Falling in love at a Myanmar high school

Inspired by real events, A Blue-sky explores sexuality and gender identity as a young person in a country where gay sex is illegal

A movie exploring sexuality and gender at a Myanmar high school stunned audiences when it was screened at Myanmar’s LGBTI film festival last week.

A Blue-sky, directed by Hein Htwe Maung, follows an effeminate student as he overcomes his inhibitions for a chance of falling in love.

‘I simply wanted to make it as a homage to how I met my boyfriend’ Hein Htwe Maung told Gay Star News. ‘The characters are inspired by real people I have met in my life.’

Gay sex is illegal in Myanmar under Section 377 of the colonial-era Penal Code. India’s Supreme Court dismantled the same law for being unconstitutional last year.

There is little knowledge of sexuality and gender identity. What’s more, most LGBTI people are not out at work or with their families.

‘In Myanmar, people assume all gays want to be women. Many don’t know the difference between a transgender person and a gay person’ explained Hein Htwe Maung.

‘The film focuses on the protagonist deciding if he likes the guy as a gay person or he likes the guy because he wants to be a she. It’s a story of self-discovery’.

Asia’s first boat pride parade
LGBTI Myanmar last week held it’s largest-ever pride parade. Around 600 people boarded a flotilla of boats along the main river in commercial hub, Yangon.

Meanwhile, 10,000 attended pride events in a city park over the weekend. Attendees donned stilettos and tossed handbags for the drag olympics.

Organizer Hla Myat Htun told Gay Star News the events would let the Myanmar public know about LGBTI people and their rights. ‘Young people will also become confident being who they with their gender and sexuality’ he said.

Hein Htwe Maung thanked festival organizers, &Proud, for supporting LGBTI artists and filmmakers.

‘Now we are getting our voices heard in many different ways. It is such an improvement in a few years’ the director said.

by Rik Glauert
Source – Gay Star News