dir : Kim Chee Lee
2010 / Ontario, Canada / 4 min

I am an 80 year old gay Eurasian man born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, Canada who enjoys good health and has an active, involved life. I came out in my teens and was accepted with love and support by my family.

As a young boy I was sent to a small village in south China to live with my adopted grandmother and step mother. In my late teens I studied at Ling Nam, a private school for privileged boys in Guangdong province. Upon returning to Canada I continued my schooling in Winnipeg, Manitoba where I completed high school and then completed a 2 year mechanical engineering program in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

For 35 years I worked as a Time Study Analyst for a mechanical engineering company in Toronto. I took early retirement at age 55 to pursue a number of personal interests.

For 2 years I studied tap dancing at The National Tap Company of Canada under the artistic director William Orlowski after which I joined the dance group Cindy’s City Clickers. During the 1990’s the Clickers entertained various seniors and service groups.

Another interest of mine is Chinese brush painting. I studied with Ma Shui Yu of the Ontario College of Art and Design who is also a well known artist in Toronto and the Far East.

I am an active volunteer with The 519 Community Centre in Toronto in the drop-in program for older lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. Over the many years as a volunteer with the the community centre I have had the opportunity to participate in many diverse programs, some of which were: Creating a digital story about a train trip to Niagara Falls, Ontario for Queer Reflections which was shown at Toronto Pride 2006, Participating in Queer Cab, a monthly Open Mic event at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Contributing to a Zine program, Participating in the User Education Committee at the Toronto Public Library in 2008 and Participating in the Speakers Bureau, where, once trained, I would go to various Toronto area nursing homes to educate management and staff on how they can make their institutions more gay friendly.

With all these interests I have remained a family oriented person. I was especially close to my Auntie Annice who was a big part of my growing up and with whom I shared a keen interest in collecting, dressing and restoring dolls. When she was widowed, we began traveling together and became even closer. Once she became frail I visited her daily in her nursing home. It was while visiting her that I had a stroke. I was in my mid seventies but received excellent and timely emergency care and recovered without significant disability.

As you can see from my past experience, I am very interested in the arts including dancing, singing, painting, creative writing and story telling. The opportunity to make a film was intriguing to me. I especially wanted to use my knowledge of nursing homes and of working with gay and lesbian seniors to tell a story about being different and being treated badly because you are different.

The title of my film “KCLPAS” comes from my adopted name, Kim Chee Lee and my birth name, Philip Alexander Sabo.

Advertisements