Why I set up Hot Laser (Queer Arts Community)

Every year for the past four, there has been a tranny exodus to the Glastonbury Festival where we've gone and run amok in the NYC Downlow. After laughing my ass off the first year in 2007 (which continually pissed it down but has been one of my favourite lost weekends) I thought to myself, why is nobody documenting this?

The queer American scene has prolific films such as Paris is Burning, Wigstock, The Cockettes, Trannyshack, The Queen, and SqueezeBox! so I decided it was time to document the alternative drag scene that has recently emerged and thrived from east London.

While bobbing around in the Arabian Sea, I asked my friend Colin Rothbart if he'd be interested in making a film about the British queer scene and we started filming at the Downlow in June 2009. Realising we needed to do this properly, we set about becoming a Community Interest Company and received official status this summer.

During this process, my own focus shifted. I wanted to do something that incorporated more than the family of trannies and freaks that the film was documenting and extend it to queer creatives around the UK. For me, queer and gay have become so distant from each other that they're hardly related. Gay has become a commodity, queer is where the others, radicals and creatives live.

Queer is empowering. It's less to do with sexuality or gender, more about being different, other. Queer incorporates gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, intersex, transvestite, whatever....its less about what you do with your genitals, more about your outlook.

So what are we doing? We're making an amazing documentary about a bunch of queers and misfits, the lives behind the masks and to show mainstream culture being queer isn't confined to the safe asexual, inoffensive and bland generic vision what the BBC or the media perceive it to be.

We aim to link British based queer creatives together. Those working in art, music, writing, dance, design, fashion, anything creative. Britain is full of queer creatives, the aim is to bring everyone together, create links, encourage productivity and help isolated queers through the arts. This will eventually be done in the form of a website (exhibition, events, tour, book, album.. possibilities are endless) but for now we're doing it through fund-raising events where London's finest queers give their time for free to raise money for the group. (Next one Saturday 27th November at Vogue Fabrics).

Of course all this will take time and money. I have the passion and ideas but I'm a creative honey and need help with the official side of things. Fund-raising, legal, financial...all the important stuff that needs to be done so the fabulous stuff can blossom.

We need fund-raisers who know how to access people who'd like to invest in this amazing project. Professionals who can give us advice and help. Interns to help get this project off the ground and out there.

I'd like to see things being pushed forward and the extended family come together. People collaborating instead of protecting their own little scraps of land, hooking up with other groups and projects, taking it internationally, having fun and being amazing through the arts in all its glorious forms.


More info at www.hot-laser.com
If are interested in helping, please email me at holestar@gmail.com