Showing posts with label Gay Love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Love. Show all posts

February 25, 2020

What Do You Think About Not Having A Partner in your 20's?








Between what some consider a sex recession and a record number of Americans never having been married before, it’s clear that the standard monogamous partnership -> marriage -> kids' life path is becoming less culturally mandatory. And yet, being in your late 20s without any romantic relationship experience can make some people wonder if it’s “normal” to never have exclusively dated someone before. So… is it? The short answer, of course, is a resounding yes. But for anyone asking themselves this question, they might know that logically, and still, feel like they’re the only person they know who’s never had a serious relationship. Over time, it can feel very isolating, and platitudes about embracing the single life probably don’t do much to help, especially if one knows that they alone are enough... while also really wanting to find love and share their life with someone else. There is nothing “wrong” with someone who hasn’t been in a romantic relationship before, and thinking there is can lead to a lot of shame and pressure that actually makes it harder to just… date. But there are ways to process this experience in a way that ultimately helps you get closer to having the relationship you want.

Try to look at the situation like a social scientist might.

To start, therapist Andrea Bonior suggested looking at the situation “like you’re an outside scientist.” At every stage of the dating process—matching with someone on an app, the first few convos, actually going on the first date—the person should ask themselves, “What are the characteristics of people I’m attracted to? What starts to not feel good? How am I meeting these people? Do things tend to move too fast? How is this good or bad?” For example, someone who is often the one to jump ship after a few dates (or a couple months of non-exclusive kinda-dating) might be tempted to think that there’s something wrong with them or who they choose to go out with. But it’s a much more useful and productive practice to think about how each specific situation and person made them feel, perhaps with the help of a therapist if they’re not sure where to begin.  
Consider how things are going in non-romantic intimate relationships.
Bonior also said people who haven’t been in a relationship and want to be might benefit from doing some deeper digging into other relationships they've had, including non-romantic ones, and considering whether they tend to have unrealistically high expectations, or cut people off at the first sign they’re less-than-perfect. She said to ask questions like, “Do my friends sometimes tell me that I have harsh standards? Do I feel like people in my family let you down consistently?” If a person feels like everyone around them kind of sucks and they’re always looking for the one person who won’t ever disappoint them, it might be a good idea to work with a therapist to better understand why small flaws in people make them want to write people off immediately. 
Also, look at the dates themselves: are you always dipping out because the conversation is boring? Are the people being picked via apps always super incompatible when you meet in person? If so, it’s good to think about why that is, and what can be done to change it.

Know that too much self-reflection can actually lead to self-sabotage. 

People who often find themself hitting it off with new dates for the first few weeks, only to abruptly get blown off can start to believe they’re somehow undateable or simply pick the worst people. But while looking for overt patterns like Bonior recommended can be helpful, it’s important not to go too far. Suzanne Lachmann, a licensed clinical psychologist, said that believing one is doomed to repeat a pattern (“I guess I just always attract emotionally unavailable softbois!”) can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. She said that seeing oneself as “failing” at dating sabotages everything from the start because of the insecurity and even resentment that might come out on the first date. 

Be mindful when venting to friends.

Being frustrated with one’s lack of dating “success” can often lead to venting sessions with friends, or even asking friends for feedback on what could be “wrong.” Since everyone’s buddies will have different comfort levels around how honest they’re willing to be, Bonior said it’s good to start by saying that you’re down to hear the whole truth, even if it might sting a little at first. She advised saying something like, “I know we've talked about the fact that I'm having a hard time with dating. I'm trying to be more self-aware about it, and learn what is getting in my way.” 
That being said, Bonior suggested only having these conversations with trustworthy people... and even then, taking what they say with a huge grain of salt. “Friends have their own lenses that they look through, with their own insecurities, biases, and distortions,” she said. And even well-meaning encouragement like, “Screw them, you’re perfect and deserve the best!” isn’t always the most helpful thing to hear when this is the fourth time in a row a person has ghosted you after a few dates. 

Remember that not getting into a relationship just to be in one is a good thing.

