What if…the world was gay?

A flip-side world where being lesbian and gay is the norm, with adverts, shops and television constantly reminding you. It is a world where Drag Queen Handbag Tossing is the main event at the Olympics; 95% of America’s mainly gay and lesbian population voted for Hillary Clinton; the freedom flag replaces the Union Jack above Westminster; women are the ones wearing the trousers and designer babies are becoming common place.

But all is not as bright and ‘gay’ as it would seem…

In this parallel universe the ‘straights’ are in the minority, in the closet, tolerated but still loathed and prejudiced against by some; it is a world where the minority culture of ‘breeders’ could soon be extinct; where a man and a woman holding hands in public can lay them open to abuse and even violence.

Welcome to Homoworld.

The idea and concept of Homoworld was devised by Catherine Butler, a clinical psychologist who realised that during her training in 2001 her course did not cover sexual diversity and its associated issues. Homoworld was therefore written as a short story to be used as part of a lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) awareness raising workshop.

The story details the day-in-the-life of a closeted heterosexual couple living in Homoworld. Heterosexual participants in training and educational sessions can identify with the main characters and experience through imagination what it is like to live in a sexual minority. They are often surprised by the pervasiveness and subtlety of ‘heterosexism’ and the ideas it suggests puts them into a mindset where they can experience being 'different'.

With the story becoming widely used in academic circles, Clinical Director at The University of East London, Neil Rees, felt that it would work well - and find a wider audience - if it was adapted into a short film. Neil and Catherine paired up to progress this project.