The Camouflage Closet



The Camouflage Closet is a digital documentary project with live original music that explores how LGBT veterans have been affected by trauma and mental health issues. The video footage was created and inspired by LGBT veterans themselves, who were provided with the tools and training to develop their own short video narratives in collaboration with team members from the art, medical, and social work communities.

The Camouflage Closet aims to raise awareness among the medical, LGBT, and veteran communities; foster discussion about future opportunities for research, growth, and advocacy in addressing LGBT veteran health issues; and empower participants to share their stories in a structured group setting. A collaboration among the VA Health Care System, Stanford School of Medicine, and UC Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technology, this project is also generously supported by the Queer Cultural Center, the Stanford LGBT Medical Education Research Group, and the Stanford Arts Institute’s Spark! Grant.

June 4
The Camouflage Closet
Andrew V. Ly, composer – Michael Nedelman, director – Heliana Ramirez, co-director
AAACC, 7pm
$10-$20 sliding scale, with $5 special ticket for veterans


Stanford LGBT Medical Education Research Group
Stanford Arts Institute’s Spark! Grant
UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technology


sly_headshot-3Andrew V. Ly is a composer of acoustic concert music whose pieces have been performed in venues such as Lincoln Center in New York City and the Neue Synagoge in Berlin. He earned degrees and institutional fellowships from Yale University and the USC Thornton School of Music and is currently pursuing a PhD in music composition at UC Berkeley. As a recipient of the Critical Language Scholarship and Chinese Cultural Scholarship, he studied abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Shanghai Conservatory from 2007 to 2008. During the 2012-2013 season he will have premieres at the Berkeley Symphony’s Under Construction concerts, San Francisco Girls Chorus’s Spring Concert, and National Queer Arts Festival.  He will study at the Atlantic Music Festival Institute Composition Program this summer.


snedelman_headshotMichael Nedelman studied film and undertook a number of projects in the arts and health sciences while an undergraduate at Yale University. These include a series of written and filmed projects in collaboration with the transgender community in Buenos Aires (on a fellowship with the Yale University Art Gallery); a photography project for patients with preventable blindness in rural India, which was featured on CNN’s “Be the Change”; and his most recent position as clinical researcher and filmmaker at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he produced a collaborative short film and photovoice exhibit on vision loss and diabetes in Spanish Harlem. His work has been exhibited in various film festivals, including New Filmmakers in NYC and LOOP Barcelona.  He is currently a first-year medical student at Stanford University.

sramirez_headshotHeliana Ramirez, LISW is a clinical social worker at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) and PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare. Ms. Ramirez has worked with veterans for the past nine years as a health science researcher and community-based case manager addressing issues of mental illness and substance use. Over the past two years, Ms. Ramirez has established VAPAHCS’s LGBT programs as the founding manager of the LGBT Staff and Allies Special Emphasis Program and the founding facilitator of “Living Out Loud, Laughing Out Loud” LGBT Veteran Support Group, which was described in the Journal of Homosexuality’s special edition on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Ms. Ramirez has worked with LGBT communities for sixteen years, including an LGBT Community Center in Santa Cruz, CA, a nonprofit agency serving lesbian and bisexual high school students in San Leandro, CA, and HIV/AIDS Service Agencies in San Jose, CA and St. Louis, MO. Ms. Ramirez’s experience with new media technology includes a video for public health practice (the short film “Kyle’s Story” about a young man raised by gay fathers and a lesbian mother) and digital storytelling with lesbian, bisexual, and queer-identified service members. Ms. Ramirez’s dissertation is a study of the 15 existing group-level interventions for LGBT Veterans in the Veterans Affairs nationwide.cqclogo