LGBTQ Artists Share Their Stories At Sundance: Control Your Narrative

LGBTQ Artists Share Their Stories At Sundance: Control Your Narrative

Harvey Guillén played a role in the television show named “What We Do In the Shadows”. He made quite an impact as an actor on the show. He wishes to tell people stories that would make a difference in the LGBTQ communities. The actor explains why LGBTQ artists need to tell their own stories.

Harvey Guillen’s new project.

Picture of Harvey Guillen/ LGBTQ artists
Image courtesy: TheWrap

As an actor, Harvey stood out in his television series. Harvey Guillen wants to tell his own story. His latest project is based on a true story of someone he knew back in college. This boy had come out as a gay man. His identity was suppressed by his own family after he died.

In college, Guillen had walked on his roommate and one of his classmates getting intimate. He had encouraged his classmate to come out to his family. But the couple did not feel like it was the right choice. Eventually, the classmate came out. Sadly, after a week, he was found dead.

At the funeral, his parents felt embarrassed and did not acknowledge that their son was gay. They claimed that he had died of a heart attack.

LGBTQ artist Guillen felt it was right to stand up to his friend. Hence at the Latinx House at Sundance Guillen said, “I was like, that wasn’t your son. Your son wasn’t those things. You don’t even know your son,”

This was the story Guillen wishes to tell through his latest project. He realized that people are not going to tell your story unless you are telling your own story. “So we need to control the narrative of the history we’re making today,” he says.

LGBTQ artists at the Latinx House at Sundance.

Panalists at Latinx Panel Sundance/LGBTQ artists
Image courtesy: TheWrap

Harvey Guillen was one among five artists on the panel of LGBTQ Representation: Advocating for Greater Visibility in Hollywood. The event was hosted by TheWrap CEO Sharon Waxman and Wrap Women. There were other LGBTQ influencers and filmmakers. The five panelists include producer Taryn Arriola, GLAAD’s Jeremy Blacklow, actor Frankie Rodriguez and director Patricia Vidal Delgado.

LGBTQ artists shared their own stories of how they came up in an industry that is slow to change. They came up to promote inclusion on screen.

Jeremy Blacklow.

Jeremy Blacklow is the director of entertainment media with GLAAD. He believes that LGBTQ content is in a new era. He says he can’t keep up with the number of shows that are being produced. The director also believes that 2020 is looking forward to some big moments. In terms of acceptance of LGBTQ characters in films that become blockbusters around the world.

At the premiere of Sundance, Jermey touted a new film called “Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen.” Trans characters have been on cinema screens for hundreds of years. But they have always been portrayed as jokes or outsiders. Jeremey feels that writers do not speak for the community.

In doing so he added the film is going to hit cis-gendered people on the heads like a ton of bricks. He also said, “We need trans people telling trans stories, not cis people telling trans stories.”

Frankie Rodriguez

Frankie Rodriguez is an actor who plays a gay boy in the famous Disney+ series “High School Musical: The Musical – The Series,” Initially it was hard for him to find agents that are going too step up and push down doors for him. And also avoid being typecast.

“Now I feel like I can do everything. So watch out.”

Vidal Delgado.

Director of “La Leyenda Negra” Vidal Delgado debuted his film at Sundance in the NEXT section of the festival. “La Leyenda Negra,” tells the story of a burgeoning relationship between two young women. He wanted to showcase the story of real people. Delgado found a way to shine a light on these non-actors to tell his story. “It’s important for them to have a chance to showcase their talents,” she said.

Getting two non-actors to perform is a hard challenge. But Deldago made it happen and took it all the way to the Sundance.

Taryn Arriola

Arriola has been a producer on a bunch of in-development projects. The one she stresses on the most is more than just a gay story. She believed that LGBTQ stories are universal. She wants to make sure that stories are not being pushed out of the conversations. “It’s the story of a human who ended up being a gay man,” Arriola said. “We can all make it. We don’t have to fight over the same slice of pie.”

All these LGBTQ artists have very meaningful stories to tell. Many film festivals showcase these stories. Moreover, these stories are intended to spread a lot of awareness to the society.

A few films to look out for this year.

Next read: Coachella 2020 Creates Controversies Around LGBTQ Artists

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