My call out for interviewees got a great response. Thanks to all of you that expressed an interest in participating. I had some really lovely conversations with people trying to find out a little about them.
I did pretty much operate on a first-come first-served basis, balanced a little by an even(ish) gender split and reasonable geographical spread. What struck me about the preliminary chats with all those that I managed to speak to was, that just by scratching at the surface a little, threw up so many interesting lives, each distinctly different.
And people continued to get in touch more than I could reasonably do justice to. After talking to people, I realised that there were many people out there wanting to talk and share their story. To get to a point of talking to a stranger about who you are and what makes you tick takes some courage, self-realisation and acceptance. People wanted to share so that others could learn from their lives as well as clarifying a thing or two for themselves through the process.
Many were frustrated by the status quo of hidden lives and motivated by the project’s aims of addressing this. A common recurring theme coming up during these pre-chats was of dual lives. This may sound like a double life or alter ego; often it’s as simple as being out and everything you are with everyone at work and play and all of that at home or with your parents, apart from your sexuality… compartmentalising.
Another recurrent theme was ethnicity and homosexuality… for some this was direct racism or open hostility, for others it was more subtle: coolness and not made to feel very welcome by the white majority LGB/T community especially on ‘the scene’ and some other queer spaces.
People hope to see a change so that British Asian sexual minorities can be themselves and live their lives. And especially amongst the younger generation, there’s a real belief that this is possible. More visibility, more gay Asian role models, more information, more stories of real lives, and good drama inspired by all of this which connects with audiences in new and interesting ways… might just be a small step in the right direction.