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hepclassic

Past Explorations of Homosexuality

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There are a couple of films coming out that look at what it was like to be gay in the past century. There is a film coming out with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara that takes place in the 1950s that looks at the relationship between two women. There is a film coming out that takes place in the eighties with Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, and Michael Shannon exploring to be gay in the 1980s. There was also that HBO film about Bessie Smith that explored her sexuality with Queen Latifah and Mo'Nigue. 


 


Is there any more stories you would like to see on screen and explore? 


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There are a couple of films coming out that look at what it was like to be gay in the past century. There is a film coming out with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara that takes place in the 1950s that looks at the relationship between two women. There is a film coming out that takes place in the eighties with Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, and Michael Shannon exploring to be gay in the 1980s. There was also that HBO film about Bessie Smith that explored her sexuality with Queen Latifah and Mo'Nigue. 

 

Is there any more stories you would like to see on screen and explore? 

 

 

I admit I'm torn when it comes to films that focus on gay relationships especially coming out films.   I get the feeling they are made for people that still view being gay as weird or odd.  e.g. educational films for those with a backwards POV where the interest generated by such a relationship is based on the relationship being forbidden or even sinful in the minds of the audience.    Since I fully accept the gay lifestyle and those individuals as equals the overall theme of a coming out film doesn't have much interest for me.

 

Of course there is the oppression aspect of these films (especially if set in bygone decades like the 50s),  as well as the typical 'ahead of their time'  individuals that assist the gay couples.    While I found this interesting in the few films made in those era  (or shortly thereafter),   I admit feeling a bit of 'been there, done that'.

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I admit I'm torn when it comes to films that focus on gay relationships especially coming out films.   I get the feeling they are made for people that still view being gay as weird or odd.  e.g. educational films for those with a backwards POV where the interest generated by such a relationship is based on the relationship being forbidden or even sinful in the minds of the audience.    Since I fully accept the gay lifestyle and those individuals as equals the overall theme of a coming out film doesn't have much interest for me.

 

Of course there is the oppression aspect of these films (especially if set in bygone decades like the 50s),  as well as the typical 'ahead of their time'  individuals that assist the gay couples.    While I found this interesting in the few films made in those era  (or shortly thereafter),   I admit feeling a bit of 'been there, done that'.

Interesting. Well, I think for some people (especially those who are part of certain cultures) the feeling of oppression may still exist. And it doesn't even have to be an outward thing. Even people living in an accepting culture or society may have their own inner homophobia. So these films do not have to be set in 1950-whenever to make a point about a social condition, or about tolerance. 

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Interesting. Well, I think for some people (especially those who are part of certain cultures) the feeling of oppression may still exist. And it doesn't even have to be an outward thing. Even people living in an accepting culture or society may have their own inner homophobia. So these films do not have to be set in 1950-whenever to make a point about a social condition, or about tolerance. 

 

You're correct,  a film about homophobia could be set in the mid-west or south today.    But where I live in So Cal it is so open and natural (if that is the right term),  that it (e.g. two women or men walking down the street holding hands) isn't even noticed  (well at least by the people I associated with).

 

One interesting topic a film could explore is the alienation the older gay community feels in my area.  e.g. gays bars closing and being replaced by bars that have a mix of everyone in the community.   This has cause friction in areas like West Hollywood or Laguna Beach since these cities are less likely now to support gay only events;   e.g.  gay pride day it is called rainbow day because the rainbow represents everyone while 'gay pride' sounds exclusive.          

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You're correct,  a film about homophobia could be set in the mid-west or south today.    But where I live in So Cal it is so open and natural (if that is the right term),  that it (e.g. two women or men walking down the street holding hands) isn't even noticed  (well at least by the people I associated with).

 

One interesting topic a film could explore is the alienation the older gay community feels in my area.  e.g. gays bars closing and being replaced by bars that have a mix of everyone in the community.   This has cause friction in areas like West Hollywood or Laguna Beach since these cities are less likely now to support gay only events;   e.g.  gay pride day it is called rainbow day because the rainbow represents everyone while 'gay pride' sounds exclusive.          

I think that's a form of political correctness going to an extreme. They are trying to be so open and so inclusive that it is ironically excluding gay men and lesbians who desire (and need) something more specifically geared to them. The other thing is that sometimes this is a political agenda by people who are trying to stamp out homosexuality by saying pride is for all people. So it gets watered down and less specific, which is what the old hardline gay culture knows is problematic (but the younger generation is too ignorant to comprehend).

