Class A: The Film Kickstarter Wants To Shine A Light on Addiction In The Gay Community

If you are one of the many who feels like there still isn’t enough LGBTQ representation in our entertainment media, then try to put your money where your mouth is.

And we don’t mean just going to the movies whenever a Moonlight or the upcoming gay teen film Love, Simon comes to your nearest theater. We mean financially supporting projects every now and then as well.

One way you can do that is by checking out sites like Kickstarter, and today we’ve already selected a Kickstarter project worth backing.

Class A: The Film is a short film project currently in the works.

The film plans to talk about and face the problem of addiction in the LGBTQ community.

“The film follows three addicts, Jenny, a young, African-American, fashion student, addicted to her personified drug, “Coke”, aka "Charlie", a cocky, charming yet manipulative asshole. And Dan, who recently puked up over his ex-boyfriend, while on heroin and now converses with “Heroin”, who is a sweet elderly, caring woman. Finally, there is Brad, who battles with his personified drug, “Crystal Meth”, who emotionally and sexually abuses him.”

This short film will be an adaption of a stage play from 2012 that was produced at the Gene Frankel Theatre.

The creator wanted to reformat the story and present it in a different way in order to reach a wider audience. He feels the topic is important and should reach others because, “Substance abuse disorders among LGBTQ individuals may be 20% to 30%, higher than the general population (9%). 25% of gay and transgender people abuse alcohol, compared to 5 to 10 percent of the general population.”

In addition, the film is working in tandem with charity Gay & Sober which works to help LGBTQ members struggling with addiction and wishing to live a life of sobriety.

If you want to see this film become a reality, you can back it on Kickstarter. But hurry as there's only a couple more days to back.

On top of that, if you give certain amounts of money you will get a reward such as a piece of digital art to download, a social media shoutout, or a copy of the finished film.

Again, check out their Kickstarter page if you want to donate and help create more LGBTQ representation with a message.

7 Great Gay Projects To Help Fund On Kickstarter

If you guys follow my Instinct posts regularly or happen to know about my personal blog Queer Fudanshi, I love to share LGBTQ media.

I love going like:

“Hey, here’s this lesbian web series about a Canadian college student and her vampire roommate. Hey, here’s this Japanese comic series about a police officer and the heir to a Yakuza family falling in love. Hey, here’s this American movie about a black kid from Florida who’s struggling with his sexuality in a neighborhood overtaken by drugs”

But, possibly something I also love to do is to share Kickstarters/Crowdfunding pages of interesting LGBTQ projects.

Now of course, I don’t share every Kickstarter that I come across or that gets sent to my email (Some of those sending the emails might want to remember that). But, I do share the projects that look interesting or serve a great message. And today, I’ve decided to share a bunch of them with you all.

So, read down below if you’re looking for a good LGBTQ project to fund.

(Heads up though. Unfortunately, some of these Kickstarters are ending in a couple days, so if you want to back them you should do it soon.)

  1. Isha

Isha is a project for a short film about Rahmi, a gay Romanian Muslim man living in London. Rahmi lives with his mother and younger brother. Since his father isn’t round, Rahmi has to act as the man of the house, but that starts to become an deep conflict with his sexuality and secret relationship with another man.  

  1. Magic H8 Ball

We’ve already talked about Magic H8 Ball once on this site, but I felt it should be added to this list (and why not give it some more attention right?).

The story follows Adam, a young man who’s devastated by a recent break up. Adam found out that his boyfriend cheated on him and gave him Chlamydia. In his distress, he finds a magic 8 ball and asks it if it’ll decide his life for him The ball says yes.

This comedy film project will then explore the confusing time after a breakup through Adam’s wild ride with a kid’s toy (that might be turning evil).

  1. The Boys of Outspoken

This one, I don’t have to explain. The creators explain it all pretty well in the video down below.

  1. Pronouns Enamel Pin Set

This is a pretty simple Kickstarter with a great function. You can back this project to help bring these beautiful pronoun pins to life. Then, you put the pin (or you sticker depending on your pledge) on your clothes, bags, hats, whatever and let the world know which pronoun you’d prefer to be called as.

