Wednesday, December 3, 2008
MILK on the other hand, was really great. You will probably read many wonderful reviews of it, so I will only say a few things. Sean Penn was truly transformative and masterful. Gus Vant Sant did a great job of being honest about the time, while still keeping the gay community relatable.
One thing that did strike me, that this film really brought out, is that the struggle for gay rights is about life. Literally. Wherever you may have stood on prop 8, I think most of you, my friends, are compassionate people, and it is horrible to think how many gay people have lost their lives not only to hate crimes, but to suicide.
Too many people are filled with self-loathing, confusion, fear of rejection or damnation because of their sexual orientation. They see no better option than to leave this world. This is not just a thing of the 1970's, I have known of people in my own generation, students and alumni of BYU, who have ended their lives because of their own strife over their sexual orientation.
In my own struggle to advance gay equality, a very real part of that is to be acknowledged as a very real human being, equal to you in every way, a contributive member of society, who in no way deserves to be treated as less than you.
This struggle to be acknowledged as human is critical and benefits not just those who choose to lead a life out of the closet, but even those who chose to remain in your religious enclaves, because no matter how much you may pat them on the head, "tolerate" them, or encourage them to pray the gay away, until they see themselves as real human beings, worthy of everything you have, they cannot love and accept themselves, and thus accept the love God also offers freely. And I believe accepting that love is critical to any religion's doctrine of redemption and peace. And perhaps then when they accept that, they may even be happy in your circles.
I was glad to have seen this movie, and hope to see it again, perhaps in the historic Castro Theater.