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Outspoken: James

Outspoken: James


As a young gay man who has been obsessed with movies most of his life, I've realized certain things about the teen-horror genre. In the rare occurrence a gay character appears, they are always secondary players with no purpose in the film but to comfort the female lead and eventually die.

So, as a young gay filmmaker, I decided to break this trend by creating a teen-horror film that would portray gay characters as strong and who have a purpose within the filmbeyond the stereotypical "gay best friend."

In my debut film, Sinner, there are three gay characters, none of whom fit into the stereotypical mold. One character, Tad, is the champion of his high school swim team, strong in both body and mind, popular, and forced to take on the hero role on more than one occasion.

Laura is an aspiring model who recently discovered she is a lesbian. As her love for a straight female character grows, she begins to regret her relationship with her current boyfriend. She lets him down easy, not wanting to deny who she really is.

Brody has been brought up with the belief that homosexuality is a sin and could land him in hell. He grapples with his own sexuality in the film and expresses his inner loathing by making fun of Tad at every opportunity.

Although this film would most likely not be labeled a "gay movie," it may actually portray gay teens in a far more flattering light than a typical gay film. In many gay movies LGBT characters come across as weak, even if they were written with the best intentions. As a gay teenager, I know what growing up queer in a small town is really like and how much strength that involves.

Sinner is my attempt not only to bring a gay audience into a scary movie but also to have them identify with the characters. I hope that other LGBT teenagers will feel that I did right by them.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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