Amir Dixon wasn’t sure how willing some young black gay men would be to go on record about the struggles they face.
But once Dixon established a rapport and a safe space, ”people opened up and shared very deep, deep things, like drug abuse and sex work and hurt and pain and vulnerability — all these major things.”
Dixon’s interview subjects, from cities around the country, realized ”that at the end of the day this isn’t about them. It’s about the larger community and sharing our stories. Far too often queer people of color are invisible in the larger scheme of things.”
Dixon whittled down 48 hours’ worth of interview footage to just 43 minutes to create Friend of Essex, a documentary named in honor of the late black gay writer and activist Essex Hemphill — and a play on the old Judy Garland-inspired code word for homosexuals, ”friend of Dorothy.”
Watch an the below video in which Amir Dixon talks about why he wanted to make Friend of Essex
Learn more about the film Friend of Essex and find out where it may be playing near you.