Sequin In A Blue Room – exploring the darker side of anonymous online hookups
When ‘Sequin’ connects with a captivating stranger in ‘The Blue Room’, he sets off on an exhilarating and dangerous mission to track him down. Sequin is exploring his burgeoning sexuality through an obsession with anonymous, no-strings hook-ups. That is until he finds his way into the mysterious, strictly anonymous ‘Blue Room’ – where a whole new, alluring world unfolds before him. There, Sequin connects with a captivating stranger, but they are separated suddenly. Utterly fixated on this man, Sequin sets off on an exhilarating and dangerous mission to track him down.
When I set out to make this film, I wanted to tell a queer coming of age story, one that truthfully reflected a modern-day experience. A digital coming of age. A world of online instant access and sexual discovery on demand. A world where vastly different experiences of being queer collide within one social app. At its heart, this film is a story of wanting to grow up fast, a story of our fantasies colliding with realities.
The queer community in Australia, much like the rest of the western world, is experiencing a shift, a generational divide. With the sexual fluidity and liberation of the new generation reflecting the limitations imposed on the generations before it. This unique tension served as a foundation for the film as our protagonist hurdles through the intense complexity of his community in the search for love. Due to the political and social circumstances of the times, a large amount of queer films of the past and present have looked outward. Concerned with presenting an image of the queer experience to the outside world. For this film I wanted to look inward, to examine and question a specific part of our community as it is today.
I made this film at twenty-five. I grew up as part of the first generation of young queer people to come of age with social media and hook-up app communication. From Googling what it meant to be gay to joining “Gay Teen Chat Rooms” and talking to strangers from around the world. From having to learn about gay sex from internet pornography to meeting my first boyfriend on Myspace. Every part of my coming of age as a queer person has been informed by the internet. The good and the bad. I grew up faster than the teenagers around me in school. An experience I know a lot of queer people share. Our coming of age walks hand in hand with coming out, and for me that meant the forming of my sexual identity as a constant act of transgression. This led me to experiences I wasn’t ready for and situations that put me in danger.
During the writing process for Sequin In A Blue Room, my co-writer Jory Anast and I met, interviewed and discussed coming of age during this era with other queer people of our generation. It was an incredible feeling to be surrounded by individuals sharing similar
experiences. A reoccurring theme amongst us all was this tension between sexual discovery and transgression. A close friend spoke to me of their experiences growing up with hook-up apps saying, “I can’t believe the situations I put myself in. If I told anyone about it they would tell me how dangerous it could have been. But I did it, then I left, didn’t tell anyone and largely pretended it didn’t happen.” These shared experiences, themes and ideas all went into forming a character, a place and a social app that became the building blocks for Sequin In A Blue Room.
Available from Peccadillo Pictures.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.