Beginners (2010)

The movie “Beginners” has two story-lines. One is about the death of a man who came out as gay to his son just recently, the other part of the movie is about this man’s son, who’s falling in love with a French actress.

This movie is not only powerful because of its cinematographic power, but also because of the story told. It’s a rather extraordinary story, and yet it feels closer to real-life than most of the love-stories out there.

I very much appreciate how the movie is about the father’s homosexuality, but at the same time doesn’t make a big deal out of it. I also like how one part of the movie is about a homosexual relationship, and the other one about a heterosexual relationship. Most movies seem to be about heterosexual relationships, and then there’s a few about homosexual relationships, but hardly ever does a movie come out (no pun intended) that includes both. But that’s real life. People in a non-heterosexual relationship don’t live in a gay bubble excluded from the rest of the life. And the other way around, although people might not experience it that much unless a close friend or family member of theirs isn’t straight.

The Beginners is a well-written movie, with beautiful images, and witty remarks despite the rather serious over-all feeling to the movie.

 

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Don’t shove it down my throat!

“I’m not homophobic, I just don’t want them to shove it down my throat!” – Haven’t we all heard that line before? Probably followed by a statement such as “What should I tell my children?”, “It’s disgusting. Nobody wants to see that. I don’t care what they do in the bedroom, but you know what I mean….” or “They’re luring our kids into that sick behaviour.”

It is because of statements like these, that I think Yes! – we have to shove it down your throats. Or much rather we’d have to do so, because actually, not that many do.
Of all the heterosexual and homosexual couples, I can’t think of one homosexual couple that takes parts in more PDAs (public displays of affection), than the straight couples. I see straight couples holding hands, hugging and kissing all the time. Nobody complains or even looks twice. However, if it’s a gay couple, all of a sudden just holding hands will be commented with “Keep it in the bedroom!”.

We have rights. Those of us that have come out, have done so to be able to live in freedom and be more open about who they are, not so that they can crawl back into that closet, along with their partner.

But what would the children think? Well, in my opinion, most of them would probably not think of anything else than “Ew”, which in my experience is most kids’ reaction to anything romantic. I don’t think that they need an extra explanation about gay couples, longer than “A lot of times a man and a woman are in love, but there’s also many men that are in love with other men, and women in love with other women. It doesn’t need to be a woman and a man.”
When I was 9 years old, there was a reality-show on TV, with a gay character. My mum asked me “Do you even know what that means?!” which I confirmed. She was shocked, and so was I, because I didn’t know why it was such a bad thing to know what it means or what the big deal is. In my opinion, it’s the grown-ups who make this into a big-issue, whereas I believe that most kids don’t have a problem accepting that love exists not only between men and women. (Isn’t it the grown-ups in the first place, that teach kids that it’s between men and women. What if we didn’t teach kids about that? What if the possibility of two people of the same gender falling love was mentioned right from the start? The “What am I supposed to tell my kids?” issue would be gone entirely, and homosexuality would probably finally be seen as a kind of love that exists besides heterosexuality, and not some “unnatural abomination”.

I don’t think that homosexual couples should be proud and don’t fear being out in the public because of people who say hateful things about them, but because of the kids. I want children to grow up, seeing gay couples. I want teenagers to see that there’s happy gay couples out there. Anybody who’s grown up, with feelings other than the heterosexual majority, will know what it feels like to have these feelings and thoughts, while all we hear from the world outside is “That’s so gay.” or “Faggot!”. When I was in school, there’s also been some discussions about marriage equality and adoption right for gay couples. Most students said “Ugh! What’s next? No way, that’s so wrong!!” I can assure you, to be in the closet and hear things like that all the time, that subconsciously make you feel like “I’m disgusting. An abomination. Not normal. I shouldn’t be allowed to have kids one day.”, that’s not exactly pushing one’s already low adolescent self-esteem. I want them to see “There’s people out there like me! I am not alone.”

I’m a person who always wants to please other people and doesn’t want to upset anybody. (I know that it’s not healthy, but that’s a story of its own…) And yet, I don’t hesitate to kiss another woman in public. In the subway station, on the streets, in restaurants. I don’t care about the people who start to whisper, or the people who stare at you. I don’t care about their negativity, all I know in that moment, is that kissing that other person matters so much more than all the negativity of those people. And maybe, somebody’s watching who realizes “Wow, I’m not alone with my feelings!”.

Hold hands, hug, kiss! We are affectionate people, we have a right to show that we are, just as much as any straight person does. We do not have to hide, and it is not a sign of “I’m not homophobic”, to tell a person to do so.

*Whenever I write homosexual or gay, I also want to include people of other sexual orientations such as bisexual or any other non-heterosexual orientation. However, what’s visible to the outside, is “two homosexuals kissing”. For example, if there’s two women who identify as bisexual that kiss e This is why I only mention “homosexuality” in this article, because this is what can be seen by strangers.