Hilarious. Honest. Fierce. Loyal. Leaderful. Loved. Sandy Silver.
It is with an incredibly sad heart that I share the passing of an Out On Screen community giant: Sandy Silver.
Sandy has been a committed VQFF Festie for years and years and years and years. She was often seen in the front row of International Village with friends taking in a double feature and in our community with the large group of friends she’d developed through the Festival. Her spark drew many to her, including myself. She has always been honest with me in a refreshing and loving way, whether she was reviewing films (good and not so good), sharing her deep sense of connection and responsibility to young queer folk, or giving me much needed advice on how to be part of our community. Even though I only knew her for a handful of years, she made me feel like an old friend because she was open and trustworthy in all aspects.
Sandy did so much for Out On Screen in a modest manner, never wanting the spotlight, preferring instead to focus on her impact. There are many stories, but I will share one that exemplifies her deep commitment to young people.
In 2015, we screened In The Turn, a film following Crystal, a 10-year-old trans girl as she navigates the challenges of transition with the support of an inclusive roller derby league. Sandy was so troubled by seeing the bullying young trans people face that she sprung into action. She knew Out In Schools needed to be all over BC, particularly some of the hardest to reach places. So she started the “Road Warriors”, a group committed to getting Out In Schools to some of the rural areas like those she’d seen in the film. It started by Sandy and her partner Linda donating the cost of an Out In Schools rural trip, allowing the program to go further afield. She then challenged four other couples to join her and Linda to be “Road Warriors” and donate to Out In Schools’ rural tours. She succeeded in creating a community of people that directly grew the number of young people who got to experience Out In Schools in their communities.
Sandy was an ardent supporter of the organization as a whole, and one of the earliest members of our Directors Guild, a core group of community members who make a longer term commitment to the health of the organization and act as ambassadors and advisers for the organization.
Sandy was also very accomplished and a well known personality outside the Out On Screen family, making her mark in Canadian Volleyball, women’s sports, and the UBC community.
Most of all, Sandy was a friend to Out On Screen. The entire Out On Screen family is heartbroken at the loss. We hope we can carry forward the characteristics she carried so well: Hilarious. Honest. Fierce. Loyal. Leaderful. Loved. We love you, Sandy.
Out On Screen Executive Director