Out West

by Jennah Dunham

Directed by Jay Melena, this film captures the adventure of four friends, Everett Ó Cillín, Silas Littlefield, Scottie Junker and Melena, who set out on bikes to retrace the route of an infamous stagecoach driver, Charley Parkhurst, while reflecting on the importance of community and honoring an often misremembered queer and trans historical figure.

The film gives you insight into the life of this infamous whiskey drinking,
whip-cracking stagecoach driver who ran passengers and cargo during the California gold rush of the 1800’s.

Charley, was an orphan and runaway who escaped into a new life by taking the reins and heading out west to start a new life on their own terms. Quiet and rugged, Charley spent most of their time alone in nature, seeking comfort in solitude and physical labor.

Film director, Jay Melena, names that queer narratives in the outdoors are hard to find. Out West is a story of finding yourself by trusting your intuition, talent and desire to live in and make a better world. It's also about isolation, loss and making do with the circumstances in which you exist.

Their journey takes them to places where Charley’s history is alive across Santa Cruz County. Scope out their route.