★★★★ You know when the intelligent heavyweight that is Stephen Fry puts his name to any programme that people will listen.
And I certainly do hope they listen, watch and take note of Stephen Fry’s brand new mini-series for BBC 2 Out There, which follows Fry around the world in an effort to understand why some people hate gay people.
In a two part series Fry travels to Russia, India, Brazil, Africa and the USA to meet with people who are suffering from government and societally imposed homophobia and those who instigate the hate.
Often harrowing to watch, but vitally important, Fry’s Out There follows similarly in the footsteps of Scott Mills’s 2011 documentary, The World’s Worst Place To Be Gayon a journey to Africa, most notably Uganda.
Uganda is infamous for wanting to install a ‘Kill The Gays’ law. A law that would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death.
He talks live on air with Pastor Solomon Male (again from the Scott Mills film) who preaches about the evils of gay anal sex. Fry also talks to a lesbian victim of ‘corrective rape’ and he meets with a Ugandan minister who’s fixation on hating gay people is beyond arguing with, although let it be said that Fry puts up some incredibly articulate and erudite arguments, to which these anti-gay mouthpieces simply cannot answer to – and even tells the minister that homosexuality is enjoyable and should try it.
The programme also interviews American therapist Doctor Joseph Nicolosi who claims he can rid you of your homosexuality by reparative therapy, a highly controversial treatment that aims to re-programme your mind to what you’re actually turned on by.
Later Fry meets with a former reparative therapy client, Dan Gonzales, who, thousands of dollars of therapy later – is still gay – and happily so.
Another heartbreaking interview which highlights the struggles that many gay people face, is the story of Farshad, a 28-year-old Iranian who has fled his homeland in fear – and is now seeking asylum in the UK; after having a relationship with another man.
His boyfriend was made to accuse him of rape or otherwise face the consequences of being gay in Iran, a fate demonstrated by Fry sitting at his laptop watching public hangings of gay men.
The second episode of Out There is broadcast tonight on BBC 2 at 9.00PM.