Moonlight was the only movie I saw in a theater last year. I had read that it was the story of a gay black man, played by three different actors, representing the main character’s childhood, youth and adulthood.
I grew up in a time when homosexuality was not a subject of public discussion, unless in derogatory terms, to put it mildly. Only the bravest publicly acknowledged being gay. It took me many years to even realize I was gay–the information blackout was nearly complete.
Growing up in a Quaker family and community had its own additional challenges. Quakers are a sometimes paradoxical, confusing blend of strict moral principles, and great tolerance. I think it has been easy for me to recognize various cultural privileges, like white privilege and ecological privilege (personal cars) because that was what I experienced related to being gay. People who were known to be gay were accepted and welcome, but there was definitely the assumption that the norm was heterosexual relationships and families. To such an extent that it seemed like gays were tolerated, but not quite equals. I am sure some of this was hypersensitivity on my part, but it is really confusing when you don’t know where to turn for answers.
So I turned to the Spirit, and eventually found understanding and peace there.
So, I am always more than thirsty for any occasion to learn more about how others have navigated this. From what I read about Moonlight, it seemed like an interesting approach to telling the story.
One of the disadvantages of refusing to own a car is that you do make a lot fewer trips for things like seeing movies. It happened that Moonlight had just been released around the time I was in Iowa for Thanksgiving. I arrived in Indianola a few days before others arrived for Thanksgiving. With some time available, I thought seeing Moonlight with Mom and Dad would be a way for them to learn more about what it is like to be gay, although it was somewhat of a risk, not having seen it myself. Mom was busy getting ready for the rest of the family to arrive, but Dad took me into Des Moines and saw the movie with me.
It was better than I hoped it would be. The story, the acting, the cinematography, the music, the acting, acting, acting!
Congratulations on the Academy Awards (eventually) won!