All of the above is a lot of emotional work to do for the sake of being in a relationship... which might make a person realize that they don’t actually want to be in one! Sometimes people think that the “right person” will suddenly make them horny for monogamy (or even just horny) when in reality, they feel fine about their single status and confident about their approach to dating.
“We’re living in a culture that for a very long time has been absolutely obsessed with marriage and romantic coupling,” said Bella DePaulo, a social scientist studying single life. Rather than thinking of perpetual singlehood as self-sabotaging, she suggested seeing it as “self-saving”—it’s choosing not to commit to something one knows won’t make themselves (or the other person) feel fulfilled or happy. “It is going against the grain to get to 30 without ever having had a long-lasting romantic relationship,” she said. “But as more people declare themselves as having lived their whole life without ever putting a serious romantic relationship at the center of it, the easier it will be for others to follow.” While friend groups or family members may not relate, there are plenty of people out there who either start their first relationships a little later or have no interest in doing so ever. 
Speaking of friends and family, Lachmann recommended gently setting healthy boundaries with anyone who is pressing the issue a little too hard (even as a “joke”) by saying something like, “I know you don’t mean to, but asking when you’ll get grandkids makes me anxious, and even if I want to find someone, there’s no way I could possibly speed up that process and be happy.”
Even though the pressure to marry or settle down with kids isn’t as prevalent as it used to be, our society is still very much focused on monogamous, romantic partnership as the “end goal” in life. That can be a hard thing to deal with, whether a person wants to be single indefinitely or to be in a real relationship someday. The biggest challenge—and the most important part—is to try to remove some of those expectations, and find ways to make the process of looking a little less tedious and frustrating. Bonior recommended “trying to reframe how you think about dating, and focusing on the experience itself—what it is good for, even if it doesn't lead to something. Can it teach you more about yourself? Can it introduce you to more adventures or even just another restaurant?” That way, dating becomes less of a chore to slog through. It’s not that people “find someone when they’re not looking”—it’s that fully experiencing the date (and life outside of dating) is worthwhile, regardless of how things turn out.

February 16, 2020

In a 5 Year Journey to Document Gay Love in China


  
Raul Ariano photographer on all photos

SHURAN HUANG
Although China officially decriminalized homosexuality in 1997, activists say the stigma around being LGBTQ — and discussing it publicly — remains today.
In the past few years, Chinese Web censors have made headlines for repeatedly targeting depictions of homosexuality. In a 2018 survey by the U.N. and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, only 5% of LGBTQ people in China felt comfortable being out at work.
Italian-born photographer Raul Ariano is currently based between Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He says he traveled from Italy because he was fascinated by "Chinese people and their way of adapting themselves in the fast-paced change of their society."
Over dinner during Ariano's first weekend in mainland China, he says he was talking with a friend who called LGBTQ people "sick and dangerous."
"I was shocked to hear that," Ariano says.
So, over the course of five years, Ariano set out to photograph more than 30 LGBTQ participants across mainland China — eventually turning the project into a portrait series.
He says his goal was to "share stories of love, dignity, and hope in a segment of society that tends to be hidden in China."




Because many people avoid coming out to their parents and relatives for fear of being rejected, Ariano says he constantly faced difficulties finding willing participants. He almost gave up on the project several times.
But between commercial and editorial assignments, he reached out to the local community with the help of PFLAG China, an organization based in Guangzhou City.
Ariano photographed participants in their apartments, with natural lighting and different colors to show the intimacy between couples.
He says he was inspired by Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai's 1997 movie Happy Together. The movie is famous for his masterful explorations of colors and blurs and its distinctive style.

Ariano says getting access to such private spaces in people's lives was the most challenging part of the project.
But the concept of home was compelling for him. He says it's "space where the couples share their time, their intimacy, and is a sort of shelter where they are protected and can be their real selves."
Throughout the series, Ariano met LGBTQ people across mainland China. Some had the support of their families. Others had been forced to endure conversion therapy.
"But the most incredible thing I have felt was the strength and the determination of those people to live the life they want," he says. "Whatever it takes."
Raul Ariano is an Italian photographer based in Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Shuran Huang is NPR's photo intern.

