Hayward Public Library is pleased to announce that copies of the DVD Now We Can Dance, the Story of the Hayward Gay Prom, are now available free of charge to schools, libraries, and organizations, thanks to the support of the Friends of the Hayward Public Library.  Now We Can Dance is a culmination of a two-year project, funded by Cal Humanities, which trained teens to be filmmakers with help from a team of Hayward Public Library staff and professional advisors, including Academy Award-winning documentary film director Debra Chasnoff.

The film celebrates a long-standing event in the community of Hayward, California, in the East Bay area near San Francisco. It chronicles the controversy surrounding the 1995 creation of the gay prom and the significance of having a traditional high school dance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teenagers. The gay prom is the brainchild of the Lambda Youth Project, an LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender) support group. Yearly, hundreds of youth from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, come to the prom because it is a safe place to be themselves and celebrate with other like-minded youth. Interviews with early prom organizers, attendees, and supportive community members were interspersed with footage from the 2011 gay prom and interviews with recent prom goers, volunteers, and even a protester.

The DVD includes a 33-minute version with optional Spanish or English subtitles and a shorter 17-minute version. Email library@hayward-ca.gov to request a copy.  Please mention how the film will be used and where to send it.  Feel free to spread the word to anyone else you know who may be interested. The short and full length versions of the film are also available in streaming format on Vimeo.  A curriculum that addresses Common Core standards and provides discussion questions that can be used by any group is also available online.