Watching the Golden Globes award show last night reminded me that as a gay man I’m still not accepted by society, still a minority, and still have a long way to go before I can get through one day without being provoked and angry by some moron or another. Yes, that’s you I’m referring to, Dennis Quaid.
In spite of the fact that queer-themed films were honored last night, the entertainment industry (Golden Globes, and whoever produced the ceremony) felt it necessary to temper the show with a few gay jokes here and there, most notably delivered by the cast of Will & Grace, in a sort of nudge-nudge wink-wink manner to households all over the nation, as if to say, “We may be giving them awards, but don’t worry, we’re not taking this any more seriously than you are at home. And, by the way, we’re all straight, so sit back, enjoy the show, and please buy some L’Oreal products.”
Each of the movies up for the Best Picture award was presented peridically through the night in an almost reverential and respectful way, that is until it was Brokeback Mountain’s turn. I have no idea why Dennis Quaid was chosen to acknowledge that Brokeback Mountain was nominated for the Best Picture Golden Globe, and it seemed as though he had no idea either, given his “aw-shucks, I’m not gay” delivery, not to mention the off-color and irreverernt chick-flick/dick-flick “joke.” I say “joke” in quotations, because I still don’t get it. If I don’t get it, it’s not a joke. Then again, his comments were directed to the straight viewers and not me, so I guess it doesn’t matter whether or not I understood what he was trying to say.
What does matter is that I get it now. It doesn’t matter whether or not the entertainment industry represnts me or anything close to my life. It’s up to me to make that happen, to make my voice heard, and to let people know that I’m just as good as they are. No, the irony that this award show was broadcast on Martin Luther King Day was not lost on me.
However, Felicity Huffman moved me when she accepted her award for her portrayal of a man about to undergo a sex-change operation in Trans-America, and said, “I know as actors our job is usually to shed our skins, but I think as people our job is to become who we really are, and so I would like to salute the men and women who brave ostracism, alienation and a life lived on the margins to become who they really are.”
I think it was incredibly brave of her to say that.