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What do gays in their 20s really think of the LGBTI world?

What do gays in their 20s really think of the LGBTI world?

National treasure and all-round nice bloke, Sir Ian ‘X-Men’ McKellen, was recently quoted as saying: ‘I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out.’

Nine out of 10 cats need the confidence of a safe environment in order to feel ready with those first steps out of the closet.

But how can anyone even begin to feel great about themselves when Uganda, Nigeria, India, Russia and various states within the US of A are passing legislation that makes it illegal to live a full LGBTI life?

The message is not positive and this will absolutely have an effect on anyone still closeted or questioning their sexuality, regardless of age.

Yes, for people to come out, they need to feel safe. Their immediate environment must be a loving, comforting and supportive one they feel in control of. The key to achieving that is education.

Those that oppose us generally fear us. As Yoda said: ‘Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.’

Star Wars quotes aside, it’s all a result of not understanding. That’s where 20MALEGAY will help.

20MALEGAY is a new online video project to uncover the truth behind modern LGBTI life.

It is based on 20MALEGAYNYC, a short film by Blake Pruitt, who is now in the UK to continue the series. You can watch the short film below.

Each new video in the 20MALEGAY series will see contributors shot against a black backdrop, talking frankly about various aspects of modern LGBTI life. It will share stories and experiences.

20MALEGAY will show the haters we aren’t all that different from them. We share the same hopes, fears, insecurities and idiosyncrasies.

By showing those that oppose us we are just ‘normal’ folk – warts and all, the fear will dissipate and they will see us as people to be mates with, people to live alongside. They’ll see us as people first, LGBTI second.

That’s the idea for those who oppose equality. But let’s turn our gaze inwards.

The LGBTI community is amazingly diverse and at times we are total bitches and arseholes in equal amounts to the love we spread in our ranks. And that’s fine. That’s life. That’s reality.

But we don’t truly hate each other. We unite and stand proud against those that attack us. And we support those who are new to it all. And that is absolutely something to celebrate.

20MALEGAY is going to uncover the truth behind LGBTI life. There are so many exciting aspects to our lives and boring aspects of our lives and aspects we appreciate and aspects we take for granted and aspects we wouldn’t be caught dead taking part in.

So many aspects: dating apps; monogamy; equal marriage; gay bars; safe sex; the line between mates and sexual partners; the representation of LGBTI characters in fiction; strong role models; parents; self identified types (twinks, bears, lipstick lesbians); work life; sexuality and race; body image, and more.

All of it is relevant and all of it will shine some light on questions we all need answered, and some questions we didn’t even know we had. Our closeted friends will form a true opinion of modern LGBTI life, gain greater confidence, and hopefully come out loud ’n’ proud.

We are looking for gay males aged 20 to 29 who identify as gay, bisexual, trans, queer or intersex and even those who oppose those labels and have created new ones for themselves. Your opinions, your stories, and your experiences are important and relevant, so share them – as a way of fighting those that oppose equality and of supporting closeted members.

Fear not: As the project grows, we will expand to cover the lesbian community, the wider trans community, the continued HIV and AIDS epidemic, the older LGBTI community, and countries with anti-gay laws.

20MALEGAY will act as a time capsule that we do not have to wait decades to open – a sign of the times. In decades to come, viewers can look back and understand what it meant to be a member of the LGBTI community in 2014.

Please get in touch if you would like to appear in the videos. Our London shoot will be on 30 March in London Bridge. Gay Star News is helping us by lending their office for filming.

Robert Gershinson is series producer of 20MALEGAY. You can email him here, find out more on their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

You can see the first film, made in New York, here:

20MALEGAYNYC from Blake Pruitt on Vimeo.