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Juan Miguel Severo reveals why some LGBTQ+ actors shy away from gay roles

/ 12:26 PM June 16, 2020
Juan Miguel Severo, Gaya sa Pelikula

Juan Miguel Severo is the creator of Boys’ Love series “Gaya sa Pelikula.” Image: Facebook/@JuanMiguelSevero, @gayasapelikula

Actor and writer Juan Miguel Severo opened up on the struggles in casting actors from the LGBTQ+ community for his Boys’ Love series.

Severo’s romantic comedy series “Gaya sa Pelikula” (Like in the Movies), produced by Globe Studios, is in the process of forming its cast, which includes two male leads. The actor had set out to include queer people in the main artistic team so that the series would be sensitive in representing the LGBTQ+ community.

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He revealed yesterday on Twitter that there have been stumbling blocks in hiring queer actors, citing “systemic homophobia” as one factor that limits opportunities for them.

“Nobody asked but since we started casting for Gaya, I gained better understanding of why, despite good intentions, some productions resort to casting straight actors for gay parts,” he said. “Grabe, the paltry amount of experienced queer actors that went to audition was disappointing.”

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“Systemic homophobia pa rin ang kalaban (is still the enemy),” he wrote. “I learned na some queer actors are actually dissuaded from pursuing gay parts because 1.) They’re not ready to come out yet and taking on a gay role will inevitably subject them to convos about their sexuality.”

“2.) They’re worried they won’t get cast for other parts anymore and end up portraying the token gay best friend for all eternity because the industry hardly provides a platform for our stories,” he added.

In response to these concerns, he said that they made adjustments in the casting call: “In the end we decided not to specify in the casting call that we’re looking for queer actors, and let them decide whether they’re comfortable enough to disclose their SOGIE with us in the audition process.”

He appealed to audiences not to “pry” on the sexuality of their leads or of other productions with queer characters.

“Trust that we are prioritizing queer actors, [especially] the out and proud because that’s what’s best for our advocacy,” he said. “But we must choose who’ll best serve the story, too. If someone we find is best for a part isn’t out yet, let’s not force him, okay? We know that’s not cool.”

Online auditions closed last June 12. “Gaya sa Pelikula” follows an architecture student who joins a film organization in school and finds himself falling for an upperclassman in the organization.

For those who want a sneak peek into the series, Severo has published parts of it on Wattpad.  /ra

RELATED STORIES:

Juan Miguel Severo writing a ‘Boys’ Love’ series for LGBTQ+ community: ‘This is a love story you deserve’

Pixar’s latest short film ‘Out’ features first gay main character

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TAGS: Boys Love, Gaya sa Pelikula, Juan Miguel Severo, LGBTQ, representation
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