In the last few months, much of the international news coming out of The Philippines has been about its rather unusual new president, Rodrigo Duterte, who has essentially given permission to death squads to kill suspected drug dealers and users, without bothering with niceties like a trial. However, it’s easy to forget that it’s also one of Asia’s most gay-friendly nations, although still with strides to make in LGBT rights.
Despite that, it’s only just produced its first web series, Hanging Out, which has debuted its first two episodes. The show is about the introverted David, a young gay man who decides to have a one-night stand. However, things turn out rather differently to how he expected.
Director Petersen Vargas comments, “I’ve always made it a point to make films about gay people the way I know how being gay is like. In a country where the LGBTs lack the representation that’s needed to really empower the community, a small step like having a web series focused entirely on the ‘gay life’ is something that I feel is essential for growth. We know it’s still definitely a long way to go before we get to where we want. But we’re willing to take the baby steps to wherever this will take us, to make each step really count.”
Writer Wanggo Gallaga adds, “There is a real need for Filipino queer stories to be told now. You can see it in social media: a new generation of young gay and trans men and women who wants to hear their stories told. That’s what we aimed to do with this web series. We wanted the series to be as true and as honest as it can be.”
Take a look at episodes 1 and 2 of Hanging Out below.