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Watch a tender film about the realities of being a young black gay man

Today on Dazed, directors Catarina Almeida and Chanel Baker are premiering their short film Us. The stars of the film are ten British, queer boys of colour, who hang out, laugh, and strike poses for the camera as they discuss their personal experiences, reframing the narratives we usually hear about being young, black, and gay.

The first voice heard announces: “We’re just gay and coloured. We’re a minority, but we have power within our own rights, to change what people actually perceive.” Throughout the film, delicate shots show the boys in four indoor and outdoor settings in Fulham, London – sitting on a brick wall or dancing by it, in the sun in front of a pink cherry blossom tree, leaning on a white wall, and in someone’s bedroom chilling and chatting. Director Catarina Almeida told Dazed, “We looked for places on AirBnb; we liked that house specifically because it felt quite homely, and we wanted the boys to feel like they were just hanging out, their interactions to be natural and authentic.”

The boys interact with one another as though they have been best friends for years, finding common ground in their opinions and diverse backgrounds. They were all discovered through Instagram. Almeida said, “We posted a lot about the project, to try and get as many guys as possible. We didn’t have any sort of requirement for the boys. Whoever felt like this project spoke to them and (was) willing to start a discussion about it was more than welcome to be part of it.”

These boys are all full of life and love, and their beautiful honesty is a clapback to media stereotypes of the gay community, and its failure to display the truths of being a queer person of colour. Watch the tender short film above.

 

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