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But one new documentary project, titled “No Fats, No Femmes,” hopes to drill down on the reasons why so much stigma and shame persists within online and real-life LGBT social settings.The film is closing in on the final hours of a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which so far has raised more than ,000 for pre-production.As a Black, fat, femme and gender non-conforming individual, Lewis noted that desire comes in many forms, but felt there were pervasive attitudes bubbling beneath the surface of so many expressed dating and sexual “preferences.” “This points to conversations about race, gender, and misogyny,” said Lewis, who is wrapping up a master’s in media studies at The New School.
For a community that’s no stranger to rejection and overt discrimination, oftentimes the worst behavior comes from an otherwise unthinkable place—within ranks.
According to the fundraising page, the makers of the film will explore the ways that desirability is informed by pop culture, media and capitalism, primarily through the personal narratives of five black and brown gender non-conforming, queer, trans, fat, femme and disabled people.
In an interview with Ravishly, writer and director Jamal Lewis said the film was inspired by his/her own experiences navigating LGBT spaces, where they routinely encounter racism, misogyny, transphobia, and stigma against fat and HIV-positive bodies.
“When you think of the fact that 41% of trans people have attempted suicide and so many more, myself included, were considering it, it’s because of the oppression we see every day—not only on these dating sites but also in communities we’re a part of.” The ,000 initial fundraising goal, Lewis said, will primarily be used to film a strong media sample that can be leveraged for grants, sponsorships and a final post-production and release plan.
On You Tube, a teaser clip for the film’s opening sequence has already racked up thousands of views—an experimental, vogue-inspired performance of Mark Aghuar’s composition, “A Litany for My Heavenly Brown Body,” which Lewis said sets the tone for the project.
While bettering yourself is awesome, feeling societal pressure to hate yourself is not so awesome.