Monday, 16 December 2019

WATCH: Bear’s Den - 'The Star of Bethnal Green'

Today is very very very exciting because I'm taking a trip down to London after work to see the Bear's Den Christmas concert for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). True to form they've got a superb line-up alongside them with Matthew & The Atlas, Christof van der Ven, Seramic and Wovoka Gentle, AND the show is in a church. It's going to be a beautiful evening and all for a good cause - I can't wait! For now though, I'm revelling in the beauty of their brand new music video for The Star of Bethnal Green, taken from their recent Only Son of the Falling Snow EP. 

The track is about somebody at Christmas watching a singer in a bar and feeling overwhelmed by the performance, feeling as if their entire life and identity is revealed to them through the song. The video was written and directed by award-winning trans director, actor and activist Jake Graf - the band met Jake and his wife after a London show and were desperate to find something to collaborate on, and this was the perfect opportunity! Playing on the story of the ghost of Christmas past, the video highlights the pandemic of violence against trans people. 


Jake Graf shares that "as a trans man who grew up without any positive representations to aspire to, I know how important it is that we start seeing more trans visibility in the mainstream media. We have seen more and more allies to the community standing up and being counted but as our tiny trans community continues to be attacked and vilified we truly need all the support that we can get [...] trans murders have hit an all time high, with trans women in particular being targeted. This film combines the magic of Christmas with the powerful and hopeful story of an older trans woman being guided towards living as her authentic self. Older LGBTQ people are so often overlooked in cinema and the media that it felt like an important choice to depict such a rarely seen character."

Actor Jordan Revell talks about her involvement in the video, sharing that "I'm extremely proud to have worked with Jake Graf and Bear's Den on the video, telling a truth experienced by many trans people around the world. This story is personal to me as a transgender woman experiencing the fear of coming out, being mocked and discriminated against by the majority on a daily basis. I'm perhaps one of the lucky ones who so far has managed to avoid threats, acts of violence and hate against me, but not all of our trans brothers and sisters are so fortunate, and with this story we show our solidarity and commemorate the 331 murdered trans people this year alone [Trans Respect Versus Transphoboia (TvT) Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) research project update published 20th Nov 2019]. I hope this video inspires people to seek education and enlightenment on LGBTQ+ issues and in turn help us to work together for a more accepting and safe future for all.

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