BBC3 reveals new series Queer Britain with YouTube star Riyahd Khalaf

The online channel will explore LGBT+ culture in the UK beginning this May

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Does God Hate Queers? Are Gays Racist? Queer and Proud? Just some of the contentious episode titles in BBC3’s new series Queer Britain, which aims to explore the issues facing the LGBT+ community in the UK today.

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YouTube star Riyadh Khalaf, who was raised a Catholic but has a Muslim father, begins with his own experience to explore what it’s like to be young and gay in modern Britain, in a six-part series set to be released in May this year.

“I’m incredibly excited for Queer Britain to be released,” Khalaf said. “This was a real passion-project which has moved, inspired and educated me in more ways than I ever could have imagined. The series pulls no punches and goes straight to the heart of the issues facing LGBTQ+ people in the UK today.

“At times it’ll make you feel uncomfortable, shocked and maybe even upset, but overall I think you will see the beauty and diversity of this community in its full glory. This is a raw representation of modern Queer life – the highs, the lows and the high heels!”

It’s not the only series on gay Britain planned by the BBC – Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss is managing a new series of dramas called Queers for BBC4, charting 100 years of LGBT+ culture in the UK.

Each episode will explore a different topic (full synopses below), with the first airing on the BBC3 website and iPlayer on Sunday 7 May.

“This is an exciting series that offers a distinctive, contemporary and colourful look at what it means to be young and queer in Britain today,” said BBC3 executive producer Max Gogarty. “Launching a formidable new talent in Riyadh, a diverse and young team behind the camera, plus brilliant short-form for social around each episode, I’m sure it will have real impact with audiences and the wider community.”

Check out the full episode titles and details from BBC3 below.

Episode 1: Does God Hate Queers?
Raised as Catholic, with a Muslim father, Riyadh has his own take on religion and being gay. He meets people who have lost their religious communities, found salvation in a new inclusive religious family, or found an unconventional route to having the best bits of their gay and faith identities.

Episode 2: The Search For The Perfect Body
Having himself felt the pressure to ‘masc-up’, Riyadh sets out to explore the fundamentals of masculinity in a bid to understand the growing trend of gay men suffering from increased levels of body dysmorphic disorder, eating disorders and self-harm. From the drag scene and femme-shaming through to taking part in a cover shoot for a gay magazine, Riyadh will be looking at where the pressure for masculine perfection is coming from.

Episode 3: Out On The Streets
Around a quarter of all homeless people in Britain identify as being LGBT – but once homeless, their sexual identity is overshadowed by the stigma of homelessness. If home is where the heart is, Riyadh asks, why do so many queer people find themselves without a home?

Episode 4: Are Gays Racist?
From a mixed-race household with Middle Eastern and Irish heritage, Riyadh with his unusual name and fair complexion knows first-hand how judgemental the gay community online can be. With his perceived ‘white privilege’, he explores the casual racism in the LGBTQ+ community and asks, when does preference become prejudice?

Episode 5: Porn Idols
Riyadh immerses himself into the world of pornography. In an age when the average teen is getting their sexual education online, Riyadh wants to get under the skin on what’s on offer. He’ll be looking at why gay men are fetishizing ‘chavs’, the difference between lesbians porn and queer porn, and what it our pornographic appetites tell us about sexual identity.

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Episode 6: Queer And Proud
Riyadh gets to grips with all things ‘Queer’. A once pejorative label, reclaimed by academics and activists in the 80s, it has now become an all-encompassing identity. So, what does it mean to be queer in Britain in 2017?