When it comes to movies based on books, I usually read the book first, but I didn't this time. My mother wanted me to see the movie and then tell her if it was worth it.
I cringed, I got angry, I cried, I gasped, I felt sick to my stomach, I yelled at the screen, but most of all, I felt something in me finally snap.
I have always kept it in my brain about the sacrifices that my ancestors made in order for me to be able to have the life that I have. I have never forgotten that many of them died so that I could have freedom from slavery, that they died so that I could have an education, a home of my own, a job that pays me equal to everyone else, so that I could marry a white man, so I could ride on the bus and sit anywhere I wanted to on it and so many other things that I know I take for granted on many days even though I don't intend to.
As I watched this movie I felt humbled by the things that older blacks, my ancestors had to suffer in order to be "separate, but equal," and I realized that they took risks, steps for equality, to be seen as equal in every way. They knew that the color of their skin did not make them second-class citizens, that they had souls and the capacity to learn and be educated, that they could love and grow and contribute just as much, just as well as the whites that hired them and oppressed them.
I knew after watching this movie that if these women could be brave and stand for what was right, for what was due them, stand up for who they really were, then I could also.
I deserve the right to be who I am, to love who I want, to live how I want. I should be afforded the same rights, the same privileges, the same consideration as those who are only male, only female and straight. I have taken a stand for gay rights. I always have, even when I had to go behind my parents' back to do so. I have fought for marriage equality, performed ceremonies for "alternative" couples, but I was always the "supporter," "the sympathizer." I was, in essence, the white people who marched for black rights, the ones who fought for an end to slavery. The one fighting for others. I never let people know, never claimed that I was just like them, that I was one of them.
Oh, I teased that I was a gay man on the inside, but never told people that that was actually true. As I watched this movie I realized that I had to start telling the truth, about myself, to my family, to my friends, to those in my "real" life and not just to those in my "online" life. So, mark it on your calendars, because I'll be marking mine September 04, 2011 is Veronica Victorian's Coming Out Birthday!