Born This Way
Shaun Kadlec / Deb Tullmann
Festival year: 2014
Gay icon Lady Gaga is a role model for many gays and lesbians in Cameroon, but the tolerance the pop star sings about in her homonymous hit song is only a castle in the air for them.
For young gays in Cameroon pop icons like Rihanna and Lady Gaga are just as popular as in the western world. Yet the tolerance towards gays that Gaga sings the praises of in Born this Way is still a remote perspective for homosexual and lesbian people like Cedric and Gertrude, all the more since homosexuality is considered a crime in Cameroon.
The big city is the only refuge for many gays and lesbians, even though it provides only limited safety or anonymousness. Coming out of the closet, especially to one’s own family, is a big taboo. Cedric and Gertrude work for the Alternatives Cameroon, a grassroot organisation that champions the rights of LGBT community members.
The film portrays the work of human rights lawyer Alice Nkom, who has been defending the interests of gay people in Cameroon for years. She was a guest at the 2011 Movies that Matter Festival. Despite the dangers and the discrimination they face, gays and lesbians fearlessly stand up for their rights; where and whenever they can they show their true colors and seize the rare occasions on which they can really be themselves.
United States 2013, 82 min.
Spoken language: French, English
Official website: http://www.bornthiswaydocumentary.com
The Film Collaborative