While audiences to this year’s London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival are enjoying the event’s signature mix of challenging and entertaining queer cinema, a debate is raging on the festival’s Facebook page over its future.
The BFI is questioning whether the current name, now in it’s 25th year – the festival was originally called Gay’s Own Pictures – adequately captures the diverse mix of sexualities and lifestyles covered by the films on show.
Is it time for a change?
Writing for gaystarnews.com, the LLGFF’s Brian Robinson says:
The BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival is a broad church. Under its banner a very wide range of sexual interests and identities have found a home. Some of our patrons have asked why we have kept the same name for the festival for a quarter of a century. Some younger people don’t like the word gay and feel it describes a middle-aged and narrow view of what it means to be non-hetero in the 21st century.
Do we need an alphabet soup which is decipherable only to the few? Should we name each section of the community we want to support in a London LGBTQQICCAPPPGA Film Festival (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, celibate, curious, asexual, polyamorous, polymorphous, perverse, genderqueer, and allies)? Or should we go for a word like Pink or Purple, Rainbow, Pride, or Diversity?
Over on Facebook suggestions for a new name include The London Gender and Sexualities Film Festival and The Queer film festival but there’s also a sizeable number of posters keen on leaving things as they are.
Inspired by Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing, the first film I saw at LLGFF, I’ve emailed my suggestion of The BFI Beautiful People’s Film Festival to email@example.com.