On November 4th I attended the premier of the ‘Project Triangle Film‘ (click to see the blog) and was just blown away by the openness and frankness of the group of young people, both during the film, and taking questions afterwards.
Project Triangle is an ongoing work in progress, involving young people in the challenging of Homophobia and Hate Crime both around Merseyside, across the UK, and over in Poland as part of an exchange program.
The young people flew over to Poland to confront some of the worst aspects of both historical and contemporary homophobia, visiting Auschwitz and meeting with young L.G.B.T. people over in Warsaw to talk about their experiences of living in a society where homophobia, is has in the very recent past, officially sanctioned by the government.
Something I found amazing, was the ability of the young people to hold onto both the awful and the absurd sides of their experience at the same time. A couple of weeks earlier I was lucky enough to watch some of the group returning to G.Y.R.O. youth project to give a slide show talk to their mates about the trip. As they hadn’t had a lot of time to prepare the presentation, it jumped around a lot between pictures of young people having fun together on a trip abroad, to pictures of them viewing places in which atrocities had taken place, such as Auschwitz. The atmosphere in the room flicked from laughter, to deadly seriousness and outrage, in a split second, every couple of minutes. It seemed to me that the ability to really absorb some of the cruelest aspects of life, and still have a sense of humour about the world, is a real skill that teenagers have, that most of the rest of us are lacking.
On the night of the Premiere this ability to deal with the issues being raised with levity, or lightness when necessary ,was something I think those of us in the audience all learnt from.
When the discussion seemed to be in danger of demonizing the Polish people as the worlds worst homophobes, one of the group pointed out that the young Polish L.G.B.T. people had congratulated them on their bravery to come out in the kind of country where Young Gay people were often killed by their friends, just for being gay, as they had heard on the news in Poland.