How two ex-employees created an documentary on discrimination
Candice Rogers, and Lisa Gonzalez have left the Petco store in Austin, TX. While Gonzalez was wrongfully terminated, Rogers placed in her two weeks, and quit. The reason both employees along with others were being discriminated against was because they were either LGBT, of color, or an woman. In total, three LGBT people had been terminated from the store, all for wrong convictions.
Rogers, and Gonzalez for the past two years were trying to report the crimes to Code of Ethics, and Human Resources. Previous employees also reported similar crimes, but regardless of how many times they filed an complaint, it went on deaf ears.
The store manager stopped hiring people of color, he also refused to promote females. Rogers, who had been at the store for three years applied for management position three times. Although she never had an call in, never been late, good feedback from customers, rarely any customer complaints, she was skipped over both times for white males who had been at the store shorter than she had. Gonzalez was also refused promotions about two times as well.
Fed up with the lack of respect, fed up with being mistreated, and fed up with the company refusing to put their foot down, Rogers took to the camcorder. With the help of friends, she managed to get footage by using hidden cameras. Some of this footage even includes animals being mistreated, and living in horrid conditions. She manages to also get conversations from other employees who were being affected by the discrimination.
Although Rogers and Gonzalez were never able to bring the case to trial, they were able to bring the case to the Texas Work Force commission. With this documentary, they hope to bring awareness to the issue that many face within the state of Texas. Truth be told, Texas is one of the few states that allow for people who are LGBT to be discriminated against, there are no laws protecting these people.
Keep Austin Tolerant
The documentary was edited it by Ani-Flix Studios and will also be distributed by Ani-Flix Studios, an company Rogers now works for. It took an average of three months to create, not including post production, which took an about two weeks to create. Most recently, the IMDB page has been set to completed, and now they’re in their distribution stage. I managed to contact Rogers’ by contacting her through the company’s website. She was asked whether or not she thought the documentary was going to help bring about change to discrimination many people who are LGBT people face within Texas.
“People are still fighting for civil rights today,” says Rogers. “The only difference is that people of color have places they can go to. There are laws to protect them from being discriminated against, same for women, and men based on their sex, or religion. But there are no laws in Texas to help those who are LGBT. So yes, we do want to bring awareness, and remind people there’s an fight that still needs to be won.”
This documentary is quite important especially during the times we live in. There are trans people of color who are being killed throughout the country, and the states aren’t recognizing these crimes as hate crimes. There are bathroom wars going on, and people threatening to take away same-sex marriage. We may not all agree on the same thing, or believe in the same principal values but all human beings should have rights.
It was surprising to do research on this documentary and see that it happened in Austin, Tx. Austin is probably the most liberal city in the state of Texas. They even have the slogan, ‘keep Austin weird’, yet something like this took place, and no one batted an eye. The city, itself, is known for having an very large turn out for gay pride. And not only does the city have one gay pride parade, they actually have two with the event Queer Bomb. So here are two celebrations within the city about queer culture, and yet queer people are being discriminated against in their own background. Even the trailer on Youtube is getting questions from those interacting, and putting in their opinion. The story of their mistreatment has even been mention on an site called Our Queer Stories.
Can’t say whether or not this documentary will be good or not, but as long as it raises awareness to the discrimination that affect many Americans in this country then the movie will do it’s job.