California LGBT Arts Alliance, in partnership with East Coachella Valley Pride, will host a free community film screening and panel discussion of the independent documentary “Raising Zoey” on Saturday, February 9th at Bagdouma Community Center in the City of Coachella.  The all-ages, family-friendly, and bilingual event will feature a screening of the documentary, a light reception, and panel discussion on family LGBTQIA+ acceptance within the Latinx community with Zoey Luna, her mother, Ofelia Barba and the director of the documentary, Dante Alencastre.

Released in 2016 and featured at landmark festivals such as Outfest in Los Angeles and the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival, “Raising Zoey” follows the story of 13 year-old trans activist Zoey Luna who wants nothing more than to simply go to school, learn, have fun with her friends in Downey, CA. Unfortunately, ignorance and intolerance have not always made this easy. With the help of her mother Ofelia, her older sister Leticia and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Zoey fought school officials for her right to self-identify in school. Even in the face of bullying and endless teasing from both school officials and students, Zoey determinedly continues to live her life as she is and tells her story in the hopes of helping others persevere in living their authentic lives.

Dante Alencastre, the filmmaker, says “Ofelia’s fight reminded me of my own mother, also a single immigrant mom who brought me to the U.S. so I can have a better life than in my native land, Peru.  […] This film is a love letter to all instinctively, loving parents who raise their non-conforming children. Zoey and I, although generations apart, share a kinship of being the recipients of such love and parental devotion.”

Miguel Navarro, Community Engagement Manager of LGBT Community Center of the Desert, says “Raising Zoey is a valuable asset both as an educational tool and as an outreach film for raising awareness in the Latinx Community. Our Trans loved ones still encounter ostracism and hostility every day. Therefore, we must help construct further visibility, dialogue and thought, in order to generate safe communities. Raising Zoey brings light on true happiness when one lives an authentic life through love and support.”

Presented in partnership with LGBT Community Center of the Desert, East Coachella Valley Pride and Alianza Coachella Valley, with the generous support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the California Arts Council. Visit and 

  • What: Raising Zoey, A Free Community Film Screening + Q&A Presented by California LGBT Arts Alliance
  • When: Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Where: Bagdouma Community Center, 51 – 251 Douma Street, City of Coachella  92236
  • Film Details: No rating, 54 minutes.  To view the trailer, visit
  • RSVP:  (link is case-sensitive)

Dante Alencastre, Documentary Filmmaker
Dante Alencastre is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and LGBT community activist.

California LGBT Arts
The California LGBT Arts Alliance promotes social justice, advocates for cultural equity, increases public understanding of diversity and presents artists whose work reflects the LGBT community’s lives and experiences. 

LGBT Community Center of the Desert, East Coachella Valley Pride, and Alianza Coachella Valley and 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.