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Recently I have noticed a trend in gay Hollywood that I find disturbing: The near total absence of happy LGBT couples.
Over the years we have fought, argued, and died to come to a greater understanding of love. We have come far, from the early days of hushed whispers, and "Don’t ask, don’t tell." We have, in some places, found a balance between what we cannot understand, and what is in our hearts. In some countries, you can now marry who you love of any gender. In some places you can even seek to discover who you are as a person, and which gender your soul is.
While there is now acceptance of LGBTQ+ in some areas, there is still a great divide between us, and our understanding of what love means. Like a crack in the broken heart of humanity, it divides us.
There are people all around the world who still die or face years in prison to be who they were born to be and to love whom they love; we must do better.
We have come a long way down the yellow brick road like Dorothy and her friends, yet all of us keep falling short of the Emerald City.
We are still plagued by fears barring our path, like winged beasts from above. We are faltering in our journey towards understanding, we have strayed from the path.
I believe that love is love, as long as it’s shared, respected, and understood; it becomes the strongest force in the universe. I feel that homosexuality is natural, it’s found throughout the animal kingdom. Some would argue that it's a system of population control that safeguards the future.
We need to continue to stand for the rights of all abroad and at home. Both in real life, and on paper, for those are the echos that will endure long after the sun sets on this generation. We need to ensure that legacy inspires, and never tires.
In some instances, LGBTQ+ characters are written to either be a figureheads doomed to stereotypes; a crazy killer, jealous scheming villain, or a Romeo and Juliet ill-fated romance.
I am happy to see more inclusive characters being written, but they need to be whole, complete characters not trapped by an ill-fated romance, or chained by stereotypes. It is important to see homosexuality on screen, as I feel it’s a part of humanity, but it must be portrayed correctly.
We need to have characters who are the action hero or heroine who has a deep character that just happens to be gay. In today’s cinema very often these characters are written as gay with shallow depth. On the rare occasion you see well-rounded characters in a same-sex relationship, it seems to be short-lived, and ends in either a breakup or death.
Some people still look up to the western world to be their compass in some respects, and those lessons are taught through the silver screen.
We need to have strong characters who love who they love, and not have it be the defining aspect of the characters. This will, by proxy, engender a sense of inclusion, and lasting pride that we need to bridge the divide, and mend the broken heart of the world.
I personally know that homosexuality is not a fad, a choice, or a mockery, but a natural part of humanity. We need to show each other a deeper understanding of love, and drop the labels as our beacons, and lead with our hearts instead.
If we can show the truth behind homosexuality on screen we can change the hearts and minds of all those that look to the glittering lights of the silver screens for hope. Like a lighthouse in the dark guiding us away from our fears towards a more hopeful future.
John Ames Birch
“You either create a world for everyone or else you will end up in a world fit for no one.”—John Ames Birch