Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Outrage, the movie

I barely ever make it to the movies, but this past weekend I had the pleasure of seeing Outrage, a movie about outing closeted gay politicians, or more specifically, those closeted gay politicians who reveal their hypocrisy by voting against gay issues. It was interesting to see now, in the midst of a month of huge advances in marriage equality. As the NY Times noted in its movie review, the movie already seems outdated in terms of its urgency. The NY assembly recently passed a same-sex marriage bill: "'We do nothing revolutionary or extraordinary today,' said Richard L. Brodsky, a Democrat from Westchester County." And he's right.

Yet, of course, the movie is nowhere near outdated. After all, Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently announced his run for Senate. Crist is one of the politicians outed by Outrage. I admit that before seeing the movie I assumed that these outings were actually wishful thinking or rumors. In fact, all are highly researched newsworthy exposes with multiple independent sources confirming Crist's (and the other politicians') exploits. Plus, it being DC, there were whispers of "I know him" and "I saw him at a party I went to" throughout the movie showing. I'm convinced.

I'm also convinced that it makes sense to out these politicians, though I believe in privacy. The movie made a good case that maintaining their place in the closet encourages politicians to take extreme anti-gay positions. It's the adult version of a frequent middle school occurrence; "I just beat up that gay kid, so clearly I'm not gay myself."

If you're curious to learn more about closeted politicians or the guy (featured in the movie) who outs many of them, see his blog.


Alex McFerron said...

very interesting. I would also like to see a list of people who do drugs sometimes but who vote against them!

bil gasarch said...

we're on a slipperly slope here.
Is it okay to out a politician who
avoids votes on gay issues?
Who votes FOR gay marriage but
AGAINST Hate crimes bills in general.
There are a range of positions on these issues and I wonder at
what level one deserved to be

From what I heard, in this movie,
there are no borderline cases.

sorelle said...

One of the things pointed out in the movie, which I think is a good way to judge the "slippery slope" question, is that politicians can't expect a community whose interests they vote against to protect them. In other words, whether to out a politician is really an individual decision of the person they sleep with in a dark club, in a bathroom stall, etc. If that individual feels betrayed enough (by their votes, by their closetedness, whatever), I think it's totally fair for them to shout it from the rooftops. And for many people it's not the hypocrisy that's the issue, it's not being out in the first place.