August 20th, 2019

Max’s View

The film that is going to win Best Picture
“If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.” – Harvey Milk

I don’t understand the gay rights movement these days. Right now, they are fighting for transgender bathrooms and a coordinated boycott of Chick-Fil-A restaurants.

I am not saying these are bad ideas. I am saying that there is a more pressing issue facing America: the tens of thousands of people who are still in the closet!

Pride, dignity, and happiness is a lot easier to achieve when you are honest with yourself and the people you love. And in the unlikely event that you have a friend or relative who won’t accept you the way you are, I urge you to leave that judgmental jerk in the past.

Coming out the closet isn’t just good for the individual; it is good for society.

Imagine if Omar Mateen had bravely come out to his father. “If you can’t accept me, then I say forget you and your oppressive religion, dad. I’m going to the clubÉto dance.”

If Omar had had the guts to come out, he might be snuggling with his boyfriend in a warm bed right now instead of burning in the fires of hell.

“Moonlight” is a spellbinding film about one man’s life lived in the closet.

When we meet Chiron, he is a young black kid growing up in Miami. His mom is a hateful crackhead. His father is nowhere to be found. The only person who takes an interest in him is his mom’s crack dealer Juan. The notion that Chiron is gay is already in the back of his mind; the big secret is already shutting him off from the world.

We meet Chiron two more times. Once as a high school student and once as a 20-something drug dealer. His emotional isolation is ever-present. Chiron isn’t a liar by nature; so he has adapted to his world by simply watching it and virtually never speaking.

When something good happens to Chiron, you feel his ecstasy. And his confusion.

Writer/director Barry Jenkins has achieved the impossible: he made a movie about a gay black man that is completely apolitical. “Moonlight” is 0% politics, 100% art. Chiron’s defining characteristic isn’t is race or his sexuality Đ it is his loneliness.

In the world of “Moonlight,” all people are victims of a cultural shipwreck, adrift in the open ocean, reaching out for a helping hand. When someone reaches down to help them for a minute, it almost makes the whole experience worth it.

There is no easy solution for Chiron. And there is no clear path to happiness. But he would have more people reaching down to help him if he just had the bravery to come out.

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