question before answering. Most questions students asked were concerned with problems which disabled LGBTQ community members face, specifically the “power platform” the non-disabled partner facilitates throughout the relationship.
Professor Judith Burdan, a Chairman of the English Department at Flagler College, answers a question on the “power platform” which often plays out in LGBTQ relationships when one of the partners is disabled in some way.
Dr. M. Basas, shares her phone number with a student after the event. “The lack of research of domestic abuse within the LGBTQ community is one of the reasons the issue is still taboo to the general public. The way we fix that is by doing exactly what we did tonight, by having academic discussions on the subject matter,” said Basas.