Filmmaker Joe Solomon explains why it’s so important to create celebratory queer cinema

BY JOE SOLOMON

Do you remember the first person you came out to? What was going through your head? According to Dr Shainna Ali, in article in Psychology Today The Coming Out cycle, the following questions invariably crop up:

Will ________ understand?

Will ________ still treat me the same way?

Will ________ judge me?

Will ________ be angry?

Will ________ be sad?

Will ________ hurt me?

Will I lose my job?

Will I lose my home?

Will I be safe?

These questions can haunt every individual who identifies as LGBTQI +, sometimes paralysing us into inaction rather than taking a leap of faith and breaking the silence.

In a study, researchers from the University of Montreal found that out lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals all tended to have lower stress levels and a lesser chance of depressive symptoms. “Coming out,” the authors write, “may no longer be a matter of popular debate, but of public health.” See link to article Coming out may be good for your health

Having role models that inspire admiration, self-belief and empowerment can definitely make a difference. Friends, work colleagues, family members, celebrities, or someone whose story you’ve heard of, who live their life openly with confidence and pride, can be a catalyst for change and motivation to come out.

Yet challenges remain. Strong prejudice within the family and wider society persists, keeping some in our community closeted. Most people in the world remain closed. Think of LGBTQI+ communities in the Middle East, parts of Asia and Africa. Characteristically in film, we are stereotyped as predators, psychopaths, or victims that often get killed off. Think Boys Don’t Cry, Basic Instinct, Monster and more recently Carol. Though interesting and, in some cases, extremely well crafted movies, tragedy is sold as our blueprint. Even Cow Girl’s Get the Blues and Green Fried tomatoes are a few of the exceptions.

Aren’t we now ready to see the coming out experience in film as a positive life affirming choice that offers hope, dignity and fulfilment? This July, my team and I will be shooting a short comedy drama, Eve, with a positive outlook on the LGBTQI+ experience, as we tell the story of a young bride’s queer sexual awakening.

Please support our crowdfunding campaign and use the following link: Eve Crowdfunding campaign.

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