A new television limited series celebrates queer love and promotes acceptance in the LGBTQ community, all within the setting of a Catholic school.
Love Beneath the Stars, produced by Dolly Dulu and streaming on iWantTFC, continues the story from The Boy Foretold by the Stars, a film which won multiple awards at the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival including 2nd Best Picture and the Gender Sensitivity Award, reported Yahoo News.
The main characters, Dominic and Luke, played by Adrian Lindayag and Keann Johnson, are students at St. Francis Catholic School in the Philippines and initially bond at a school retreat, later sharing a kiss in front of their peers at graduation. The kiss makes its way to an online video seen by school administration, leading the principal and faculty to consider their response. Notably, the leaders of the school are portrayed as more open-minded than judgmental, including a religious brother who argues the boys did nothing wrong.
Not shying away from the struggle that is too often part of the experience of LGBTQ folks, the series also features an emotional moment where Dominic opens up to his father about his need to be successful at school, feeling pressure to overcompensate because he is gay. The scene unpacks ideas of self-worth and identity and provides a model of communication for parents and LGBTQ children.
Love Beneath the Stars both celebrates and takes the difficult experiences of the LGBTQ community seriously. Yahoo News noted that Dulu’s choice to cast Lindayag “who is openly queer and effeminate as one of the leads…is a huge win in terms of representation, because not only is this a queer love story, it’s portrayed by someone from the community.” This commitment to inclusion encourages solidarity and helps LGBTQ young people to embrace their identity and their relationships in all their beauty and complexity.
Love Beneath the Stars is streaming on iWantTFC. To view a trailer, see below or click here.
—Angela Howard McParland, New Ways Ministry, November 8, 2021