July 3, 2019

LGBTQ 5 Year Journey of Documenting Their Love Stories in China



 
       
SHURAN HUANG
  Although China officially decriminalized homosexuality in 1997, activists say the stigma around being LGBTQ — and discussing it publicly — remains today.
In the past few years, Chinese Web censors have made headlines for repeatedly targeting depictions of homosexuality. In a 2018 survey by the U.N. and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, only 5% of LGBTQ people in China felt comfortable being out at work.
Italian-born photographer Raul Ariano is currently based between Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He says he traveled from Italy because he was fascinated by "Chinese people and their way of adapting themselves in the fast-paced change of their society."
Over dinner during Ariano's first weekend in mainland China, he says he was talking with a friend who called LGBTQ people "sick and dangerous."
"I was shocked to hear that," Ariano says.
So, over the course of five years, Ariano set out to photograph more than 30 LGBTQ participants across mainland China — eventually turning the project into a portrait series.
He says his goal was to "share stories of love, dignity and hope in a segment of society that tends to be hidden in China." 
Because many people avoid coming out to their parents and relatives for fear of being rejected, Ariano says he constantly faced difficulties finding willing participants. He almost gave up on the project several times.
But between commercial and editorial assignments, he reached out to the local community with the help of PFLAG China, an organization based in Guangzhou City.
Ariano photographed participants in their apartments, with natural lighting and different colors to show the intimacy between couples.
He says he was inspired by Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai's 1997 movie Happy Together. The movie is famous for his masterful explorations of colors and blurs and its distinctive style.
Ariano says getting access to such private spaces in people's lives was the most challenging part of the project.
But the concept of home was compelling for him. He says it's "the space where the couples share their time, their intimacy, and is a sort of shelter where they are protected and can be their real selves."
Throughout the series, Ariano met LGBTQ people across mainland China. Some had the support of their families. Others had been forced to endure conversion therapy.
"But the most incredible thing I have felt was the strength and the determination of those people to live the life they want," he says. "Whatever it takes."
Raul Ariano is an Italian photographer based in Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Shuran Huang is NPR's photo intern.

October 23, 2018

DNA Differences May Be Linked to Having Same Sex Partners






 

sicencenews.org



SAN DIEGO —
 For some people, choosing a same-sex partner may be in their DNA.
In a large study of more than 490,000 men and women in the United States, United Kingdom and Sweden, researchers discovered four genetic variants that occur more often in people who indicated on questionnaires that they had had same-sex sexual partners. Andrea Ganna, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard reported the results October 19 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. Two of the variants were specific to men’s sexual partner choice. The other two influence sex partner choice for both men and women.

Collectively, the DNA differences explained only 8 to 12 percent of the heritability of having same-sex partners. “There is no gay gene,” Ganna said, “but rather non-heterosexuality is influenced by many tiny-effect genetic factors.”

The new study is an advance over previous attempts to find “gay genes,” says J. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who was not involved in the new work. The study’s size is its main advantage, Bailey says. “It’s huge. Huge.”

Researchers examined DNA data from more than 400,000 participants in the U.K. Biobank and more than 69,000 people who had their DNA tested by the consumer testing company 23andMe. People who have given their DNA data to those research projects also answered a battery of questions, including ones about whether they had ever had a partner of the same sex and how many sexual partners they have had. The findings were replicated with data from three other studies, including one from Sweden. Findings from such large studies are more likely to be replicated than the small studies in the past, Bailey says. Researchers have “really gotten these studies down now and if they find things, it’s pretty sure that they’re true.”
Previous sexual orientation genetic studies, including some Bailey was involved in, may also have suffered from bias because they relied on volunteers. People who offer to participate in a study, without being randomly selected, may not reflect the general population, he says. This study includes both men and women and doesn’t rely on twins, as many previous studies have, he says. “It’s a huge advance … but it doesn’t tell us everything we need to know.”
For instance, the study doesn’t address people’s attraction to members of the same sex. Some people who have had sex with a same-sex partner don’t consider themselves gay and aren’t exclusively attracted to people of the same sex, Bailey says. He calls the study’s definition of non-heterosexual behavior as having ever had a same-sex partner “a flawed, but not ridiculous indicator of sexual orientation.”

