From perverse to Miss Congeniality

From perverse to Miss Congeniality

Documentary fans will want to discover SBS’s edgier series XY Docs on Fridays, which has so far covered polyamory, gay escorting and the history of vibrators.

This week’s offering claims people were too scared to see gay films in theatres because it would out them, but persistence has paid off for the queer filmmaking community and finally won over their audience and society.

Here’s Looking At You, Boy by director Andre Schafer traverses the teetering steps of queer films in the 1970s, where a gay kiss could still cause offence, through to the Academy Award-winning Brokeback Mountain.

Schafer interviews directors and actors who have taken part in some of the groundbreaking films in recent decades to ask how it happened and why it was so hard.

While some preached the benefits of dispelling myths, others like director/actor Craig Chester felt gay characters had become trendy and token without real acceptance.

It’s still a long way from director Rosa Von Praunheim’s 1970 film It Is Not The Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But The Society In Which He Lives.

Next Friday, a heterosexual British tool designer named Gavin frocks up for Miss International Queen, the Thailand-based pageant for beauty queens born male.

The pageant is televised to an audience of over 10 million viewers with the winner taking home $10,000.

Attending with his girlfriend, Gavin has had no surgery and paints on his alter ego Leah True only for special outings.

In contrast Sydney-based Darlene seems effortlessly conventional after living as a pre-op transsexual for 14 years. Representing Egypt, Darlene seeks the approval of her mother, whom she hasn’t seen in four years.

Here’s Looking At You, Boy screens on SBS Friday 10 August, 10pm. Miss International Queen screens on SBS Friday 17 August, 10pm.

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