17 February 2014

The Question That Keeps Crossing My Mind

How would it be if everyone who came out got a standing ovation? Pretty fucking awesome, I think, if it were sincere.

Did you see Ellen Page's Human Rights Campaign speech in which she came out?

The end makes me tear up. Seriously moved. I can relate to a lot of what she said. And I greatly appreciate how she went about it, citing her admiration for and inspiration from HRC's work, and saying that she also wants to make a difference. A far cry from another coming out speech that felt like a big, fat fuck you.

But back to standing ovations. You'll notice that Ellen Page doesn't look entirely comfortable receiving hers but that she appreciates it nonetheless. It's a roomful of people expressing, "Congratulations!" "We're with you!" "We're proud of you!"

It's that last one I think is key. If not a standing ovation for everyone who comes out, then an enthusiastic, "I'm so proud of you!"

When I think back on all the times I've come out (alas, many and surely many to come since I can't do it in one fell swoop celebrity style), the reactions have mainly been: Oh, OK, I knew that, or a complete non-reaction as though it hadn't happened.

Back in film school, I made a short film about a young bisexual woman coming to grips with her attraction to another woman. Before I shot it, I remember working on someone else's film when Leslie, older than me, an actress and girlfriend (now wife) to one of my professors, asked me what my film was going to be about.

I was cagey. I'd just recently scrapped my first idea with a death obsessed character and coffins (hmm) for the one I eventually shot. I wasn't ready to talk about it and told her I wasn't sure yet.

At the end of the semester, we had a big screening of all our films. Leslie came up to me in the hall afterwards and said, "I'm so proud of you! That took a lot of courage and bravery." It caught me off guard, but I appreciated it and still think of her fondly.

She then went on to tell me that one of the students in her acting class had auditioned for me and had been freaked out by my maybe PG-13 then, certainly only PG now script. Fortunately, I hadn't cast that person.

I'm not sure why but a few people felt compelled to relay homophobic reactions that occurred behind me at the screening or on the periphery of set that I'd gratefully managed to miss while I was working. Anyway...

Congratulations, Ellen Page! I'm really proud of you!

3 years ago on TTaT: Worth: internal or external?


  1. Gee, I wonder to whom the "big, fat fuck you" refers. I can't figure it out. Nope. No clue. :-)

    1. Yeah, I don't remember who I meant when I said that. ;-)

  2. I always think people don't get kudos for the things they should: coming out, getting out of bed when they're depressed, taking the high road when someone else is an asshole. Where is THAT awards ceremony, cuz I've got my dress all ready.

    1. Me too! I'm there! Actually with your last two, not only do you not get kudos, you're likely to get harassed for not getting up sooner- "just get over it already" or criticized for not standing up for yourself or bombarded with "I would have done.... instead" comments. Sigh.