A new documentary series is set to air on BBC which tracks the historical development of gay hookup culture from the 1970s up until today.
Written and directed by Oliver Mason, Have We Met Before? revolves around two gay men living in London played by Pierre Emo and Stanton Plummer Cambridge. Although the characters remain the same age throughout the story, they connect and reconnect again and again across several decades through the various, changing modes of hooking up.
From outdoor ‘cruising’ to public restroom ‘cottaging’ to the rapid upsurge in online dating and apps such as Grindr, the film tracks a correspondence between the development in hookup styles with the progress of the LGBT+ movement and the slow relinquishment of the veil surrounding sexuality and dating for LGBT+ people:
“You would stand at the urinal, they would start looking at you and you would start looking at them, they could only be a gay person, straight people would never do that…
“It was an absolute lifeline to so many people, it was not their only means of communication, but their only hope for finding either sex or love…
“You had Grindr to order a man if you’re feeling like it and I very much thought of it as, like, going on Amazon and ordering myself a man for the afternoon”.
The docudrama also exposes the harsh reality for LGBT+ people in the last century and highlights the progress that has been made in the Pride Movement.
Acted scenes are interjected with interviews with people from the ages of nineteen to seventy-three, providing a commentary on the transformation of gay hookup culture over the past fifty years.
Have We Met Before? premiered at the BFI Southbank in London and broadcasted on BBC 4 last month. Watch it online on BBC iplayer, or view the trailer:
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