Screenshot of title image of the film, which shows American flags and Pride flags, with the superimposed title which reads: The Rising Tide: LGBTQ+ in 2023

Campus Pride Announces the Release of “The Rising Tide” Film

Documentary by student filmmaker Beth Starling prompts action in response to anti-LGBTQ+ attacks and barrage of new anti-LGBTQ bills

Campus Pride has shared the release of “The Rising Tide: LGBTQ+ in 2023,” a 15 minute documentary by student filmmaker Beth Starling. The film focuses on the current onslaught of anti-LGBTQ bills and the horrific impact they are having on LGBTQ+ lives.

“I made this documentary in an effort to raise awareness and place this moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the context of history and human rights,” said Starling, who completed the film as part of a Documentary Production class at the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA). “I hope it helps bring forth compassion for those affected by these bills.”

Campus Pride gives voice and action to LGBTQ+ and allied student leaders to create positive change. Starling interviewed Campus Pride Founder, CEO and Executive Director Shane Mendez Windmeyer for the film, after Windmeyer’s drag persona Buff Faye hosted Drag Bingo on the UNCA campus.

“The laws that are being proposed—or in some states actually passed—anti-drag, anti-trans, anti-queer, are not only harmful for the actions that they take, but for the climate that they create,” said Windmeyer, in the film.

Starling also interviewed Whisper Moore, the engagement and resource manager for Campaign for Southern Equality. Moore talked about the risks for trans and nonbinary young people of color and for Black trans women, who are disproportionately targeted.

“Maya Angelou said that ‘no one of us can be free until everybody is free’ and I feel that these legislative attacks against LGBTQ individuals are another way to broach upon our rights and freedoms. None of us are protected and have equal rights under the law, until we all do,” said Moore.

Student activism and stories, like this student film documentary “The Rising Tide: LGBTQ+ in 2023”, are crucial for illustrating the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ youth and empowering young leaders. Campus Pride supports this storytelling and encourages current students, recent alumni, and campus faculty and staff to submit stories about their own experiences at The Share Your Story campaign is generously supported by Campus Pride’s ongoing partnership with Victoria’s Secret PINK.

“The Rising Tide: LGBTQ in 2023” is available online at, along with more information about the film and filmmaker Beth Starling.

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Since 2001, Campus Pride has been the leading national organization dedicated to building future LGBTQ and ally leaders and creating safer communities at colleges and universities. Learn more at

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