Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Words and images that stay with you

The morning of the day I got married, one of my very best friends, Donny, said to me, "I don't think you should get married. If you do, Gabbie will be an anchor around your neck for the rest of your life."

Donny didn't know I was gay. But he knew me and he knew Gabbie.

As he said the words, and I thought about them, I was deeply afraid he was right.

Many times over the years Donny's words have echoed through my head. In some ways, his words have been as much of an anchor as Gabbie.

I'm not sure, but I think I wish he had never said them.

Hearing them, even knowing he might be right, did not spark me to action.

Without action the words have become a wound that can never be healed.

When gay or bi married men come to blog for the first time, many of them have reached the point where they know what they want - they just don't know how to get there. Or, they are so overwhelmed by stress and emotions they need to vent and be supported. Dan of Go Left at the Fork doesn't really fit that mold. In recent months he's been very cryptic, so perhaps I don't correctly know where his head is now, but before that he showed himself to be at least as conflicted as me. I wish I could find the exact location in his blog, but someone essentially said to him, "Don't go there. Once you open Pandora's Box, you can never close it." The commenter was talking about Dan's attraction to men - don't go there, you can never go back.

It's true. Opening up dormant issues can cause a lot of pain, a lot of anguish. In the end, you might not accomplish anything except to make yourself feel worse.

Gay and bisexual married men, especially those with children, you have been warned.

***

I'm feeling unusually emotional right now. Raw, even. I love a good book or movie that can move me. It doesn't happen often. I tend to be pretty critical, especially if something with good potential fails to deliver.

I had never heard of "Coronation Street" before stumbling across a gay-related video clip on Youtube. A quick Internet search told me that it will soon be the world's longest running soap opera. It's a British prime time drama and it's been on the air just a few months shy of 50 years.

In 2003, after much criticism, the show finally decided to do a gay story line. If the writing, acting and production have always been this good, I can see why the show has been so enduring. I'm nervous about copyright infringement so I don't even want to post a link. However, if you go to Youtube and search "Todd Coronation Street" you will find the series of 14 clips that tell the story.

You have been warned.

After you've recovered from watching that story, the other must-see on Youtube is "Shelter." It had a limited-release run in theaters in 2007 and has been out on DVD for two years. It is generally regarded as the second best gay-themed movie ever, after "Brokeback Mountain." I have been wanting to see it since it was released but I could never find a way to catch it. In recent months I figured I'd have to wait until it came to Logo. To my surprise, you can now see the whole thing on Youtube. I feel bad that the producers of such a great movie are being ripped off, but, well, I've been waiting for years to see the movie! I was not disappointed.

I want to end this post with a quote from "Coronation Street." This is from the mother of one of the gay characters who has just come out. The neighbors are all jeering at the 'queer in the street' and she comes out of the house and defends him:

"Oh he's queer alright! He fell in love with a man.

"I mean...he didn't have to say anything. He could have kept his mouth shut, lived a lie, got everyone he loved to live a lie.

"But it takes a real man to own up to the truth."

It takes a real man to own up to the truth.


Old wounds, reopened.

Pandora's Box should not be touched.

5 comments:

  1. Watch C.R.A.Z.Y. if you want to see a fantastic gay-themed film. It's a Quebec film, but most sources have the version with English subtitles.

    When I first started watching movies with an explicit gay theme to them (not sexually explicit, but rather up-front) I consistently had those same anxieties and emotions around each one and it was killing me. I got over that feeling by watching more of them. Other good films to watch are "The Brokenhearts Club", "Save Me", "Latter Days" (a gay mormon! Whooda thunk!), and "Kiss Me, Guido" is a guilty pleasure.

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  2. It's funny you say two so conflicting things so close together.

    "It takes a real man to own up to the truth."
    and
    "Pandora's Box should not be touched."

    I think the first one it better advice. Many times Pandora's box, will open on it's own.

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  3. Haven't most of your regular followers already opened Pandora's box? At least at some point in their life?

    As for me - I didn't intend to open Pandora's box. I think jim is right - the box can open on it's own.

    -nl

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  4. @undefined I've seen quite a few gay-themed movies over the years but I was really surprised by the soap opera. It was way better than almost every movie I've seen.

    I couldn't find "C.R.A.Z.Y." on Youtube. Or "Kiss Me, Guido". I saw "Brokenhearts Club" years ago - decent. "Latter Days" is a classic; I own a copy. "Save Me" was decent. I've been trolling Youtube for more but I haven't seen anything especially noteworthy yet.

    @Jim That movie really played with my emotions and left me feeling unusually foggy-headed. Hence the conflicting statements.

    @Jim & NL I'm sure the box can open on its own. You two are prime examples.

    @NL Your're right. Most commenters and followers have been-there-done-that with Pandora's Box. The silent readers? I don't know.

    "Pandora's Box should not be touched" was directed to myself.

    @everyone - I wish someone else would watch the Todd story on Youtube so that you can verify that I haven't lost my mind. The worst thing I could do is to over-sell it, but I was quite impressed and didn't expect to be.

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  5. I think if you met me you would probably find that I'm not all that tortured ... but I would defer to the two other bloggers I have met IRL to make that determination - I think I'm generally a pretty happy person but with a lot of inner turmoil ... and the box was never really closed - it's just a matter of whether I want to invite someone inside to join me ;-)

    and Shelter was an amazing film! I might even bring the DVD home and let me wife watch that one!

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