Friday, February 20, 2009

We're here. Get used to it.

While A. and I were in Baltimore last weekend, we saw Milk, which was one of the things I hoped for out of the weekend. I wasn't sure I was going to get a chance to see in the theater, and it was an astonishing performance, but the thing about seeing it in the theater wasn't Sean Penn on the big screen, it was the audience. It was going to a mainstream theater, on any old day, and standing in line with a whole bunch of other queer folk. It was watching in a big darkened room filled with rows of those slide-back seats, where A. and I? We were the norm, and the story was our history, and it wasn't a special film festival. It wasn't Pride. It was just another movie, telling another piece of American history, like our lives have as much weight as anyone else's.

I left saying "I don't know my history, I just don't," but I did know Harvey Milk's story. I learned some details, I added more players to what I knew, but really I already had that story well enough to use it. So what I think I meant was that being given my history that way, as part of pop culture, made me understand to what extent it is usually buried.

3 comments:

E. said...

This is why representation is so important.

For me, Margaret Cho rocks--she's the only one who comes close to representing "my" history, even though she's Korean American, and I'm not. But there's racism for you. She's the closest thing I have.

(Plus my sister practically IS Margaret Cho.)

kathy a. said...

maybe the story isn't buried any more? at least, not so much.

Julia said...

We saw the movie when it first came out, and we both loved it. I haven't seen Slumdog, and I know it's supposed to be incredibly, but I am hoping for an upset on the best picture front tomorrow...