Tuesday, September 17, 2013
OK, admittedly, I’m late to this game as I did not see this movie in the theaters, but just caught it on a plane ride today on the way home to Maui. But this movie touched me so much, I had to share the raw feelings. It’s so emotional but also empowering that I wanted to write an article about it.
If you haven’t seen the movie ‘42’, all I can say is…..don’t miss it. It’s so rewarding. If you have seen it, you will so understand why this is a topic of this hotel’s message as we firmly stand against any form of discrimination, full stop.
‘42’ is about Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball’s first African American player in the 1940’s. 42 was his uniform number that so changed the world, the number has been retired by all MLB teams to underscore Jackie’s importance in the fight for civil rights.
Maybe you aren’t a sports fan or perhaps you think you get the plot already. But please, don’t underestimate the impact this movie will have on your life.
Whether you are ‘old school’ like me and lived in the depths of oppression or you are ‘short in the tooth’ and want to understand so many struggles for equality by the generations before you, this movie will not disappoint. I promise, you’ll walk away enriched.
So what made me cry during the movie?? Answer: It was a very painful reminder of all the oppression and hatred that every gay or lesbian or transgendered or bisexual or questioning person has experienced sometime during their life, regardless of age.
By no means am I trying to diminish the struggle so many minorities face as we all fight for just understanding and equality under the law, particularly the struggles of black people all over the world. Whether its racism or sexual orientation, it matters not. We all have seen deadly consequences from the prejudices of society. This movie so expresses that danger without showing it outright but expresses the dangers and side effects better than so many others I’ve seen.
To see the outright hatred that is directed, both physically and mentally, at someone who merely wanted to live their own passion in life and was hated vociferously for the color of the skin he was born in is so painful, from anyone’s perspective.
The scene in which Jackie Robinson was hit in the head by a baseball purposefully thrown by the opposing pitcher only because of Jackie’s skin color, immediately brought to the surface the beatings I took in high school because others knew I was gay before I was ready to deal with it. Or perhaps those beatings delayed the honesty I needed to personally face. Whichever the case, this movie is one that many can relate to.
The memories of jaywalking tickets from Columbus, Ohio police for crossing an empty alleyway late in the evening while I walked into the clandestine, unmarked back door entrance of a gay bar in 1974 surfaced as I watched so many of the oppressive scenes in ‘42’. I so remember the 1970’s police raids on gay bars because we were castigated by society. I know that younger LGBT people can’t even imagine such discrimination today but hope it can come to mind for so many when you see this movie. Discrimination and prejudices cannot stand if we all understand the consequences and negative effect on mankind.
I know so many of our ‘Sunseeker Ohana’ have experienced hatred and oppression in some form, so why would we want to relive it in this movie?
The answer is simple. Right now in the history of humanity, there are positive endings to so many battles for civil rights. This movie reminds you of the pain we all faced and how grateful we all should be for our successes and how we always must stand up for each other, always.
We’ve battled together in our fight against discrimination and while marriage equality may 42not seem important for many, it’s very symbolic to me, a gay man that came out in the 1970’s, a very recent year in history.
Imagine that the movie ‘42’ deals with oppression in the 1940’s and it took over 70 years to produce. Will we have to wait until 2040 to see a movie about the oppression LGBT athletes faced because they had a passion for sports and were born with a different sexual orientation? I pray not.
The movie ‘42’, has wonderful stars such as Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford and is on pay per view, rentals and soon on cable. Don’t miss it whenever the opportunity arises. Watch it with friends, it is that good! I trust you will all find it as enriching as I did, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation or any other defining mark we’ve lived with………and too many have died for.