LGBT life in Inuit culture shown in new documentary
A new documentary will be premiering at Toronto’s Inside Out LGBT Film Festival that showcases what it’s like to be gay in different cultures.
Nuka Fennell, a 24-year-old gay Inuk, gambled on a new life when he left his home in Iqaluit at 16 and moved south.According to Star News, he had struggled to find acceptance in Canada’s Far North, where many have been taught that homosexuality is incompatible with traditional Inuit culture.
“I chose to be homeless in Ottawa as opposed to going back home because I just felt like it was the only way I would be able to survive,” Fennell said.
“People treated me like my identity was a condition,” he adds, explaining he was the victim of discrimination and violence in high school before moving away.
Fennell is one of the two subjects of Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things; according to The Star the film focuses on Iqaluit’s attempt to re-establish Pride celebrations in 2014 after a hiatus of several years. It also examines how some residents are actively “unshaming” themselves and learning to bridge the gap between their sexual and cultural identities.
The documentary’s title alludes to non-normative sexual identities in Inuit history: according to Jesse Mike, an Inuit woman profiled in the film, “two soft things rubbing against each other” is the literal translation of an Inuktitut term for lesbian relationships, while “two hard things rubbing against each other” signifies gay male sexuality.
Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things screens at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival on June 3. For more information: insideout.ca.
The Gayly- 5/30/16 @ 3:45 CDT