The Men Who Speak Gayle




Andrew Brukman


South Africa | United Kingdom



Running Time:

11 min


English, Afrikaans

Nathan, a young mixed-race drag performer from Cape Town, is one of a few Gayle speakers – a secret language the gay community were forced to invent during Apartheid. After finding out that Louis, a white elderly gay man and original Gayle speaker, lives in a remote conservative South African desert town, he travels there to meet him. As a queer artist, Nathan intends to put on a Gayle performance and wants the help of Louis as they explore the language and its community further. There are just a few problems: they’ve never met, are two generations apart and from different cultural and racial backgrounds.

As the performance approaches in the evening, Nathan feels apprehensive and Louis isn’t doing much better. The townsfolk shuffle into the auditorium. The lights dim. The curtain raises. What spectacle have they got planned? And how will this small community react?