As Trump pledges his support for discrimination in the name of religious freedom, and Clinton finally gears up to support the addition of LGBT rights to the Civil Rights Act, the frailty of gay rights in our Western democracies is all too obvious. We might bask in ghettoes of tolerance in our big cities, but all too often politicians consider equality a stone not worth turning over. For fear of what we all might find. But while Australia and Germany lag behind with gay marriage, and the UK finally pardons the thousands of gay men convicted of a crime that hasn’t existed for nearly 50 years, it seems getting fundamental equal rights down in black and white isn’t such an easy task.
I’m reminded of the Human Rights Campaign‘s symbol for marriage equality. I guess I didn’t pay it too much attention at the time. But over the last year while writing and making Sodom, I’ve come to love this symbol and what it stands for.
Equals. Simple enough. Man, woman. Rich, poor. Black, white. Young, old. Gay, straight. Like these parallel bars though, there’s always one above and one below. And whether you’re fighting for women’s rights or workers’ rights, as long as you’re fighting then we’re not quite equals yet. And maybe, we never will be. Doomed, like each side of the scales, to exist in constant opposition.
Sodom is a gay film for straight people. And revealing some of the conflicts and traumas that go on behind closed doors is our way of trying to change hearts and minds. Out there, there’s a value system at play, that tips the scales in one community’s favour while devaluing another. And it’s this “devaluation” that Sodom seeks to address. For it’s one that particularly affects gay men and women, who without external identifiers, might sometimes choose to hide. And make the leap to the bar above.
More than the utopian dream of equality though, it’s the fight for it that’s important. And it’s a struggle that isn’t just the preserve of the lower bar. Equality belongs to everyone. And it’s not just empathising with the struggles of others. It’s about coming out and embracing them as our own. And for that, we all need a little courage.
That’s what our film is about. Please show us your support.