What is the obsession with the coming out story? I had to sit through a screening that was just one of the many coming out stories that I’ve filed away in my mind as never wanting to re-visit. Don’t get me wrong, my coming out is no worse than anybody else’s. In fact, despite it being pretty damn awkward, I count myself lucky. Still, as a gay man, I’ve done my time.
I came out, even as I choked on the words as I tried to spit them out. I don’t need to see it happen to somebody else on the big screen. There’s something that I don’t think most people realize about the whole experience. Mind you, I’m not here to glorify the whole thing. After all, I pretty much said “hey mom, I hafta tell you something… I’m gay. I’m gonna go finish mowing the law.” There were no hugs and I didn’t stick around to see if there were tears. It was simple, but more than that, it was personal. It was my own moment and it was my decision. Everything about it was purely my own, so it’s understandable that it’d be personal to me.
Yet every so often, some jackass comes along with yet another coming out story. It’d be different if they were unique, but everyone seems to think that the same thing every damn time that someone comes out. Either they’re kicked out of their house or mommy’s like “oh sweetie, I’m so glad you told me” or some stupid shit. I understand that the movies are supposed to be an escape from reality in so many ways, but for me, the whole ordeal just isn’t something I take lightly.
Adding insult to injury, it always seems like some guy who’s married with 2.5 kids is directing these things. There’s no authentic voice to these movies because there’s no authenticity. Let me try to explain this… it would be like me making a movie about a girl getting her period. It’s her passage into womanhood or whatever and she’s no longer a girl, but she’s a woman. How am I gonna do that? I can’t even begin to imagine the female experience. I could give it a shot using lots of research and plenty of female consultants to see if I was doing the experience justice, but it would never really be authentic. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who’s like “well, only gay people should play gay people in movies”. Sure, I’d like them to stop getting accolades for having to kiss a dude when i do it everyday, but you get what I mean, I’m in no way narrow minded about these things. But still, can straight male directors stop pretending they know my pain or whatever they say to artistically justify it? If you want to give me something authentic, that’s fine, but I’m tired of these paint-by-the-numbers coming out stories.