The images are still fresh in our minds. The same weekend the United States was celebrating the positive SCOTUS ruling on Marriage Equality, the world was seeing videos and pictures Turkish Pride being canceled using water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas, and riot police.
This conservative and religious response, along with LGBT Syrian refugees pouring into Turkey, were the catalysts that lead to the creation of Mr Gay Syria.
On February 1st we launched the crowdfunding campaign for our documentary Mr Gay Syria – the powerful story of gay Syrian refugees stuck in an increasingly conservative Turkey, hoping to make it to Europe.
In just 10 days we have raised more than 15'000€ thanks to 300 backers from more than 30 countries. Our teaser has been shared massively, with 1.6 million people reached and gathering more than 500'000 views on Facebook. –
Dea Gjinovci for "Mr Gay Syria"
The story is one that we look forward to seeing in its entirety, but for now, here's the trailer.
Directed by Ayse Toprak, Mr Gay Syria is a documentary about gay Syrian refugees living through the migration crisis, being gay in Turkey and their hope to find a better future in Europe.
If you are interested in helping out with the crowdfunding campaign to raise finishing funds for the film, you can donate to kisskissbankbank.com/mr-gay-syria-film.
A recent Deutsche Welle (DW) post gave us more information on Mr. Gay Syria.
A year ago, Syrian activists based in Berlin organized a Mr. Gay Syria contest in Istanbul. But, with anti-gay hate crime on the rise in Turkey, they now fear for the winner's safety.
When Hussein arrived in 2014, Istanbul was like a breath of freedom – a place where he no longer felt like he was sick or abnormal.
"I felt like I could take off my mask," Hussein, a slight 24-year-old Syrian barber with a trendy lopsided haircut, told DW over a Skype call from Istanbul.
Back home, in a town close to Aleppo, Hussein, who has asked DW not to use his full name, could never have imagined that one Valentine's Day he would stand on a stage in a small but packed venue in downtown Istanbul and be coronated "Mr. Gay Syria 2016" with a cheap plastic crown. – Deutsche Welle (DW)
We will keep our eyes open for Mr Gay Syria, but in the mean time here is a reminder of the atmosphere in Turkey. This DW News film Being Gay in Turkey shows how conservative the police and government were in July of 2016.
If Mr Gay Syria gets the traction it needs, do you think it will make a difference?
Do you think there will be a safe and loving Pride in Istanbul this year?
Once again, you can donate to kisskissbankbank.com/mr-gay-syria-film.
h/t: Deutsche Welle (DW)