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LGBT and Film

As a psychiatrist, I am always astounded that being homosexual used to be a diagnosis. That in itself is madness to me. Society appears to be set on labels. Labels of gender. Labels of sexuality. Labels of age. Labels of ethnicity. The list goes on. Having a statement stamped to someone perhaps makes society feel at ease in placing one in a box. They know where they stand. They know what to expect.

But we cannot as people be placed in a box or name stamped. We are unique, we are different, we are growing.

I am always placed in a box, either I tell people my job is being a doctor or being an actor to simplify my careers. Whichever job title I give, always undeniably comes with it’s own stereotype. There is an expectation from me that I cannot do mixed careers. Being British Indian, there is a judgemental look when I say that I am unmarried and childless. I am sorry I do not fit in anyone’s box. I am me.

Why can we not just be in the box of ME?

Last year I was frustrated at the limited roles for women of colour. I see myself as a woman, but the industry sees me as a woman of colour, therefore I am without presumption walked along the category of casting for such roles. As such, I wanted to get my

own writing out there. I wrote my first play HER, merely by accident. The play had different themes, one of which was LGBT. LGBT is still an echoed word amongst the Asian community, as well as in the theatre and acting world through our writing.

I feel LGBT roles are still stereotyped, however this is slowly changing. There are still not enough in the way of lead roles go for the LGBT community. From my play HER, I have happened to coincidently wrote a short film with also the leads representing the LGBT community.

I personally don’t like having to say I am doing a film with LGBT themes, but until we are at a stage where we do not need to fight for LGBT rights then I will keep shedding light on these roles in my work.

Why are superheroes or Disney characters not gay? Or trans?

I was struck by the film Hey You, by Jarred Watmuff. It is a film that tells a story of two men messaging on a dating app, one of which is lured by a hate gang and beaten to death. It is a film that is based on true facts of Syrian anti gay hate crimes. I was incredibly moved by this film, possibly because the basis of truth behind it. The message you are left with as an audience member resonated with me, so much so that I wanted to write this piece mentioning it. For me, writing about work that is meaningful to me is key, and it appears that is the same for Jared. Jareds work, I am keen to see more of, they have depth, humanity, and creativity in them. He is an asset for the LGBT film world, and I am sure helping the change in industry that is so needed.

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