BBC One has commissioned a two-part 1940s gay love drama written by British novelist Patrick Gale.
Man In An Orange Shirt tells two gay love stories, 60 years apart – stories linked by family, and by a painting that holds a secret that echoes down the generations.
Writer Patrick Gale says: “Man In An Orange Shirt is the most exciting screen project I’ve worked on to date: an original drama exploring strands of gay male experience since the 1940s. It has been such a privilege to be given such an open brief and then allowed to run with it. I don’t want to give too much away but after much experimenting, we’ve ended up with two hour-long films – one set in the 1940s and 50s, one set in the violently contrasted present; one depicting a love story made impossible by pressures from society, one a love story nearly derailed by the long-term fallout from the 1940s story.”
Man In An Orange Shirt is produced by Kudos for BBC One. The drama was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content, and Ben Stephenson, former Controller of Drama Commissioning. Executive Producers are Diederick Santer for Kudos and Lucy Richer for BBC One.
In the early hours of June 12, 2016, a gunman, who I’m not interesting in naming, walked into the gay night club called Pulse in Orlando, Florida and started shooting at a group of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered people – who were doing nothing but being who they were and enjoying themselves.
This was a direct attack on gay people, freedom, humans, love and a different way of life. As a gay man in love with another man you are always aware that there are people who would hurt, damage or kill people like me – just because of who they love. Attitudes to gay people have fundamentally changed in the UK since I was born in the late 1970s. Hostility was very present in the 80s when gay bars started to spring up in cities, albeit usually in discrete and concealed places – until the 90s and 2000s when the gay movement stopped hiding and people like me felt comfortable being open about our sexuality at work and so rather than being some distant object of derision – we become up close and personal with our straight colleagues – who realised – we were just like them.
But we are still not in a world, or country where being gay is still acceptable across the board. When a bakery can refuse service to customers who wanted a gay themed cake because it is ‘against their belief’ – backed up by Christian groups and media elements. It demonstrates to gay people that although we have journeyed far – the route back to the dark ages of the 1950s when we were illegal, arrested and in-prisoned – isn’t as far away as we might like to believe.
On my Monday Matters radio show I spoke to gay radio presenter DJ Justice, who presents his show in Orlando and often visited Pulse and lost people that he knew in the atrocity.
Wow – ok, so news kinda started trickling out that Barry Manilow got married to his long-time partner and manager Garry Kief.
My gaydar isn’t always tuned into the right channel – but even I have had the sheet pulled from under me by the revelation that Barry M. is gay! Of course he is! Of. Course. He. Is.
Maybe I just didn’t care enough about Manilows personal life.
But, what a wonderful way to announce both your marriage and the fact it’s to the same sex. And to be fair on the media – rather than go with slogans such as “I can’t smile without….Garry” or “Mandy…I wish you were Andy”… or “Barry MANiBlow”….or something – they handled it fantastically.
Well done to Barry – couldn’t have done it in a more perfect way.
In February 2014 Uganda’s president President Yoweri Museveni signed off a bill toughening anti-gay laws allowing those convicted of homosexuality to be imprisoned for life. The anti-homosexuality bill passed through parliament in December after its architects agreed to drop a death penalty clause. The legislation requires those found guilty of repeat homosexuality to be jailed for life.
Andrew Mwenda spoke to NTVUganda’s Newsnight programme and maybe it’s my own ignorance but I really didn’t expect him to say what he did. I was just used to the anti-gay sentiments that have been reported from Uganda. Andrew’s interview was galvanising and reminded me that I too – should not judge all Ugandan’s as I had done previously – not everyone is the same!