  1. In The Dark

This is another project that we’ve talked about before.

Earlier this year, In the Dark came out as a short film about a college romance between a closeted, black athlete and an openly gay student. Austin, the athletic student, is struggling with his sexuality and naturally gravitates towards Eric who introduces him to how to be open in life and in terms of one’s sexuality.

Sites like Instinct and OutSports praised the director’s debut short film for depicting an interracial gay couple and the story of a gay college athlete. And now, the creator wants to extend the story into a feature length film.

  1. Analysis Paralysis

Analysis Paralysis is a project for a romantic comedy feature film. The description of the premise found on Kickstarter goes as follows:

“Novelist Tyler O’Conner’s imagination is so out of control that it occasionally renders him unable to make the simplest decisions. After he loses the ability to leave the house due to his anxiety, he enlists the aid of his therapist to overcome his fears while going after the man of his dreams, Shane Revere.”

What’s interesting about this is that some of it will be told through O’Conner’s imagination. So, we’ll see through the spirited and quirky mind that he lives in on a daily basis and judge the world around him based on that. It could get interesting.

  1. The Bi-ble: An Antholody of Essays on Bisexuality

Lastly, we have the Bi-ble which is the other project, besides Pronoun pins, that isn’t a film project.

Again, this is a pretty self-explanatory one, so I’ll let the video down below tell you what it is.

And that is it for this Kickstarter list. Perhaps I’ll share another one with you next month.

But what’s important is that we all look around to see what potential LGBTQ projects are out there and if we can somehow help them to become a reality. After all, that will only give us more LGBTQ representation. Who wouldn’t want that?

Magic H8 Ball, A Comedy About A Distraught Gay Man And A Demonic Kid's Toy, Needs Your Support

Dan Haas / Screenshot via Kickstarter

It is always good to support LGBTQ representation in our entertainment media.

If you want little boys, girls, and those in flux who are growing up with queer identities to have LGBTQ role models on their screens, stages, and pages, you have to support the people who try to get those kinds of stories out there.

Plus, it’s nice to have someone writing a story for the adults too.

As such, when kickstarters for LGTBQ media come along, its always good to at least check them out.

And what new kickstarter do I have for you today? Magic H8 Ball.

MagicH8Ball is a project that a group of LGBTQ creatives are trying to get together.

The story follows Adam, a young man who’s just broken up with his boyfriend after finding out he cheated (by getting chlamydia from him).

As Adam wallows in post-breakup misery, he discovers a Magic 8 Ball and asks if it’ll make all his decisions for him. The ball says yes, and sets Adam on a fun filled journey of self-discovery. But, soon he’ll realize that the Magic 8 Ball might be discovering an (evil) identity of its own.

While the story seems quirky in just the right way with the use of this Magic 8 Ball, what’s really interesting is that the ball is being used as a tool of actualizing the real conflict in the story. That real conflict being the difficulty after a breakup.

As the Kickstarter page states:

Usually, there’s no easy answer. We don’t get that kind of satisfaction or closure. So when Adam finds a loophole—a magic ball that has all the answers—it’s no wonder he gives it free reign over his increasingly messy life. What we’re left with is a slightly-drunk gay kid against the world, armed only with a sickly schlong and a sadistic kid’s toy. What could go wrong? 

via Kickstarter

If you want to find out just what can go wrong, you’ll have to back this project on Kickstarter to help it become a reality.

And if you do, you’ll get to see the love child of a primarily LGBTQ cast and crew come to (hopefully non-demonic) life.

This includes the director Dan Haas who has written ad campaigns for Harley-Davidson and Jack in the Box while having a comedy musical running in Chicago, and lead actor Nathan Mohebbi who’s acted in Masters of Sex, Chasing Life, and James Franco’s Child of God. Plus, there’s Jason Stamey who has been the casting director for several Marvel movies and Ramy Romany who’s directed and produced for tv channels such as Discovery, History, and National Geographic.

There’s a lot of magic behind and in front of the camera, but we’ll see if the magic will extend to the completion of this Kickstarter and to the project overall.

