News: Graduate’s documentary challenges our use of the ‘gay’ word

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Originally published on The National Student on 17/08/15. 

Recent graduate Amy Ashenden took to the streets of Britain and asked people of all backgrounds and sexualities what they think of the word ‘gay’.

After finally finishing her degree at the University of Southampton, freelance journalist Amy decided that she wanted to get stuck into a new project straight away, and on the back of finishing her first documentary Working for Nothing, she decided that another film project was definitely on the cards. 

The topic however, was to be something a little different, following up on something she had been noticing people say for quite a while.

“The phrase ‘that’s so gay’ is common, not only among school children, but I also hear it said often by university students.” says Ashenden.

“I wondered why it is that it’s such a popular, go-to, word to describe something as embarrassing or weak, or just rubbish.”

And so, armed with equipment from SUSUtv, the TV station of her former university, Amy travelled across the South East to uncover why so many people seem to use the word ‘gay’ to mean something derogatory, questioning as many people as she could get her hands on as well as university academics and human rights organisations. 

The results were swiftly edited into her second documentary film The Gay Word, which will be screened at the Bernie Grants Art Centre in Tottenham, London, on 19th September and at The Glorious Art House in Exeter on 17th October. 

Tickets are available for the London show here and for the Exeter show here

You can also watch the trailer for the film below:


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