A secret contest among the gay Syrians sheltering in Turkey, with the aim of sending a Mr Gay Syria to the Mr Gay World Contest is the centre of this documentary by Ayse Toprak, who’s better known as a reporter on Al Jazeera. But the real aim of this film is to tell the story of some of the LGBT refugees who have fled the horrors of the Syrian regime and civil war to a less-than-welcoming Turkey, hoping to find a better future in Europe.
I’ll declare an interest here; I know Mahmoud Hassino, one of the central figures in the film, and have enormous respect for him. An openly-gay Syrian blogger and journalist since long before the current crisis, and founder of Syria’s first LGBT magazine Mawaleh, he saw the potential of the Mr Gay World Contest as a means to increase the visibility of the plight of gay, lesbian and trans refugees.
The team still need to raise funds to complete the post-production of the documentary, so if you’d like to add your name in the credits in return for a donation, click here.