Indie film highlights the forgotten trailblazers

Round & About

Happy Retirement Mr Pickering reveals ‘the ongoing taboo of LGBTQ+ baby boomers’

Reading Biscuit Factory is premiering a new independent film on Thursday, 22nd September, Happy Retirement Mr Pickering, taking on an often taboo subject.

Happy Retirement Mr. Pickering revisits the important conversations of the largely forgotten baby boomer LGBTQ+ community and how many individuals are left behind or isolated by the modern gay rights movement.

Ascot-based independent filmmaker Keshav Shree’s film follows Freddie Pickering as he begins his retirement having played by the ‘rules’ for much of his life. He has worked hard, has a three-bedroom house and a long marriage to a strong conservative wife who has made sure they conform to society’s expectations.

Is Freddie now prepared to put all that at risk to be who he really is? Will he risk losing his social network to start afresh or will he keep his sexual orientation hidden?

Writer and director Keshav says: “These are a few of the battling decisions which baby boomers LGBTQ or the ‘Gayest Generation’ have to consider as they age in retirement. In fact, over 32% of older LGBTQ people fear ‘being lonely and growing old alone’ compared to 19% of heterosexuals in a recent study by MetLife (in conjunction with American Society on Aging and Lesbian and Gay Issues Network).”

The Happy Retirement Mr Pickering production team have worked with the LGBTQ community through interviews and focus groups and have cast Kevin West in the lead role – a gay actor who identifies with Freddie’s journey, having been in a heterosexual relationship before coming out as gay. The events, dialogue and setting are based around research of individuals in this demographic and the troubles they have had to face.

Keshav explains: “I wanted to portray this delicate story as authentically as possible. Having spent two years researching the project, I think we are finally at a place that does it justice and in the most palatable form – a dark comedy.

“Let’s ignite conversations about the generation that struggled most for this movement, yet seem to reap the least benefits from its achievements and progress.”

Find out more

After the screening there will be a Q&A with Keshav

The film will also be showing at The Boileroom Guildford on 24th November 24th and at The Old Court Windsor on December 8th.