A documentary based on the recent “Coming Back Out Ball” for LGBTI seniors is in production.
The spectacular event was held at the Melbourne’s Town Hall earlier this month to honour and celebrate the elders as part of the state’s Seniors Festival.
“The Coming Back Out Ball is inspired by research revealing that some LGBTI elders conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity when they access aged care services – because they believe they are not safe,” organiser Tristan Meecham said.
“These LGBTI elders have lived through a time when being LGBTI could result in imprisonment, enforced medical ‘cures’, loss of employment and rejection by family and friends.
“For many of these elders – the first generation to fight for LGBTI equality – impending old age means going back into the closet, or risk being deprived of companionship and quality care when they need it most.”
One of the documentary’s producers, Adam Farrington-Williams, said it will explore some of the issues faced by an ageing, often invisible generation of LGBTI Australians as they enter aged care services.
“The documentary will follow a select group of elders who were involved in the Ball, tracking both their past lives and also what they’re currently doing at the moment,” he said.
“It will explore all of Australia’s LGBTI history and a few issues that we haven’t always seen on our movie and TV screens. The production will also serve as a lasting portrait to a group of inspiring people.”
The documentary is set to be released in 2018.
It’s just one of several upcoming LGBTI-themed projects in the works, as the 40th anniversary of the first Mardi Gras protest next year draws closer.
In August, the ABC announced a telemovie exploring the gay rights movement in 1970s Australia, and the “78ers” who fought for equality.
(Photo by Bryony Jackson)