Creator of Gay Athlete Love Story Wants To Expand it Into A Full-Length Film

Credit: Screenshot from Original "In the Dark"

Every now and then, I like to check out Kickstarter and GoFund me to see what kind of cool LGBTQ+ stuff people are making. What new movies and web series are on the horizon? What gay themed comics are waiting to be made? What can I put my money behind?

And every time I go on those sites I am pleased to find that there is always some new LGBTQ+ themed project waiting to be funded. And there are always good ones that deserve to exist.

Just think about it, Beth David and Estaban Bravo would not have created “In a Heartbeat” if it weren’t for its Kickstarter campaign. And, Physique Pictorial, one of the original Beefcake magazines that built gay history by doing things like introducing us to Tom of Finland, is coming back because of a Kickstarter campaign.

This is all to say that we should all regularly check in on these crowdfunding sites because you never know when the next Moonlight will popup.

And as such, I, and my fellow Instinct writers, love to point you all in the direction of new Kickstarters that have gotten our attention. The one kickstarter that I’m directing you towards today is one that we’ve already touched on, but now we have a little update.

In the Dark was a short film that hit earlier this summer. The film’s description goes as follows:

“A gay college student, Austin, is hiding his sexuality from everyone in his life, until he meets Eric. Austin is instantly attracted to Eric's comfort in who he is. When they start a relationship, Austin may have to choose between keeping Eric in his life or keeping his secret.”

As for the creator, named Ryan Beene, the recent Texas Lutheran University grad saw a need for more LGBTQ+ representation. While certainly there is some good representation out there, Hollywood still needs work on making true, honest, and impactful stories and characters with an LGBTQ+ context.

So, Beene decided to be the change he wanted to see, as he told

“I’d recently watched Moonlight and Certain Women, both movies with queer characters. They inspired what I wanted to do with the film and the internal struggle that some of these characters faced. I wanted to tell the truth about what it's actually like for many people to come out, with the added layer of playing a sport and trying to be in a relationship.”

Daniel Saunders (left) and Ryan Beene / Credit: Screenshot from Original "In the Dark"

The short film was a modest success with coverage from gay sites across the internet, not just Instinct, but Beene wants more. He wants to turn it into a full-length film.

As such, Ryan Beene has started up a Kickstarter, which you can find here, to help make that dream a reality. All of the money collected will go towards paying for equipment as well as paying the cast and crew.

In addition, we were lucky enough to get a word in with him and to ask a few questions about this new Kickstarter and his hopes for the project.

What is it about this particular story that resonated with you?

RB: I don't think we get the young first love story told from the gay perspective, and that is something kids should get to see. I think it's something everyone should see. We, as LGBT+ people, often don't get to experience first love as young as others do, because most aren't out or are afraid to search people out. So a sweet, gay, first love story is something I really want to see, so I thought I'd make one.

How do you think the story can connect with a gay and, more widely, LGBTQ+ audience?

RB: I think so many gay people will resonate with Austin, the main character. He's an athlete, which we know there are more and more gay athletes coming out. He is afraid to tell his parents, which every LGBT+ person can relate to.

And then you get to see a first love story, and there are other LGBT+ characters in the story. There are three lesbian/bisexual women in the script. The majority of the cast are people of color. I just think everyone should see a story like this.

How will turning the film into a full-length feature help and enhance the story?

RB: The plan was always for this to be a feature length. There is so much more to tell about Austin and Eric's personal lives and their relationship. From Eric's very complicated relationship with his father, to his life as an athlete, getting to see Austin and Eric just get to be happy and flirt and fall in love. With a short, it felt rushed.

But now you really get to watch this relationship unfold in a really sweet and more realistic way. I also think the layer of him being black is very important.  Not only for representation, but it also changes the story. Because we do have different experiences of coming out varying throughout the different races. And masculinity is more important in other cultures.

But should you support this full-length project? Well, Beene spent only $300 dollars to make the 35-minute short film that became In the Dark. Imagine what he could do with all the money collected through the Kickstarter. Or better yet, instead of imagining you could click over to the Kickstarter and see for yourself.