No other British gay rights activist is as well known as Peter Tatchell, who for several decades has been an extremely prominent voice speaking out for gay equality and other human rights issues. However, part of the reason he’s so well known is because of what a controversial figure he’s been, with his forthright opinions and direct action upsetting as many people as it inspired.
That’s been true inside the gay community too, with Tatchell at times being voting by other gay people as amongst their most hated figures (partly because the media often portrayed him as the voice of the entire UK gay community, even though many disagreed with both his opinions and his tactics). However, he undoubtedly gave voice to gay rights issues in ways few others managed, raising awareness along the way.
Now a documentary, Hating Peter Tatchell, plans to take a look at the man and his life, with narration from the inimitable Sir Ian McKellen. To do so it’s launched a Kickstarter, hoping to raise £10,000.
Here’s the synopsis: ‘Filmmaker Chris Amos discovers why Peter Tatchell for decades a public hate figure, is still being targeted by hate campaigns and smears by the far right and far left. Over the past decade, Peter has gone from being one of the most despised public figures in Britain to one of the most loved. His unique brand of human rights activism has brought him media and public scrutiny.
‘Hating Peter Tatchell charts his 50 years of human rights activism and the immense personal price he has paid: the hate mail, death threats and violent assaults – with the latter resulting in brain and eye damage. This film documents his triumphs and tribulations which have impacted British politics and the politics of other countries as far reaching as Russia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
‘It includes challenges to, and encounters with, Tony Blair, Robert Mugabe, Mike Tyson, the African National Congress leadership and successive Archbishops of Canterbury. This is a true story of overcoming adversity and of incredible personal achievement: how one man can bring marginal human rights issues into the mainstream to create positive change.’
Take a look at the fundraising video and trailer below, and if you’d like to help, head over to Kickstarter.