A look inside new queer Irish erotic thriller Never Kill a Femboy on the First Date

We had a chat with filmmaker Lee Loi Chieng, who was among the winners of Virgin Media Discovers 2023 after he submitted the short.

Shot from short film Never Kill a Boy on The First Date.
Image: Supplied - Lee-Loi Chieng

Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) is coming back to the Irish capital this weekend, with a programme packed with queer features and LGBTQ+ Irish shorts. Among the highlights is also Never Kill a Femboy on the First Date, a short film written by Chinese/Malaysian and Irish filmmaker Lee Loi Chieng.

The short, directed by Oonagh Kearney and produced by Aoibhín Murphy, follows Mîn, an Asian Irish crossdresser in his attempt to seduce a closeted GAA player. However, things take a dangerous turn when a group of young men watch the pair have sex and then find out that Mîn is not a woman.

GCN had a chat with Lee Loi Chieng, who was among the winners of Virgin Media Discovers 2023 after he submitted the script for Never Kill a Femboy on the First Date. When asked about what people can expect from his short film, the screenwriter told us that the audience will be in for a very unique type of queer representation.

“We are playing into the fact that Mîn is such an outsider as a character and who they are as a person that allows them to kind of get up to those crazy shenanigans,” Lee Loi Chieng said. “And Mîn is on a mission. Mîn has met a really hot guy, who is this GAA player and he’s trying his best to seduce him.”


As the short progresses, we see Mîn and his new conquest break into a GAA club and hook up there. While this happens, outside the club there are “three lads who are just loitering around drinking. And from that distance, they think they’re seeing just a woman and a guy having heterosexual sex,” Chieng explained. “Things take a very interesting turn when they realise that what they’re watching is actually not heterosexual sex, but they’re watching a crossdresser.”

What follows is a portrayal of what Mîn will do to negotiate this and try to survive a night in which he’s put in a very precarious situation. Lee Loi Chieng explained that the goal of the short was to provide a different representation of the crossdresser community with respect to what is offered in mainstream films and TV series.

“They’re either often represented as monsters, or they’re represented as victims,” he said. “Whereas for this, I wanted Mîn to be the hero. And on top of that, he’s also very feminine. So that’s a very different depiction.

“I think sometimes with queer content, we can go in a much more, let’s say, heterosexual-passing direction. Which is absolutely fine, because there’s all sorts of characters,” Chieng added. “But I wanted someone who was so unapologetically queer, and feminine, and was still the hero of their own story.

“I wanted to show the crafts that went into the crossdressing community that often gets overlooked,” he said. “The challenge I wanted to give to everyone was, even if you’re not visually attracted to men, I wanted there to be a universal appeal, because of just how amazing my character is, and the actor portraying it.”


Before working on Never Kill a Femboy on the First Date, Lee-Loi Chieng’s previous experience in writing focused on lighter stuff, such as comedy. “I wanted to do 180 of what I’d been known for the years before. I was writing all the cute little comedy dramas with cute gay and queer romances. And now I’m kind of coming on with this. And it’s so so different,” he shared.

“I wanted to challenge myself and the thought of writing an erotic thriller was really scary to me,” he said. “But I was like, we haven’t done this in Ireland really. Whether it’s in a feature film or a TV series, it hasn’t been done that much.”

DIFF is one of the biggest film festivals in Ireland and having a short screening at this event is mind-blowing for Lee-Loi Chieng. “You see the posters, you see the ad on TV and you know, it’s a big, big festival, and everybody’s going. It’s a sold-out show,” he said. “I cannot believe it’s been sold out. It’s crazy to think that people are going to watch it.”


As a final message for GCN’s audience and especially for all the queer filmmakers reading this, Chieng said: “Virgin Media Discovers 5 is going to open up this year, so new people can submit new projects, new ideas, new stories. And if you’re a queer writer or queer director and you’re completely new to the industry and you have a damn good idea – send it in to them.

“I went into this with no support. I went in on my own, just as a writer. I didn’t have a director attached, I didn’t have a producer, I didn’t have a production company. I’m an outsider, I don’t come from that world,” he said. “If the idea is good, you will make it and they will help you with the rest.

“So if you’re someone who’s nervous, but you have a really great idea and maybe you want to tell another amazing queer story do really send it.”

Never Kill a Femboy on the First Date will premiere at the Dublin International Film Festival on February 24 at 5pm in the Light House. For those who can’t attend the event, the short will also be aired on Virgin Media Television 1 on March 1 at 11pm and will consequently be available on the player.

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