"I want to know what it's like to live a land truly of the free, one that doesn't exclude me."
In a powerful new video, students and teachers from William S. Hart Union High School in Newhall, Calif., express their dreams for the type of country they "want to know" -- a nation of equality and tolerance where "love is redefined." In under four minutes, the video addresses themes that range from self-acceptance and bullying to gay rights legislation and social change.
The video is a recreation of a short film by Los Angeles filmmaker Ryan James Yezak for his documentary about the gay rights movement, "Second-Class Citizens." An earlier trailer for the movie, "What Homophobia Is Not," went viral in February.
Yezak describes the mission of the documentary with the statement: "I am not a second-class citizen. You are not a second-class citizen. Right now, the laws in place (and lack thereof) say that we are. Let's change that."
In a commanding call for change, the California students in the video demand the repeal of homophobic legislation. More broadly, they speak about unity, tolerance and acceptance -- a world without hate. They say: "This is the world we must create; these are the actions we must take."
In another moving recent video, "Dear 40-year-old Me," a group of LGBT students from the Illinois Safe School Alliance address their future selves. The teens open up about the struggles they currently face in high school and express their desire to one day be accepted for who they are.
CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, Newhall was misspelled.
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