Christopher Hines knows gay men. Since leaving CNN to become a filmmaker, this former Atlantan has created a number of documentaries focusing on them. He's back this weekend to screen his latest work at Out on Film.
Hines (second photo) does manly, hairy men well and often includes gay Atlanta in his film projects, which include “Legalize Gay,” “Man 2 Man: A Gay Man’s Guide to Finding Love,” “The Adonis Factor,” “The Butch Factor” and “The Long & Short of Body Hair.” And when he's got a new project to debut, he often unveils it at Out on Film, where he returns on Sunday for the world premiere of his documentary “Bad Ass Gays” before it hits Logo this fall.
Hines once again focuses on a different part of the gay community with “Bad Ass Gays.” This time around, Hines takes a look at gay men defying stereotypes – whether they’re driving around a NASCAR track or leading a combat mission. Before the premiere, we caught up with Hines to talk about his new film, his upcoming projects, and what Atlanta audiences can expect.
You've tackled different aspects of the LGBT spectrum in previous films. What inspired “Bad Ass Gays?”
Since I completed my first gay film, “The Butch Factor,” five years ago, there has been so much progress in the struggle for LGBT equality. This new generation of gay men sees no boundaries in what they can accomplish, while at the same time being open and honest about who they are. These “Bad Ass Gays” are actually the first men to be openly gay in their sports and professions, from a Navy SEAL to a mixed marital arts fighter, WWE wrestler, professional boxer and mountain climber. These guys are also excelling in what are considered more masculine or manly roles, helping to show the diversity of the gay community and hopefully serving as role models for other gay men and creating a better understanding for their straight counterparts. One thing these guys all do share in common is their drive and determination to succeed, no matter what.
How did you find the “Bad Ass Gays” featured in the film?
I found a lot of these guys by just researching on the Internet, looking at certain professions, word of mouth and reaching out to see if the they were interested in telling their story. Luckily for me, most of them were. There’s still a lot of “Bad Ass Gays” out there I would like to feature in future films.
The film's screening at Out on Film marks its official premiere. What are your thoughts on showing it here in Atlanta?
Out on Film screened my first film, “The Butch Factor,” and that was the year that Jim Farmer and Craig Hardesty took over the festival. They have really turned it around, making it one of the premiere LGBT film festivals in the country and one of my personal favorites. I love Atlanta, lived there for four years while I worked for CNN, always great to come back. Guys always sell-out my screenings, so I am very loyal to them. I’ll be giving away free tickets at a premiere party at the Eagle on Saturday night, Oct. 4. Some Bad Ass Gays from the film will be there and at the screening for a Q&A. Should be a fun weekend!
What's on the horizon for you, professionally?
I’m working on some new film projects with Logo, including one titled “Gays in Prison,” hosted by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Latrice Royale, who talked about her prison experience of the reality show. The film takes a look at the unique struggle of gay men currently behind bars and those who were recently released. Gay men actually have a much higher rate of incarceration than their straight counterparts.
I would also like to reach out to any gay men in Atlanta who have been in prison to contact me about being interviewed about their experiences. I can forward them more information if you email me.
Convince the gays to come see 'Bad Ass Gays.'
This is an action-packed, dramatic, fun and thoroughly entertaining film about gay men breaking out proud for the first time in an unprecedented variety of sports and professions. Whether taking a hard punch in the ring, careening 180 mph around a race track or leading a combat mission, it's a brave new world for gay men openly pursuing their professional passions, defying stereotypes, discrimination and setting the stage for a new generation. “Bad Ass Gays” is a documentary that tells the personal stories of gay men in “manly” professions, going on the job with them, revealing their motives, passions, joys, challenges and struggles to succeed.