Freeheld Writer: My Project Was “De-Gayed”

The writer behind Freeheld, starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore, has spoken out against the mainstreaming of LGBT characters.

Ron Nyswaner spoke passionately about this at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Vanguard Awards, where he expressed his frustration with Hollywood queer normalisation.

“We must take care to protect our history and our culture. We must be careful as we become ‘mainstream’ that we don’t forget that we are the descendants of outlaws and rebels.We must resist the tendency to be ‘de-gayed.'”

One thing that is important to stress, however, is that Ron did not reference Freeheld by name. But, it was his most recent writing project, and it does seem very likely that he is referring to Freeheld.

“One of my recent gay-themed projects had a lot of potential. But the producers became fearful. And the gay characters were idealised, their edges were smoothed out, the conflict between them was softened. Over my vigorous objections — by the way, that’s for the record — the main characters were turned into lesbians with a lower-case L, because God forbid someone would think we were making a movie about a couple of dykes. Out of fear, they were normalised.”

“We must remember and insist that others honor our history and our very specific gay culture. We are the inheritors of a culture that is created from pain and difficulty from being different. And from that difference, we created a powerful community that changed the world.”

“We must recognise that power, the power of being different. We don’t have to be normalised to have all of our rights. And we don’t have to be normalised to be the main characters of film and television shows. We can still be fags and dykes.”

He then concluded his stirring speech by declaring that he will fight to preserve the artistic integrity of his work and not allow it to be watered down in the name of fear.

“I’m done with fear. I’m never going to work on something — my reps are going to cringe — which I do not have some measure of artistic authority. I will create art in which gay characters are not normalised, art that features LGBT characters who are fearless, powerful, scary motherf******s.”

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Freeheld Writer: My Project Was
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The writer behind Freeheld, Ron Nyswaner, has claimed that his project was "degayed".