A tumultuous year in 2012 for the LGBTI community around the country and especially in Queensland was reason enough for Brisbane rights advocate Chad St James (pictured) to create something that could galvanise the community in the face of growing adversity.
Disappointed at the state of the marriage equality debate in Australia where several pieces of federal and state legislation to gain equal rights were defeated and moves made in Queensland by the conservative Liberal National Party government to wind back civil unions and defund the state’s only gay men’s health organisation, St James decided to put his efforts into making a documentary that the LGBTI community could rally behind and the broader population could learn from.
“The reasoning behind my need to make ‘Love Like Yours’, came from a few different factors, at the forefront of these was to create a film that would share our journey as a community fighting for Equal Rights, and our freedom to love. While some countries are making progressive steps forward in providing equal rights for members of the LGBTI community, Australia seems to be falling behind.” St James told the Star Observer
St James drew upon a few sources of inspiration such as US actor/comedian Lily Tomlin and close friends and fellow activists.
“A huge part of my inspiration came from meeting everyday people and hearing their own life journeys of finding love and self acceptance.”
Love Like Yours is a unique take on the marriage equality debate that continues to rage on across Australia and St James hopes its particular style will strike a cord and linger on in the minds of audiences.
“It will be quite pastiche, think of a cross between Michael Moore and John Safran, a mixture of documentary/reality television that will cover the diversity of the LGBTI community as a whole, while also tackling the current legislation in Australia in rather hilarious ways. Expect happiness, tears, laughter, hope and a take on the Australian Marriage Act that no-one saw coming.”
The documentary will include interviews with celebrities along with prominent faces within the LGBTI community across the country including president of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Shelley Argent and Carl Katter, half brother of outspoken and divisive Queensland politician Bob Katter.
Believing there to be growing support for the issue within the wider Australian public, St James plans to capitalise on the momentum and add another strong voice of progression that will get people talking.
“There has definitely been progression on the issue. Public polls show more then ever an overwhelming support for marriage equality. Politicians, celebrities, high profiled figues are not only throwing open the closet doors but are also lending their voices to the fight for marriage.”
St James is relying upon external funding for his documentary and has just over a month and a half to collect enough donations for the documentary to become a reality.
“The momentum is really starting to build…we reached $1000 [recently] meaning now we just $3000 worth of pledges to make within 50 days. People are now really starting to get behind it and post the pozible link on their various social network.”
“I want to share our story with the world in the hope that people will understand that our love is just like theirs and that we deserve to be treated as equal, not second class citizens…we live in exciting times and while the battle is far from being won. It is on the horizon.”