Hidden homelessness and gay relationships are explored in fascinating short film, Outdoors

A still from the short film Outdoors with actors Sam Goodchild and Nathan Ives-Moiba sitting on a sofa

Outdoors, currently screening at BFI London Film Festival, is trying to debunk misconceptions about hidden homelessness in this empowering gay love story.

When Nathan (Nathan Ives-Moiba) meets Bim (Sam Goodchild) there is an undeniable pull between the two of them and they soon embark on a steamy romance.

However, as the two grow closer and start to form a relationship, the audience discovers alongside Nathan that Bim is homeless. 

As Nathan’s perspective is forced to shift and he decides to put love before preconceived stereotypes we see a heartwarming story of acceptance and hope play out on screen. 

Speaking about what he loves most about Bim, Goodchild tells PinkNews: “I immediately was struck by his playfulness and his vulnerability. 

Bim in Outdoors. (Grey Moth_Outdoors)

Hidden homelessness is explored with Outdoors’ character Bim. (Grey Moth/Outdoors)

“This battle to control how he is perceived by the world, and that he is a sensitive being who just wants to be loved.

“His armour is his cheekiness, his silence, his poker face, but once that is emotionally penetrated his heart is open to be taken.”

“In terms of researching hidden homelessness, where people hide their circumstances, there’s a real sort of shame factor, which actually parallels being queer,” writer and director John Fitzpatrick says. 

Having talked to people who work with the homeless, a lot of the time, they have to use their stories to barter for help. I didn’t want to be the person using their stories.”

Instead Fitzpartick worked closely with youth homeless charity, Accumulate, which offers creative workshops and people from the organisation came on as story consultants for Outdoors

According to research conducted by the Albert Kennedy Trust, LGBT young people are disproportionately represented in the young homeless population.

“I feel like it’s a positive thing for people to see that they too can fall in love, get a job, get their life on track,” Ives-Moiba says about the positive note Outdoors ends on.

“And have a connection with another human being in a mad city, despite their circumstances.”

Nathan in Outdoors. (Grey Moth_Outdoors)

Nathan’s life contrasts massively to Bim. (Grey Moth/Outdoors)

While Bim challenges the audience to humanise homeless people, Nathan also brings a refreshing bout of representation.

“I liked that it portrayed a black gay man doing well for himself, stable and with a good job,” Ives-Moiba says.

I love that they were two people actually quite comfortable with their sexuality. 

“They were ready to fall in love and ready to explore each other physically and emotionally and spiritually.”

As summed up by Goodchild: “To me, the film is a beautiful, authentic telling of queer love. It shows that love doesn’t judge, it doesn’t care how much money you have or what baggage you might carry. 

“Love is universal and I hope that people can see themselves in Bim and Nathan within this tender story.”