Outfest’s Anything’s Possible Red Carpet Was All About Queer Joy

Billy Porter, Eva Reign, and Abubakr Ali
Billy Porter, Eva Reign, and Abubakr Ali

This year’s Outfest kicked off its festivities with Billy Porter’s directorial debut, Anything’s Possible. The film premiered on Sunday, July 14 at Outfest’s opening gala and the stars were out to celebrate.

The film is being described as a delightfully modern Gen Z coming-of-age story that “follows Kelsa, a confident high school girl who is trans, as she navigates through senior year. When her classmate Khal gets a crush on her, he musters up the courage to ask her out, despite the drama he knows it could cause. What transpires is a romance that showcases the joy, tenderness, and pain of young love.”

It was a story that resonated with Porter, who has long been a trailblazer when it comes to being out. “I chose myself decades ago. I chose myself in a time when my queerness was not popular. Everybody told me my queerness would be my liability — allies and haters alike. And it was for decades until it wasn’t. And now it’s my superpower. And now it’s time to change the world. Period,” he told PRIDE on the red carpet.

The story reflects changing attitudes towards queer and trans people, particularly in the younger generations. It’s a move Porter describes as “magical,” but says the next step for young people is to get involved politically. “We need to make sure that this generation engages in politics. We need to make sure that they vote. Our power comes in our voice... now we have to use it,” he said.

For the film’s star, Eva Reign, playing the role of Kelsa hasn’t only been meaningful for her, but she hopes it will change the lives of those watching. “Now there will be another black trans girl growing up in the middle of nowhere who can hop on Amazon Prime Video and see someone just like her,” Reign told us. She considers getting to be a part of that “a beautiful honor.”

It was that same need for trans joy and representation that inspired the film itself, writer Ximena García Lecuona told PRIDE. “I wrote this at a time when I was first considering transitioning for myself and coming to terms with my trans identity. I was looking for stories about trans joy. I was worried that I was going to have a hard time and that I wasn’t going to be loved,” she shared. “I imagined this [film] from what I was observing on the internet and with kids today, that more and more trans women are being accepted and finding love and having relationships and I wanted to explore what that was like.”

The screenwriter hopes audiences will find the film inspiring and affirming, particularly for trans viewers. “If you’re a trans girl, love is possible,” she stressed. “Not only possible, it’s probable you’re going to be loved completely for who you are and nothing else, and that’s something we as trans people often forget. I just hope that this story reminds people that whoever you are… that love is around the corner.”

Watch PRIDE’s interviews with the cast, crew — and some surprise celebs — walking the red carpet below. Stay Tuned to Pride.com for more red carpet footage during this eventful week!

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