Men in the new study who said they have had same-sex partners, tended to be more exclusively homosexual than women were, Ganna and colleagues found. But people of both sexes ran the gamut of sexual orientations. In the U.K. Biobank dataset, for example, younger people reported having same-sex partners more often than older people did, probably because homosexual activity was illegal in the United Kingdom until 1967.
This is not the only complex human phenomenon for which we see a genetic influence without a great understanding of how that influence works.
— Lisa Diamond

This is the first DNA difference ever linked to female sexual orientation, says Lisa Diamond, a psychologist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City who studies the nature and development of same-sex sexuality. The results are consistent with previous studies suggesting genetics may play a bigger role in influencing male sexuality than female sexuality. It’s not unusual for one sex of a species to be more fluid in their sexuality, choosing partners of both sexes, Diamond says. For humans, male sexuality may be more tightly linked to genes.





But that doesn’t mean that genes control sexual behavior or orientation. “Same-sex sexuality appears to be genetically influenced, but not genetically determined,” Diamond says. “This is not the only complex human phenomenon for which we see a genetic influence without a great understanding of how that influence works.” Other complex human behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol use, personality and even job satisfaction all have some genetic component.
Previous research had suggested that genes influencing sexual orientation were located on the X chromosome (SN: 11/4/95. p. 295; SN: 7/7/93, p. 37). But Ganna and colleagues found no evidence that the X chromosome is involved in partner choice, he said.

Instead, the researchers found genetic variants known as single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, located on four other chromosomes. SNPs are naturally occurring spots in the DNA where some people have one DNA base, or letter, and other people have another. The variants didn’t change any genes, but were found near some genes that may be involved.

For instance, a variant on chromosome 15 linked to men having sex with men is also associated with male pattern baldness. Another variant in the study is near the ORA51A gene on chromosome 11, which is involved in the ability to smell certain chemicals. That’s interesting because smell has been linked to attraction before (SN Online: 3/12/15), Ganna said.  The researchers don’t yet know exactly which genes are involved in mate choice or exactly how they influence behavior.

One mystery the discovery may help solve is how genetic variants associated with having same-sex partners could persist across generations. Such variants would presumably get weeded out if men and women who have sex with people of the same sex don’t have children or have fewer children than the average person.


 Its not a choice but an orientation


In the new study, the more exclusively homosexual partners men had, the fewer children they had; up to 80 percent fewer children than heterosexual men. In a preliminary conference report, the researchers suggested that the variants are associated with heterosexuals having more sexual partners than usual, and that heterosexual men with some of the variants are more attractive than those without. Those traits would give heterosexuals a greater chance to pass the variants on to offspring, keeping those DNA differences in the gene pool. Ganna did not discuss those possibilities from the podium. 

Diamond disagrees that researchers need to find a mechanism to explain the persistence of genetic variants linked to homosexuality. Same-sex behavior has never completely supplanted heterosexual mating in any species studied, she says. Only in the last 50 years have gay people tended to exclusively choose same-sex partners, she says. “You don’t really need some reproductive benefit for same-sex sexuality, because same-sex sexuality almost never occurs exclusively. Individuals with that predisposition have been mating and reproducing with heterosexual partners for millennia, and that’s why it’s still in the gene pool.”

November 18, 2017

Married Anti Gay GOP Representative Quits After Caught in The Moment with Another Man




 Men loving Wes and his Wes loving wife Bethany




A Republican representative who campaigned against gay rights has quit after he was caught having gay sex in his office. Wes Goodman, 33, admitted to the House Speaker that he had consensual sex with another man in his office in Ohio. Jesse Jackson reveals he's battling Parkinson's disease Mr. Goodman, who is in his first term, has previously pushed for ‘a committed natural marriage’ – i.e. between a man and a woman. On his campaign website, he wrote: ‘Healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio’s proud history and the key to Ohio’s future greatness. 

‘The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting.’ Pictured here with his wife, Bethany Goodman (Picture: Facebook) The sex with another man is said to have happened several months ago at his Riffe Center office and he is not believed to have been on Goodman’s staff. The man has not complained about the sex, but another person is said to have witnessed it and informed the Chief of Staff. 

Elon Musk unveils 'fastest production car ever' during the launch of Tesla semi-truck Goodman has removed his social media accounts amid rumors that had been spreading about his conduct. But after being caught with his pants down, he’s now quit. He said: ‘We all bring our own struggles and our own trials into public life. That has been true for me, and I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service.   He said he sincerely regretted his actions as he stood down (Picture: Facebook) ‘For those whom I have let down, I’m sorry.’ 

