Asian film project seeks to encourage LGBT youths

Video invites Asian filmmakers to submit LGBT-related films. (Click image for link to the video.)
Video invites Asian filmmakers to submit LGBT-related films. (Click image for link to the video.)

An Asian initiative is compiling a series of short, personal films designed to boost the well-being of youths who belong to sexual minorities, including those in three countries with laws against homosexual activity.

The “Stories of Being Me” filmmaking initiative is collecting submissions from the people who live in the capitals of eight countries — China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The deadline for those submissions is Oct. 30. The deadline has passed for submissions from Cambodia and the Philippines.

Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia have laws outlawing same-sex intimacy.

The organizers are seeking short films about youths who are comfortable and happy with who they are, as members of sexual minorities, and who are supported by their families.

One filmmaker from each city will be selected as a finalist, who will receive US$2,000 to produce a final version of the film.

“We want to hear from people — especially young people — who mustered the courage to share their differences with their family and friends as well as classmates and colleagues. We also want to hear from families and friends who have realised that these differences should not get in the way of mutual care, support, and love,” the announcement states.

The initiative announced:

‘Stories of Being Me’ is a campaign coinciding with the launch of BE: a new web-app designed to support the well-being of young people from sexual and gender minorities.

BE is being created as a safe space where young people can “be themselves and be there for each other”. BE will be launched by the end of 2013.

‘Stories of Being Me’ and BE are initiatives led by B-Change Foundation whose vision is to improve health, livelihood and diversity in our communities through technology. These initiatives are being supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with Advocates for Youth, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Islands of Southeast Asia Network for Male and Transgender Sexual Health and Oogachaga. 同志亦凡人 Queer Comrades China joins as a media partner.

‘Stories of Being Me’ and BE are part of the ‘Being LGBT in Asia’ regional initiative.

B-Change Foundation is not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is part of the B-Change regional social enterprise group that has a goal of promoting social change through technology. More information on the B-Change group can be found at

More information on the filmmaking initiative is available at

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor / publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at

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