Thursday, May 26, 2016
'Pups are people too' - aftermath of the #HumanPups
It was a rather anxious and worried pup that sat on the sofa with my partner last night, waiting for 'The secret life of human pups' to start on Channel 4 - and with one eye on the twitter #HumanPups feed. Would the film be the 'heartwarming examination of the scene' that the Director had promised? What parts of my interview would the Director have chosen - and how would we all come across on screen? How would the community react - and what would the rest of the world make of our 'coming-out'...?!
I am so relieved to see that, in general, the response has been very positive. Sure, there's been a fair share of 'WTF?' from the general public on twitter - and even a few 'you should be shot!' haters - but they were far outweighed by the 'fair enough', and 'each to their own' responses that I would expect from a country who loves and embraces eccentricity. There's even been some very insightful reporting in the more 'quality' newspapers like The Guardian and even the Telegraph
So much of the film was focused around Spot. I am amazed at how brave he was in baring his soul quite so deeply - and how sensitive and heart-rending Guy's editorial was in showing the real person behind the latex mask. Rachel came across as a true brick, and a genuine friend - but it would have been nice to see a little of the softer side that I am sure is there in Colin. I fully understand Colin not wanting to air his feelings about the dynamic with Rachel, but Spot's head-hanging reaction to His 'I'm not discussing this on camera' was genuinely heart-rending. It made me feel so incredibly lucky that my own partner and Handler are such good friends with absolutely no jealousy between them...
It was a shame that Spot didn't win the Mr Puppy Europe competition; we all love you anyway, you sweet and adorable pup!
There has been some interesting debate in the community around the regular insistence, particularly from Kye of PuppyPride that puppy play is 'Absolutely NOT sexual' - and that the film focused entirely on male pups (many of whom were straight). I think that was a very considered chosen angle, aimed at softening the blow for a viewing public who were already in a high state of shock and confusion from the very concept that some people like to dress-up and act like pups... focusing on the sexual and gay BDSM-scene aspects would have risked turning the film into a 'kinky perverts' sort of expose, and so I feel that Guys choice to focus on the man inside the suit was a good choice.
Besides, Spot was chosen to feature because of him being the current Mr Puppy UK - as such, it was only fair that he get to express what pup-play means for *him*. I think there was still enough reference to the fact that other pups have a strong fetish background in the 'chorus' parts, and there was also lots of more sexualised play shown in the shots of play at Mr Pup Europe to show that pup play can be a broad and inclusive community.
A shout out also must go Andy and the PupSocial. Andy came across as such a deeply kind and caring guy (just as I personally know Him to be from the interactions I've ad with Him) - the *perfect* Handler for his love and concern for the pups under His care and protection. The shots of his Pup Social, and how much *fun* it looks goes to show why it's the biggest puppy event in the country.
As to myself - I'm fairly happy with how my own contribution was presented. It was embarrassing enough to see my hooded head come up on screen, but I must admit to a total 'oh fuck! that's me outed then...!' moment when Guy included the full-body/tattoo-sleeve shots of me at the piano...
I think Handler was relatively happy too. He was busy at home with His partner, so we couldn't get to watch it together. We did chat afterwards though and He said He was very proud of His pup being on screen. And I guess, that's all that really matters.
Most of all, I'd like to say a 'Thank you!' to Guy and the production crew at Fire Cracker Films. I know there were a few issues that meant you were unable to present exactly the film that you had planned, but I still think you created the genuinely heart warming film that was your original intent. Thank you - I think you did our little community proud.