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Art student creates animation to celebrate coming out to her dad

Loughborough University Fine Art student, Amy Begent, made an animation for her final year project – featured in the Arts Degree Show – that celebrates the support her dad gave her when she came out to him as bisexual.

Amy’s original plan for her stop-motion animation was to portray her queer experience, finding pride in it and coming out. However, she realised a lot of her self-acceptance was a result of the support her dad had given her throughout her life, and this is how the project developed into its final form.

Amy Begent animation

The narration comes from a poem Amy wrote about her life growing up, with her dad as a central figure. The poem touches upon memories of seeing her dad every other weekend and her experience with an eating disorder, as well as her coming out story.

Amy added: “It is an ode to self-acceptance and an ode to my dad in aiding that process.”

The animation has nostalgic undertones, emulated through sixties patterns – the era her father was born – and the vibrant colours of the seventies when stop motion became popular. This sense of nostalgia is also driven by Amy’s personal story.  The animation is entitled ‘Spud’, the nickname her father gave her. The puppets are inspired by the drawing she used to come out to her dad, putting it in his wardrobe to find, and the words she wrote on the drawing feature in the narration:  ‘Thanks for opening the door, it’s about time I come out’.

Amy Begent's drawing for father

It took four months to create the animation, from storyboarding to set planning, making the set and the puppets, and finally filming and editing it. Amy made all of the puppets and sets from scratch, having to adapt from working in the studio on campus to working from home when coronavirus stopped face-to-face contact. Whilst she said this shift was a challenge at first, she did begin to enjoy working on the project every day from home.

Making a project so personal is a daunting task and Amy said: “Sharing something so personal is really scary and it’s like coming out all over again. It’s scary but it’s liberating.

“I would say to people that are thinking about coming out or are scared to that it is very important to do it when you’re ready and it’s something to be very proud about.”

Amy’s animation forms part of the Arts Degree Show, held annually to showcase the work of finalists at Loughborough University. This year’s digital showcase is available to view here.

You can watch Amy’s animation here.

Support for coming out can be found on LGBT+ rights organisation Stonewall’s website. Loughborough University is also a proud Stonewall Diversity Champion with network groups for both staff and students.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 20/112

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2020 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 6th in The UK Complete University Guide 2021.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

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