When I first moved to Conway, Arkansas to work as a Visiting Professor at the University of Central Arkansas, I was struck by the small but open gay community in this Southern town of only 50,000 people. Much of the credit for that visibility comes from John Schenck and Robert Lloyd, who in 2004 founded the first gay pride parade in the state and marched it right through downtown Conway.
Robert passed away in 2015 and John died soon after we first met in 2016. After John died, the people of Conway – and indeed of the region – were worried that Pride could go away. A brave new generation of activists stepped up, and I was fortunate to get to document it in this short film. This was made with a crew of entirely students who spanned the entire LGBTQ spectrum and supported by a grant from the UCA Foundation.
Conway Pride played in festivals across the country including the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Savannah Film Festival, Out on Film, Wicked Queer Boston LGBT Film Festival, Outflix, and Q Fest: San Antonio. It received awards in both Savannah and Outflix.