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Russell T Davies: There’s danger in the air for the LGBT community

Russell T Davies (Jane Barlow/PA)
Russell T Davies (Jane Barlow/PA)

Russell T Davies has said the Don’t Say Gay movement in the US proves the LGBT community cannot relax about preserving its rights.

The screenwriter, whose credits include Doctor Who and It’s A Sin, said he could sense “danger in the air” and stressed the importance of telling LGBT stories on screen.

In March, the Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, signed a Bill into law that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from pre-school to third grade, despite criticism that it marginalises LGBT people.

Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2022
John Whaite with his Strictly Come Dancing pro partner Johannes Radebe (Jacob King/PA)

During an interview with former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite for, Davies addressed the lack of “queer” people on TV and took aim at the Bill.

He said: “Well that’s the point, visibility.

“More and more, I think that people take offence, and become prejudiced without even realising, when they imagine that something from their childhood has been undermined.

“And specifically when a fundamental visual image is altered.

“Whether that’s your childhood notion of mum and dad, or Jesus and the apostles, or boy kissing girl.

“If you learnt it when you were one, then you get upset when it’s changed, even if that change is simply the harmless existence of something other.

“So that’s why we need more images, more visibility, for everyone, from the youngest age, so a wider, diverse world becomes more natural, more real, more accepted. More happy!”

Virgin BAFTA TV Awards 2022 – London
Ncuti Gatwa (Ian West/PA)

Asked about his ambitions for LGBT rights, he added: “I think we need more and more, we’ve had thousands of years of straight stories, we’ve got a long way to go before we catch up.

“And there’s danger in the air.

“The Don’t Say Gay movement proves that we can’t relax.

“What happens in America, then comes here.”

Davies created the pioneering 1999 TV series Queer As Folk, which chronicled the lives of three gay men living in Manchester.

He is also returning as Doctor Who’s showrunner after departing the programme in 2009 and has cast Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa in the lead role.

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