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Can a Gay Man and a Lonely Girl Fall in Love? New Film Straight Up Explores Sexual Fluidity

Can a Gay Man and a Lonely Girl Fall in Love? New Film 'Straight Up' Explores Sexual Fluidity

Can a Gay Man and a Lonely Girl Fall in Love? New Film 'Straight Up' Explores Sexual Fluidity

Straight Up tells the story of a homosexual twenty-something finding his intellectual soul mate in a struggling actress.  

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We all know there’s a difference between romantic and sexual attraction. (Lord only knows we’re not trying to date the fuccboi who doesn’t text us back, but for some stupid reason we still begrudgingly want to sleep with him!)

Well, actor, playwright, and filmmaker James Sweeney just reached his fundraising goal to create a film that explores the nuances (and accompanying confusion) that comes with a fluid sexual identity, attraction, and romance.

In his soon to be produced feature film Straight Up, a homosexual twenty-something finds his intellectual soul mate in a struggling actress. This is a story of gay boy meets lonely girl, where love develops out of deep friendship, rather than sexual attraction.

BUT… what happens next? Perhaps sexuality is more fluid than we think…

We caught up with Sweeney to discuss why he wants to share this particular story in Straight Up.

PRIDE: What inspired you to take on this project?

Sweeney: Most LGBT films feature a closeted lead character. Straight Up addresses a fresher reality that even when you know it’s okay to be gay, that doesn’t mean it's easy to eradicate every trace of internalized shame or find the Prince Charming you see and pine for in the movies. Queer people have fewer chances of finding love. There are less options. That’s basic math.

Additionally, most of our generation is driven by a very westernized notion of love and marriage—that a partner has to complete you emotionally, sexually, intellectually, and socially. We’re encouraged never to settle because we think we’re entitled to have it all. In Straight Up, I was inspired to bring two characters together who see themselves as undesirable in some way and don’t view a lack of physical intimacy as settling.

What do you hope to achieve with the film?

I believe this film represents romantic orientation and the sexuality spectrum in ways we rarely get to see. Straight Up is a fun, messy love story without easy answers and I hope to make an audience laugh, cry, laugh again, and think. In that order.

Tell us a little more about you and what you’ve done!

I was bred in Alaska and am an actor-turned-playwright-turned-filmmaker. My shorts, Normal Doors, The First, and Before Midnight Cowboy, have been featured on Short of the Week, Vimeo Staff Pick, and played at film festivals worldwide. Most recently, I directed a segment (Long Time Distance) of the feature anthology, Bushwick Beats, produced by Tandem Pictures and Circle of Confusion.

While Straight Up reached it’s initial fundraising goal, the Straight Up Team is now hoping to gain 1000 followers on their Seed&Spark fundraising page to be eligible to participate in a rally called 100 Days of Optimism, where they will then be able to compete for $250,000 in grants/marketing support from WeTransfer, Seed&Spark’s co-sponsor.

Go ahead and follow them on Seed&Spark for free!

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Zachary Zane

Zachary Zane is a writer, YouTube influencer, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and identity politics. Check out his YouTube channel here.

Zachary Zane is a writer, YouTube influencer, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and identity politics. Check out his YouTube channel here.