The LGBT rights film sparking demonstrations in Georgia

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Georgian LGBTQ campaigner Giorgi Tabagari says the film is helping change the perception of queer Georgia as lower than criminals and drug addicts. (Image Courtesy: BBC News).

Levan Akin’s Swedish-Georgian production, And Then We Danced (2019), is Georgia’s first feature about gay love, provoking a crowd of five hundred men to force their way through a line of police in riot gear and into the Tbilisi premiere, according to BBC News. Discrimination against sexual orientation is illegal, but homophobic violence is still prevalent in Georgia’s right-wing culture, forcing many members of the LGBT community to lead double lives. The Georgian Orthodox Church, while condemning the protests, says the film is part of an agenda to normalize “the sin” of homosexuality; this comes after a bishop accused senior clergy of gay sex on live television.

The debate over Rhys Ernst’s “Adam” (2019)

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Nicholas Alexander stars as the title character alongside Bobbi Salvör Menuez as his love interest, Gillian. (Image Courtesy: Vulture).

Rhys Ernst’s Adam (2019), an adaptation of Ariel Schrag’s 2014 novel about a straight, cis boy pretending to be a trans man so a young lesbian will date him, has garnered six thousand online petition signatures to boycott the film ahead of its August 14 release, according to Vulture. Ernst says the screenplay (also written by Schrag) is a departure from the book, and he took pains to reclaim the controversial source material for the transgender community. That being said, a number of trans and nonbinary extras have taken to Twitter to dispute the gender-nonconforming inclusivity and friendliness on set.