HBO’s The Out List

    First Published 6/23/13

 

 While doing my usual “what’s gay today” surfing on the Google, I came across a BuzzFeed article that damn near made my heart melt. As of June 27th, we all have the pleasure of watching interviews from the likes of  celebrities like Wanda Sykes, Neil Patrick Harris, and my queen of queens, Ellen DeGeneres as they express their opinions, stories and struggles of being out members of the LGBTQ community in the public eye in the HBO documentary, The Out List.

I can’t even imagine the plight of a queer pioneer. I simply came out to my family and close friends and that was the scariest situation I’ve ever experienced. To think that these people had the strength and fortitude to speak out about something so personal to everyone, in spite of what the reactions may be, blows my mind. Ellen DeGeneres came out as a lesbian right in the midst of a booming career and her very own  television show. There was an immediate backlash from the media and even some of her so-called fans, and her career suffered from discrimination for years afterwards.Up until her admission, real-life lesbians were invisible in the media. No one spoke of them and it seemed easier to just pretend like we didn’t exist. But not anymore.


Thanks to phenomenal queers like Ellen, there’s no longer a need to hide . Look at all the queer representation in film and television now, what with shows like Glee, The New Normal, and arguably Rizzoli and Isles– we’ve come so far as a nation! These celebrities have trudged through the early disapproval and disdain for the LGBTQ community and because of them I am able to write openly today about my queerness and it’s not seen as strange or the sort of thing that needs to be kept secret. So, of course I’ll be catching this documentary when it comes out on June 27th! Gotta pay homage to the pioneers that have made my life just that much easier. And kudos to HBO for making a film about the rising acceptance of gays. They will definitely be on the right side of history with this one.

I Wanna be Like Maude

 

Harold and Maude. I’d been contemplating seeing this film for at least a year before actually watching it. All I heard was that it was “really good” or “worth watching,” which I’m sure is understandably vague. For that reason, I had no idea how amazing it actually was! Ok,  Harold and Maude  tells the story of a death-obsessed, twenty-ish fellow that lives with his wealthy mother. He spends a lot of time faking his own demise, until he  meets the coolest, most adventurous 79 year old woman you’ll ever lay your eyes on, Maude.

 

 They develop a friendship that becomes a romance and while you may think this is odd from the outside looking in, I don’t think you’ll feel that way after watching this. I only say that because I found nothing strange or odd about their relationship. I found myself rooting for them. Really! The real reason I love this film? 

 

 

I wanna be like Maude when I grow up! Maude steals cars on a whim, dresses like a bohemian gypsy, totally borderline-horder status without seeming crazy, and truly practiced carpe diem. Maude represents the most natural and graceful form of beauty because she embraced  all that she wasl; No apologies! She wore little to no makeup and grinned her wrinkled smile with pride. Age meant nothing to Maude and I think that’s why their relationship seemed so … acceptable? Contrasting Maude to normal representations of beauty makes her even more unique. Youth seems to exemplify some sort of advantage when it comes to beauty. 

On one hand, this is understandable seeing that old age inevitably means less time to live, and most of us aren’t obsessed with the subject of death like Harold. Maude embraced her old age as an advantage rather than disadvantage. She appreciated her life experiences and took each day for what it was. She was thankful for her years rather than regretful of her past. Old age is often taboo, but with this story, it’s accepted. Maude shows us that aging gracefully, naturally and happily is beautiful. And I so admire that.