 

But going back to your first remark, a film about attitude(s) or tolerance today does not have to be set in the south or midwest-- that's obvious and a stereotype on some level. Even in a place where gay men and women walk down a sidewalk hand in hand, there can still be people on the same sidewalk who are not fully accepting of it, or they may accept others being gay but do not allow themselves to feel or act on anything gay.

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I think that's a form of political correctness going to an extreme. They are trying to be so open and so inclusive that it is ironically excluding gay men and lesbians who desire (and need) something more specifically geared to them. The other thing is that sometimes this is a political agenda by people who are trying to stamp out homosexuality by saying pride is for all people. So it gets watered down and less specific, which is what the old hardline gay culture knows is problematic (but the younger generation is too ignorant to comprehend).

 

But going back to your first remark, a film about attitude(s) or tolerance today does not have to be set in the south or midwest-- that's obvious and a stereotype on some level. Even in a place where gay men and women walk down a sidewalk hand in hand, there can still be people on the same sidewalk who are not fully accepting of it, or they may accept others being gay but do not allow themselves to feel or act on anything gay.

 

Interesting perspective.   I don't feel the younger generation is 'too ignorant to comprehend'  (well at least the people I talk to).  Instead they say that since they were raised in a lot more tolerant society (again, in these areas of So Cal),   they just don't have the same personal experiences.    To me this is similar to something we have discussed before related to films like Gone with the Wind and Song of the South;  many in the younger generation don't have the same level of anguish as it relates to these films,  especially when it comes to stations like TCM not showing them.    Like I said I'm torn when it comes to this topic.  I'm just trying my best to 'see' all POV. 

 

As for your 'first remark'; I just don't think a film set in a very tolerant environment like most parts of So Cal would 'work' (i.e. have the same emotion impact and connection) as one set in a much more intolerant environment.    So while I agree with you that there will always be people 'behind the curve' when they are such a small minority,  the story would have to revolve around the oppression this minority feels and I just don't see that working.    But hey,  maybe that is a new idea that should be explored;  e.g. a story about the pain a pizza store owner experiences, told from his POV, because he refuses to sell to gays for religious reasons.     

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Interesting perspective.   I don't feel the younger generation is 'too ignorant to comprehend'  (well at least the people I talk to).  Instead they say that since they were raised in a lot more tolerant society (again, in these areas of So Cal),   they just don't have the same personal experiences.    To me this is similar to something we have discussed before related to films like Gone with the Wind and Song of the South;  many in the younger generation don't have the same level of anguish as it relates to these films,  especially when it comes to stations like TCM not showing them.    Like I said I'm torn when it comes to this topic.  I'm just trying my best to 'see' all POV. 

 

As for your 'first remark'; I just don't think a film set in a very tolerant environment like most parts of So Cal would 'work' (i.e. have the same emotion impact and connection) as one set in a much more intolerant environment.    So while I agree with you that there will always be people 'behind the curve' when they are such a small minority,  the story would have to revolve around the oppression this minority feels and I just don't see that working.    But hey,  maybe that is a new idea that should be explored;  e.g. a story about the pain a pizza store owner experiences, told from his POV, because he refuses to sell to gays for religious reasons.     

Not sure if I fully agree with what you are saying...I don't think society is cured of these ills, even in so-called tolerant communities. I think some forward, progressive-minded individuals like to think so, but if you look deep within communities it is the diversity (ironically) that allows opposing viewpoints and since not everyone will ever be in agreement on homosexuality, there is still going to be divisive attitudes. 

 

The point I made about political correctness going too far is something I want to elaborate on a bit more. I do think that there is an ignorance going on when too much political correctness is being practiced. Actually, if you analyze it, political correctness can be seen as a tool that conservatives give to liberals to make them feel they have some sort of victory-- but everything becomes so diluted that liberals wind up losing focus (thinking there is widespread acceptance and the problems have been solved), while conservatives never lose focus on what they oppose. So in a way political correctness is like a strange band-aid, a fools' gold, that is not actually what liberals think it is.

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Not sure if I fully agree with what you are saying...I don't think society is cured of these ills, even in so-called tolerant communities. I think some forward, progressive-minded individuals like to think so, but if you look deep within communities it is the diversity (ironically) that allows opposing viewpoints and since not everyone will ever be in agreement on homosexuality, there is still going to be divisive attitudes. 

 

The point I made about political correctness going too far is something I want to elaborate on a bit more. I do think that there is an ignorance going on when too much political correctness is being practiced. Actually, if you analyze it, political correctness can be seen as a tool that conservatives give to liberals to make them feel they have some sort of victory-- but everything becomes so diluted that liberals wind up losing focus (thinking there is widespread acceptance and the problems have been solved), while conservatives never lose focus on what they oppose. So in a way political correctness is like a strange band-aid, a fools' gold, that is not actually what liberals think it is.

