The Kickstarter Crowdfunding campaign will run until 26 July
BY VAL ZELASCHI, IMAGE BY BRENDA PRINCE
The documentary, directed by Sarah Drummond, will be the first one in its genre to talk about Section 28 and its impact on a generation of LGBTQI people. Introduced in 1988 under the Thatcher’s government, the clause banned “the promotion of homosexuality by teaching or publishing material”.
“The Don’t Say Gay policy meant that a whole generation internalised shame around their sexuality and were brought up in a state-sanctioned homophobic culture,” the producers say. Although the law was repealed in 2000 in Scotland and 2003 in England and Wales, according to the CEO of LGBTQ+ charity Just Like Us, “we are still seeing the hangover of Section 28,” as half of pupils across the UK said in a survey that “they have had little to zero positive messaging about being LGBTQ+ in their school”.
Drummond, who grew up in Edinburgh under Section 28, says the legislation had a “dramatic impact” on her life. She adds: “No one mentioned anything about LGBTQ+ people. We didn’t know that LGBTQ people even existed and so, I internalised the feelings I felt for being different… I pushed away so much of my queer identity and was separated from queer communities.”
After finding out what Section 28 was in her 30s, Drummond became determined to make a film “that shows the history of this national silencing”. She believes that a lot of people still do not know that the legislation existed and the impact it had on queer communities.
The film will be produced by Hopscotch Films, Scotland’s leading feature documentary producers, and KOH Pro, a production company run by Karen O’Hare, which aims to showcase female, queer, POC and working-class stories. O’Hare says: “It’s hard to believe that this film hasn’t been made before but the fact it hasn’t shows how overlooked and underrepresented LGBTQ+ stories are.”
Don’t Say Gay will use a mixture of archive material, interviews – including an interview with Stonewall’s co-founder Lisa Power – and animation to tell this important chapter of LGBTQI history. The Kickstarter Crowdfunding campaign will run between now and 26 July. You can support the documentary production by following this link.
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