Republican House Speaker Clifford Rosenberger said he learned  on Tuesday that Goodman had engaged in ‘inappropriate behavior related to his state office.’ ‘I met with him later in the day where he acknowledged and confirmed the allegations,’ Rosenberger said in a statement. ‘It became clear that his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and this institution.’ 

According to his website, Goodman is a conservative Christian and former congressional campaign staffer to Republican U.S. Representative Jim Jordan. He served as managing director of the Conservative Action Project, leading ‘the fight for conservative principles like the balanced budget, lower taxes, repealing Obamacare, life, and religious liberty,’ his site says. 

Donald Trump looks like he's passing very uncomfortable stool in latest photo fail His resignation is the latest to hit the Ohio Legislature since sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced, touching off a national wave of similar alleged misconduct by entertainers, politicians, and others. Veteran Ohio Senator Clifford Hite, a Republican from Findlay, resigned on October 16 after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against him. According to an investigative memo, Hite had inappropriate conversations and physical contact with a female legislative staff member for two months and repeatedly propositioned her for sex.





August 15, 2017

Tom Daley and Lance Black Share Their Wedding Photos a 22 and 42 Match!







This couple tells us once again their 20 year distance makes no difference between them but the chemistry and caring they feel for each other. When you love 💖another man all the sexual accents and beautiful words of Romeo and Juliott together with just the fluffing your lovers pillow at night fuses together a "loving 💘relationship" It will never be plain fields but hills, valleys and sometimes mountains to climb but the love can keep them together for 70 more years. Whatever the future hold for them, by the way they began this marriage teach a lesson to those of us that might forget what loving is, real💗 loving that is. It is better to have loved and failed to have never love.  
The experience is recommended to almost anyone. Nothing matters when real love💓 comes in thru the door, window or back door. Not the hair, age, height or color of the skin. All of a sudden all become beautiful and shinny because the impulses are not coming from the eyes but from 💕💕an internal fountain that flows when someone makes us laugh and cry and happy𞠒👬


 "I married the love of my life': Tom Daley, 22, gushes about new husband Dustin Lance Black, 42, as they share the first photos from their stunning castle wedding.

They vowed to spend the rest of their lives together in a lavish wedding ceremony at Bovey Castle, near Plymouth, Devon on Saturday.




August 13, 2017

"Out in the Country" A Film About An Intense Love Relationship Between Two Men


 
     
 Francis Lee’s Yorkshire home has no mobile phone signal. “When I first moved here, I had to walk to the top of the moor before I could talk to anyone,” he says. “It’s wet and cold and windy up there. And I was very used to London life.”


Josh O’Connor, left, and Alec Secareanu 



The 48-year-old film director is in his cottage near Haworth, the village that was home to the Brontës. A few miles down the road, in Soyland, lies his parents’ farm, where his father still works the land and tends to his beasts. It was where Lee spent his childhood, and it was there, as a teenager, that he realized he was gay.

Last year, the farm was host to a fair amount of commotion. During lambing season, it was used as the setting for God’s Own Country, Lee’s directorial debut, which charts the almost silent romance between Johnny, a young, alcohol-addled, and sullen Yorkshire farmer, and Gheorghe, a self-possessed, gentle Romanian immigrant drafted in to help tend the flock.

For Lee, it was a return to his old life. At 20 he had left the farm for drama school in London, and had gone on to appear in TV shows such as Heartbeat, Casualty, and Midsomer Murders. In the evenings, he would navigate the east London gay scene — bars and clubs that acted as safe spaces for young men exploring their sexuality.

“I got to know a lot of gay men who were very masculine,” Lee says. “[But] although they slept with other men, they didn’t have access to their emotions, and would never dream of talking about how they felt. That strange inability of men to understand what they’re going through fascinated me.” It was the germ of an idea.

He thought about how difficult he had found the prospect of showing any weakness to a lover, even though he had taught himself to do so on demand in front of a camera. He also considered what might have happened if he had never left the farm. “I questioned how my life would have turned out,” he says. “What would I have done if I met someone I liked? Would I have been able to find love?” 

