Throbert's Theatre of Thinkologizing main page


04 March 2004

Make your own kind of music, even if nobody else sings along

The following is excerpted from a thread on Little Green Footballs. My comments are in roman type; the posts I was responding to are bolded.

In that case you will LOVE the film "Beautiful Thing." A gay love/coming-of-age story that includes a few Mama Cass(sp.) numbers. Even heteros like me can't help but love it.

I thought "Beautiful Thing" was okay, and the girl-next-door with the Mama Cass fixation was a hoot -- but overall the movie didn't make that deep an impression on me. I think the problem was that I was already very comfortable with my sexual identity and a couple years into a long-term relationship by the time I saw it, so I felt like part of the proverbial choir getting preached to. It was a pretty good movie, though, and I'm sure it would have deeply affected me had I seen it, say, at age 17 -- when I was still grappling intellectually with the realization that the woodies I'd had for men since junior high school were not simply part of a phase that all heterosexual boys go through.

Come to think of it, the one same-sex screen romance that really knocked my socks off was Heavenly Creatures -- even though they were two girls, and even though they were matricidal loons, and even though the homoerotic component of their affection was merely implied. (I want a "Donkey Serenade" montage in my next relationship, dammit!.)

I'm still waiting for an onscreen portrayal of male/male love that fully resonates with me and my personal experience.

most, if not all, movies about the gay experience are approached like PR exercises... trying to spin things in the light most sympathetic to gays and sweeping some of the more unpleasant realities under the rug.

When you're exposed to the positive spin in the middle school/high school years... and then encounter the reality, the effect can be somewhat disillusioning.

Well... depends on what you mean by "the reality." My reality was a relationship with my ex was sometimes joyous and sometimes crazy-making and sometimes painful -- on the whole it was incredibly enriching and made me a better person and taught me two men can love each other (and not just get off with each other, which is kinda what I expected homosexuality to be at an earlier stage in my life). In short, the reality I encountered was that same-sex love could be something worthwhile, worth celebrating, worth standing up for -- I know that on a gut level because I've lived it, and so the flag-waving affirmations of gay pride parades seem kinda vulgar and superfluous. Even though that relationship ended, I would defend it before G-d as an expression of something good, noble, and sacred. In the unlikely event that the Creator of fifty billion galaxies turns out to have some inexplicable abhorrence for human homosexuality -- as claimed by some -- I would take my chances with hell and Satan before conceding that there was something ugly or embarrassing about my love for that guy.

So, in that sense, there has been no disappointment or disillusionment for me. I've been thrilled and privileged to have one really good, solid, meaningful relationship with another man, and I hope to find myself in another such relationship again.

That said, the Gay Community™ -- the mass-marketed identity, as distinct from my experiences as a homosexual male -- has indeed been disillusioning. I think it absolutely sucks that young gay people are encouraged to think of themselves as victims of homophobia, or to attach their self-esteem to their success as fashionistas.

posted by Throbert | 3/04/2004 11:56:00 PM | (0) responses
throbert says:
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