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My Gay Toronto - Ray's Anatomy

The cost of a Front Cover

by RAYMOND HELKIO -

While in New York studying at Columbia University, film director Ray Yeung developed a screenplay for his feature film Front Cover. Just released on Netflix Canada, it's the story of a gay Chinese American who trades in his cultural heritage for social status. According to Yeung the film is resonating with gay and Asian audiences alike, "Audience members would come to me after the screening and tell me about their experience. It is sad to know that there are so many people out there who suffered the same issue as the main character. The world set an unattainable standard to be perfect unless you are a white heterosexual male who is successful, intelligent, fit and good looking."

Front Cover tells the story of Ryan Fu, a gay Chinese American who rejects his Asian heritage to climb up the social ladder. Through talent and hard work he has attains his dream job as an assistant to Francesca, a celebrity fashion stylist. One day he is assigned by a top magazine to style Ning, an actor who has just arrived from Beijing. Ning dismisses Ryan's initial Western styling and demands Ryan creates an image for him which represents the power of the new China. Their opinions clash resulting in a strained working relationship. Over the following days, they socialize whilst working together and discover not only do they share a lot in common, a mutual attraction begins to develop. As they get closer Ryan reveals that he detests his Chinese heritage because he is ashamed of his impoverished upbringing. Ning also opens up and confesses that he is closeted. As they fall in love, a Chinese tabloid magazine exposes Ning as gay. Terrified of the impact it will have on his career, Ning begs Ryan to lie for him at a press conference. Ryan must now decide whether to help Ning or stay true to himself.

(Photo above is a production still from the film, below is actor Jake Choi who plays Ryan.)

Bitch Diva's Birthday Bash - Friday May 12, 2017 - 120 Diner, 8PM - $20

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