This Sunday, the 88th annual Academy Awards will air. One film that will garner considerable attention at the ceremonies will be Carol, which earned an impressive six Oscar nominations in categories that include Best Adapted Screenplay. The movie is an adaptation of The Price of Salt, a 1952 romance novel by Patricia Highsmith, which was written at a time where lesbian fiction could be deemed obscene and seized by the authorities if the women were not portrayed as misguided, making choices that led to a bad end.
After being chastised by my own country of birth for coming out as a lesbian in April of this year and speaking out against the discrimination and harassment I had endured, I began to think that our Caribbean LGBTQ community would simply have to crawl back into our holes of pain and isolation and with muzzles over our mouths. That was until Marlon James!
This week my Facebook news feed has blown up with profile pictures featuring the red equals sign and posts about the SCOTUS hearing. The one that has the potential to grant (or continue to deny) same-sex couples rights that most heterosexual couples take completely for granted. Rights about what happens if their spouse dies. Rights about recognizing non-gestational parents as parents. It is absolutely horrifying to me to think that if The Bean were born in the U.S. rather than Canada that I would not be recognized as his parent. I am also holding my breath. For my friends. For my family. For rights that I usually take for granted, but know many are still struggling to achieve.
Call me a slow learner, but I suddenly realized why there have to be gay pride parades at all. It does not matter if it is a big city, small city, Canada or the U.S. There are not enough straight people supporting homosexual rights. And I couldn't help but wonder when the day will come that there will be no need for a Pride Parade.
The Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival has just begun and this year marks a significant shift in queer filmmaking: a movement away from the simple "coming out" story, and away from films that play up gay stereotypes because it really is no longer "fine" if we do it ourselves. Films with LGBT content are becoming just that: films with LGBT content, versus "gay movies."