Channel 4 Learning

Batty Man



00:00 – 05:50

Stephen K Amos tries out a social experiment in a busy South London street – 'spot the gay'. Passers-by wholeheartedly select the white guys in the line-up, proving two things: you can't tell who's gay by looking at them, and being gay is simply not associated with being black.

05:51 – 14:12

Amos has a comedy gig in Brixton and comes out to the audience during his show. The response is silence, tension, and even aggression. He speaks to young people in Tooting and finds a mixture of influences on their attitudes to gays – religion, masculinity, ethnic pride… and musical lyrics.

14:13 – 22:24

Amos heads to Kingston, Jamaica, where writers of those lyrics have legend status. He meets Elephant Man, who has only toned down the homophobia in his music so as not to lose money on shows. Workers at a gay rights organisation tell Amos of a co-worker, Lenford 'Steve' Harvey, who was murdered for being gay and trying to promote gay rights.

22:25 – 33:40

Amos meets a young gay man named Kevin, who prays to God to love him, even if his family won't. He tells Amos that gays in Jamaica are literally 'scared to death'. We find there are more churches per person in Jamaica than anywhere else in the world, and that some clerics see homosexuality as a 'condition' that can be cured. It seems that even the Bible is used as a weapon.

33:41 – 45:52

Back in the UK, Amos meets Perry and Olisa, two black gay teenagers. Being filmed for the programme forces Olisa to come out to his mother, and he's surprised at her positive reaction. Nathaniel and Stefan, on the other hand, were forced to leave home and seek love and affection in dangerous places.

45:51 – 47:40

Amos sums up: All the reasons cited in justification for homophobic views just don't wash. But the fear is real. Amos concludes that the only way to conquer homophobia is to stand up to those who promote and perpetuate it.

Channel 4's Citizenship and PSHE website
LGB section of 4Health's Sex site
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