 

Funny I was just discussing this with my brother who is more liberal than I am and I did make a similar point.   His POV was that SSM and pot were legal, the battle is over and those opposed these changes had no power left.   I disputed that and made a point similar to the one you're making about not losing focus.    There is and always is work to be done.    

 

As for the tolerant communities;  well right after I posted that I picked up today's L.A. Times and there is a front page story in the California sections called 'Proud Tradition -  Welcoming havens like Laguna Beach seem to be fading as the LGBT rights movement gains broader acceptance".     It talks about the Main Street Bar and Cabaret the last gay-specific establishment in town and the place where the OC Gay Pride Week will hold its wrap-up party.  The manager talks about ushering in 'gay culture 2.0'.   "It's our turn to give back and welcome straight people into our world".     

 

The article mentions that the last lesbian bar in West Hollywood has closed and in the Castro neighborhood in SF a GLBT history museum commemorate the area's declining gay population.   Maybe you can find the article on the internet.    Anyhow,  my overall point was that self imposed segregation is often done for security reasons (not just physical but mental as well),  but with acceptance and comingling comes a sense of loss for segregation.    That is indeed a paradox.

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Jamesjazzguitar- why does 'gay pride' sound exclusive to you? 

 

The more inclusive term the media is using now is LGBT.  (note that 'G' is only ONE of the 4).    Some lesbian activist have mentioned that 'gay' equates historically to only homosexual men and therefore 'gay pride' doesn't include lesbians and others.   Using rainbow pride day sounds less exclusive,  which is why the term rainbow or LGBT are now used more frequently by the media

 

Of course you're intelligent enough to know the above already so I wonder why you felt the need to ask me this question.  

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The more inclusive term the media is using now is LGBT.  (note that 'G' is only ONE of the 4).    Some lesbian activist have mentioned that 'gay' equates historically to only homosexual men and therefore 'gay pride' doesn't include lesbians and others.   Using rainbow pride day sounds less exclusive,  which is why the term rainbow or LGBT are now used more frequently by the media

 

Of course you're intelligent enough to know the above already so I wonder why you felt the need to ask me this question.  

I was just wondering is all. 

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Funny I was just discussing this with my brother who is more liberal than I am and I did make a similar point.   His POV was that SSM and pot were legal, the battle is over and those opposed these changes had no power left.   I disputed that and made a point similar to the one you're making about not losing focus.    There is and always is work to be done.    

 

As for the tolerant communities;  well right after I posted that I picked up today's L.A. Times and there is a front page story in the California sections called 'Proud Tradition -  Welcoming havens like Laguna Beach seem to be fading as the LGBT rights movement gains broader acceptance".     It talks about the Main Street Bar and Cabaret the last gay-specific establishment in town and the place where the OC Gay Pride Week will hold its wrap-up party.  The manager talks about ushering in 'gay culture 2.0'.   "It's our turn to give back and welcome straight people into our world".     

 

The article mentions that the last lesbian bar in West Hollywood has closed and in the Castro neighborhood in SF a GLBT history museum commemorate the area's declining gay population.   Maybe you can find the article on the internet.    Anyhow,  my overall point was that self imposed segregation is often done for security reasons (not just physical but mental as well),  but with acceptance and comingling comes a sense of loss for segregation.    That is indeed a paradox.

I just moved to Colorado, where marijuana is legal. But there are all kinds of things happening that people do not realize. First, it is very regulated. We have all kinds of tax dollars being put into hiring officers whose job it is to keep tabs on who is growing it and how much they have. 

 

Also, because the federal government still outlaws it, when you take a train or go to any airport, all that is federal land, so it is illegal to smoke marijuana in those places. Then, there are city ordinances which trump the state law. I happened to move to a city which bans the use of marijuana. So people have to go down the road into another town where the state law is upheld. But in my town, the law is not upheld. So just because the state says you can smoke it, if the federal government and the city or township says no, you still may not be able to smoke it. And then in places where you can grow it and smoke it, as I said, it is very regulated. One reason for the regulations is because products made with marijuana have been falling into the hands of kids and have also been killing animals, so a lot of it is not playing out the way state voters thought it would.

 

Relating this to films is probably impossible. But the main point is that so-called progress is often not progress at all. A smart person knows what is true progression and what is regression, or what is actually still the same.

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