Josh O’Connor was cast to play Johnny. A middle-class Londoner who grew up in Cheltenham, O’Connor decided to try out his northern accent on his first meeting with Lee. “I just assumed he was a Yorkshireman,” says the director. “And he seemed, in his body language and mannerisms, to understand how repressed and unhappy Johnny would be.”

For the role of Gheorghe, a casting agent was sent to Bucharest and returned with the screen test of an actor called Alec Secareanu. Two years earlier, Secareanu had played a gay character on the stage in Budapest, and during the production homophobic militants stormed the theatre in protest. Secareanu used that experience in his depiction of Gheorghe, a man trying to find in this strange, new culture the things that gave him comfort at home in Romania.

Lee shot the film chronologically, using the seasons — winter turning to spring, the lambs taking their first breaths, plants struggling from the earth — as ellipses for the pair’s dawning relationship.

God’s Own Country premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where Lee was awarded the World Cinema Directing Award and the film was hailed by critics as Britain’s next great “gay” movie. It was fêted for its northern, rural setting, and its understanding of how immigration has affected such communities.

There is a lineage of British films dealing with similar subjects, among them Paweł Pawlikowski’s 2004 My Summer of Love (exploring the relationship between two women), the 1999 Channel 4 TV series Queer as Folk (set in the more urban environment of Manchester) and Stephen Frears’ 1985 My Beautiful Laundrette (depicting the romance between a working-class Londoner and the son of immigrants). “It was important to me to make a film that can exist in the ‘queer’ canon,” Lee says. “But I never saw the story just in those terms.”

He bridles at the stereotypes associated with farming life. “There’s an assumption that, because Johnny’s a farmer, he has to deal with homophobia,” Lee says. “I come from that world, and I’ve never encountered that . . . Homophobia is not somehow inherent in rural, working-class communities.”

Much was made of the debt God’s Own Country owed to Brokeback Mountain, the seminal gay romance made in 2005 by Ang Lee. The correlation is understandable. Both films follow the lives of sheep farmers who act impulsively on their mutual attraction.

Yet the similarities purposely end there. “The comparison to Brokeback is not one I shy away from,” Lee says. “That film was very important to me when it was released, but I haven’t watched it since. It’s very located in a particular time and place, and my film explores a very different time and place.”

While in Brokeback both men use their wives as accomplices in denial, in God’s Own Country Johnny’s mother finds a condom casually left on the floor and merely tuts in irritation. We realize she knows her son is gay, even if it goes unsaid.

“I didn’t want to make a ‘coming out’ film,” Lee says. “I felt that, as a culture, we’ve covered that. I wanted to make a film about masculinity, repression, and emotion. The men here just also happen to be gay.”

Throughout the history of LGBT cinema, a damaging trope has predominated: bad things happen to gay people, and they will never find enduring love. God’s Own Country sets out to contradict that. In Brokeback, love cannot exist. Here, love between two men is normalized and dramatized without recourse to sentimentality or exoticism.

If God’s Own Country owes a debt to any film, it’s to a smaller, more humble but no less accomplished movie: Weekend, Andrew Haigh’s 2011 debut, which follows the conversations of two men over the course of a weekend as they try to work out whether they should take their sexual connection further.

“Weekend was a big moment for me,” Lee says. “It was exciting to see what could be achieved, and the discussion that film created at the time. But we’ve moved on a lot as a society, even since the release of Weekend.

“Gay spaces have been homogenized into straight culture,” he adds. “Gay people are now very comfortable moving in mixed environments. But, often because of economic reasons, gay spaces have been obliterated. The characters in my film wouldn’t necessarily seek out such spaces, but they aren’t available to them, either. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.”

The release of God’s Own Country has been timed to coincide closely with the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalized homosexual acts in the UK — so long as they were kept private.

Seen from this perspective, Lee’s film is both a testament and a challenge. It questions our willingness to see gay stories as larger stories, rather than as emissaries from a separate culture.

“We’ve come so far,” Lee says of the gay community’s struggle to be fully accepted by wider society. “But we can never be complacent, we can never start to think the fight has been won.

“But I didn’t worry about that here. This is a film about everyone’s attempts to love and be loved. That’s the toughest thing any of us will ever do, no matter who you are.”

‘God’s Own Country’ is released in the UK on September 1 and in the US in October

Photographs: Agatha A Nitecka



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