The Mentoring Program is an integral element of Point’s support to LGBTQ scholars. Over the past couple of years, I have met inspiring and accomplished LGBTQ professionals from many different fields, and the Point staff, my fellow scholars, and my mentor have truly become my chosen family. As a young LGBTQ woman, finding examples of people “like me” doing the things I wanted to do with my life was so limited. Since the Mentoring Program paired me with JD, I have someone to emulate, a path and a series of accomplishments I can point to and say, “I want to do that.” As a queer woman in the film industry, JD has been where I am now. She understands my passion for my craft and the challenges I face, and she provides invaluable guidance and support in my development as an artist and an advocate.
JD and I have a long distance mentorship, but we are in constant contact with one another. We call, email, and text each other– she’s become a really important part of my life. I know I can contact her any time, and she’ll be there to celebrate my accomplishments, help me face challenges, and offer much needed perspective (and laughter!!). I think communication is vitally important to the success of any mentoring relationship.
Over the summer, I shot a film in New Orleans. It was hot– like, triple digits hot– and our shoots were either outdoors or in an un-air conditioned apartment (with a flea-ridden dog!). JD made herself available to me – offering advice, providing encouragement, and helping me stay positive in even the most frustrating of circumstances.
Before I met JD, I had no concept of how the film industry worked or the steps I needed to take to accomplish my goals. Now I know where I want to be, and JD has helped me identify what I need to do to get there. When things get tough, she reminds me that my goals are attainable. I definitely have more confidence and more hope for my future as a result of her presence in my life. Film is a difficult industry to break into — JD’s faith in my abilities is the push that gets me through when my own confidence falters.
Point Foundation is probably my most favorite LGBTQ organization, and I have so enjoyed volunteering in a variety of capacities for the last five years. In that time, I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know many of the scholars, and I am both inspired and impressed by them. Being in Los Angeles and working both in film and LGBTQ activism, I’ve made myself available to them as a resource.
Now I have taken a more formal role, and I believe my background in film, activism and teaching (plus all my mothering skills!), made me an easy fit for Point’s Mentoring Program. In short, I make myself available for phone calls, visits and emails with Brennan, who is my assigned mentee. I do my utmost to encourage, challenge and aid in Brennan’s success in her field of study.