Transcript: Us = Them | Oct 11, 2017

On a black slate, a caption reads "The subject of our documentary has asked for his identity to be kept anonymous. He is visually represented by an actor."

(music plays)

A shadowy silhouette says I GREW UP IN A SMALL
TOWN IN PAKISTAN.
I WOULD SAY A FAMILY'S
IMPORTANT TO ME,
HOWEVER, REALIZING THAT
I'M GAY I'VE HAD TO MAKE
A FEW CHANGES IN MY WAY OF
THINKING BECAUSE I'M NOT OUT
TO MY PARENTS, AND I'M
NOT READY TO COME OUT.

A couple sit down for dinner.

A logo reads "Us equals them." The "equal" sign is represented by the gay flag divided in two.

The man in shadows says A LARGE PORTION OF CANADIANS
HOLD A BAD VIEW OF ISLAM
AND MUSLIMS.
IT MAKES ME FEEL BAD
IN THE SENSE THAT
I FEEL LIKE I'M
A GOOD PERSON.

The man approaches a piece of street art with a caption that reads "For Orlando. June 2016."

He says I READ A BOOK CALLED
THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS.
AND IN IT THERE WAS
A CHARACTER WHO SAID
THAT I DO NOT FOLLOW
THE RELIGION OF ISLAM
BUT I DO FOLLOW THE
TEACHING THAT SAYS YOU CANNOT ROB
PEOPLE OF THINGS.
WHETHER IT BE RIGHTS,
BELONGINGS, MATERIALISTIC
THINGS OR THEIR
EMOTIONAL STABILITY.
SO THAT IS THE CORE PRINCIPLE
THAT I ABIDE BY NOW.
IN THE SENSE THAT WHATEVER I
DO I TRY NOT TO HURT SOMEONE.
AND IF MY ACTIONS ACTUALLY
DO NOT HURT SOMEONE
THEN I FEEL LIKE
THEY'RE OKAY.
IN MY SMALL TOWN IN PAKISTAN
BEING GAY WAS NOT A THING.
THE WORD DID
NOT EXIST.
AND I ASSUMED THAT
EVERYONE HAS THE SAME
FEELINGS AS ME.
WHEN I CAME TO CANADA
IN GRADE 9 I USED TO BE
VERY EFFEMINATE AND
PEOPLE WOULD START
CALLING ME GAY.
AND THAT'S WHEN
I LOOKED IT UP.
AND THEN I FOUND OUT, OKAY,
IF THIS IS WHAT BEING GAY
MEANS, THEN I
GUESS I'M GAY.
AND I GUESS THIS IS
DIFFERENT THAN EVERYONE ELSE.
NOT EVERYONE
FEELS THIS WAY.

The person crosses a street where the pedestrian crossing is a gay flag.

The man says THE FIRST PERSON THAT
I CAME OUT TO WAS
MY HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND.
AFTER GRADE 11,
OR AFTER GRADE 12.
I HAD TO TELL SOMEONE.
SO I TOOK HIM TO A PARK,
AND I COULDN'T SAY IT.
THE WORDS JUST WOULDN'T
LEAVE MY MOUTH.
SO I HAD MY PHONE AND
I JUST TYPED ON IT.
AND I COULDN'T EVEN
SHOW HIM THE PHONE
I WAS SO AFRAID.
HE ASKED ME, 'CAN
I GUESS WHAT IT IS?'
BECAUSE HE SAW ME
BEING SO NERVOUS.
SO HE SAID 'ARE YOU GAY?'
AND I WAS LIKE YES.
AND HE WAS COMPLETELY
OKAY WITH IT.
RIGHT AFTER HE'S LIKE LET'S
GO GET CHIPS FROM METRO.
I HEARD MY PARENTS TALK
ABOUT GAY PEOPLE BEFORE,
AND THEY WERE NOT
ACCEPTING OF IT.
SO THAT KIND OF GIVES
ME A CLUE TO THE FACT
THAT IF I COME OUT
TO MY PARENTS,
IT MIGHT NOT GO AS WELL
AS I WOULD IMAGINE.
I'VE MADE A GOOD EFFORT IN
THE PAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS
TO SEPARATE MYSELF
FROM MY FAMILY.
AND THEY KNOW THAT I'VE
BEEN TRYING TO SEPARATE MYSELF,
BUT THEY DON'T KNOW WHY.
I DO FEEL LIKE I
MISSED OUT ON THINGS,
BUT THAT'S HOW THE
CARDS ARE DEALT, I GUESS.
THAT'S HOW IT'S
SUPPOSED TO BE.
I TRY NOT TO
LET IT AFFECT ME.
AND I DON'T FEEL LIKE
IT'S A BIG PRICE TO PAY
FOR MY FREEDOM.

A Canadian flag appears on screen.

The man says AND FOR ME TO BE HERE IN
CANADA WAS ALMOST A MIRACLE.
GOING FROM THAT RELIGIOUS
A COMMUNITY TO COMPLETELY
180 IN CANADA AND HAVING
MY BELIEFS CHANGED AS WELL.
I FEEL LIKE MY EXPERIENCE
IS UNIQUE ENOUGH THAT
IF I SPEAK OUT IT
MIGHT SHED LIGHT
ON SOMETHING THAT HAS
NOT BEEN SHARED BEFORE.
SOMEONE ELSE MIGHT LOOK AT
THIS AND BE, LIKE, OKAY,
THERE WAS SOMEONE WHO WENT
THROUGH THE SAME EXPERIENCE.
EVEN THOUGH THEY MIGHT
NOT KNOW ME PERSONALLY,
IT'S KIND OF
COMFORTABLE TO KNOW.
I LOOK AT CHRISTIAN
COMMUNITIES THAT USED TO BE
REALLY HOMOPHOBIC THAT
HAVE NOW CHANGED THEIR MINDS.
SO I DO HAVE HOPE FOR
THE ISLAMIC COMMUNITY
AS WELL TO CHANGE
THEIR MINDS.
ALTHOUGH, IT MIGHT
TAKE A WHILE.

A clip shows images of a gay parade.

The man says I WAS ONE OF THE FEW
PEOPLE WHO DID NOT GO
THROUGH A DILEMMA OF WHETHER
I'M A BAD PERSON OR NOT.
LIKE THEY WEREN'T COMING
OUT TO THEMSELVES.
AND I WOULD ASK OTHER PEOPLE
WHO ARE GOING THROUGH
THE SAME THING TO JUST
KNOW THAT YOU ARE GAY,
YOU'RE BORN THIS WAY, IT'S
OKAY TO QUESTION YOURSELF.
BUT DO NOT GO INTO THE
REALM OF SELF-HATE
AND DESPISING YOURSELF.
BELIEVE IN WHAT
YOU'RE FEELING
AND QUESTION WHAT
YOU'RE TAUGHT
IN A HEALTHY,
SKEPTIC MANNER.
FAMILY IS NOT BY BLOOD,
AND YOU CAN ALSO CHOOSE
YOUR FAMILY.
ANY PAINFUL EXPERIENCE IS
TEMPORARY, AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Directors, Daniela Pinto and Kyle Smith.

Producer, Emily Rennie.

Editor, Arthur Zhu.

Stock footage clip provided by VideoPowWow-Ponds.

www.ponds.com

Sheridan.

Watch: Us = Them