In black-and-white, Troye Sivan tilts his head as he stands on the stage.
Circa early 1980s, a man puts his arm around his boyfriend and hugs him in the park. LGBTQ people protest on the road, holding a banner saying “Gay and Proud.” A young woman slips a ring on her bride’s finger. They kiss, champagne glasses in hand. An older man touches his boyfriend’s chin.
A bare-chested man puts his arms around Sivan. Sivan presses his face against his chest.
Men chant during a protest. A young woman holds a “Born This Way” sign. People are dragged from the protests. A fiftysomething couple dance.
The screen cuts into two fuzzy lines and becomes pitch black for a few seconds. The man puts his hands over Sivan’s eyes. Sivan looks up at him. Standing by himself, Sivan watches as the rain falls. He opens his hand, examining the drops.
In the early 80s, a thirtysomething man kisses his boyfriend as they lie on the grass. A drag queen smiles and ruffles her curls. A doctor checks a young man’s pupils. Couples dance at a celebration.
Harvey Milk waves to the camera as he rides a float through a block in San Francisco.
Sivan lies on the stage and turns his head to face the camera.
A mother supports her child and carries a sign stating: “California Parent Proud of Her Gay Son.” Lesbian couples, both young and old, kiss.
The man rubs Sivan’s temple. Sivan kisses his chest and looks up at him.
The LGBTQ community has been fighting for their existence for decades. In the 70s, they were denied business licenses, spurring Harvey Milk to become an activist and enter politics, according to the Milk Foundation. Milk gave his life to the community, something he expected to happen, given his stature. He was killed November 27, 1978.
In 1981, according to Amfar.org, AIDS was termed as the “gay cancer.” It wasn’t until 1982 that other causes led to the disease. Although homosexuality was becoming mainstream, then-President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act and banned them from the military, as reported by CNN.
It took an entire decade of states slowly amending their constitutions to allow homosexual couples to marry and for the ban to repealed in the military. However, it’s a fragile win.
The LGBTQ community cannot rest or become complacent. Without protesting or questioning a law, they lose their voice in society. Harvey Milk provided it for them in the 70s. President Barack Obama recognized the world had changed by the 10s. Nonetheless, the battles continue as they face local officials and business owners who’d rather discriminate against them. Given the political party in power in the United States, the long and hard-fought rights can be stripped away.
Director: Luke Gilford Year: 2017
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.