German LGBT actors come out en masse in plea for diversity

Participants hold a giant rainbow flag during a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade in Hong Kong in this file picture taken on November 8, 2014. — Reuters pic
Participants hold a giant rainbow flag during a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade in Hong Kong in this file picture taken on November 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

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BERLIN, Feb 5 — A group of 185 LGBT German actors staged a mass coming-out in a national newspaper today in an appeal for more diversity in the worlds of TV, film and theatre.

The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors published a joint manifesto in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung calling for a change in attitudes and more LGBT characters in scripts.

“Until now, we have not been able to talk openly about our private lives without fearing repercussions on our professional lives,” they said.

Interviewed by the newspaper, many said they had been warned not to declare their sexuality because it would prevent them from being considered for heterosexual roles.

“We are actors. We don’t have to be what we play. We act as though we were — that is our job,” they said.

They also decried the overrepresentation of straight white men both on and off screen.

Those interviewed included Eva Meckbach, 40, known for her roles in the 2012 film Home for the Weekend and cult crime series Tatort.

“Reality should be as diverse on screen as it is in real life... Society is much wider and more diverse than the decision-makers think,” she said.

Karin Hanczewski, 39, another star of Tatort, said: “When we talked about it as a group, it suddenly became clear that this was how we could change something — as a group, as a big group.” — AFP

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