Tuesday, August 01, 2006

TRANSAMERICA
One faithful reader, as well as fantastic blogger, http://go-mama.blogspot.com/, suggested I rent "Transamerica" after reviewing "Brokeback Mountain". While still taking advantage of my husband's weakened state, we watched it last night. Wow. As Go Mama promised, it portrayed a human dealing head-on with her gender and sexual orientation. The movie had a lot of heart and honesty. Within a week or two, Felicity Huffman learns she is a father, meets her son, and shares her secret with him.
Where "Brokeback Mountain" "failed", if you will, is that no good came from the love the two men shared. Lives were broken, lies perpetuated, the status quo was left unchanged. "Transamerica" showed a woman choosing a difficult, but beautifully authentic, life for herself, and thus, her son. Toby, the son, has the opportunity to know, love, and understand his "father". The children in "Brokeback Mountain" remain confused, misled, and I would venture to say conflicted over their feelings for their fathers. This is no legacy to leave one's children. Don't we owe it to our children to first know ourselves, and then be this knowing self to one's children? How convenient to "believe" children can't handle honesty. What children cannot handle is feeling they are somehow responsible for their parent's unhappiness. To be something other than you are, and to maintain this myth for the sake of your children, is utter selfishness, and really, child abuse. Children thrive when they are loved unconditionally. When parents don't love themselves, how well can they love their children?

17 comments:

Michelle O'Neil said...

I'll have to rent this one. Thanks Carrie. So well said.

So many stay in toxic relationships for the sake of the kids. It is very tragic.

Truth is better than pretend, no matter how well intentioned.

Suzy said...

This movie is amazing. I saw it when it first came out and was blown away by Felicity Huffman's performance of the physical and emotional struggles he/she encountered. I have had the good fortune to know people with this internal/external stuggle and it is so painful to watch. I can only imagine their anguish.

Go Mama said...

Amen sister. You got it!

Glad you liked the movie. It's a good antidote for the loss suffered in Brokeback.

Thanks for the blog plug. Not enough has been made of your networking talents!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry....but as a lesbian, I have to say something on behalf of the guys in Brokeback.

The movie starts in the 60's - these men didn't have any other options. It's easy to look back and say what they should have done - live an honest life...

I am thankful every day of the proud of the gay people who fought so hard so that I can live my life the way I do. My partner and I have been together 13 years - out of the closet and open and honest about who we are, own a home together and are starting a family - in that past, that wasn't a luxury that every gay man or lesbian had.....it could have cost them their life.

Anonymous said...

thanks Carrie and Go Mama! I plan to rent it...I really need a happy ending!!

Anonymous said...

sorry "Anonymous Lesbian" but...

The movie starts in the 60's - these men didn't have any other options. It's easy to look back and say what they should have done - live an honest life...

is no excuse to hurt children!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, it DID cost one of them their life, literally, and one figuratively, AND they brought down everyone around them. We always have choices/options, some are just harder than others, and being selfless is harder than being selfish.

Anonymous said...

Easy to say when you'll never know what it's like. Did that really hurt children more than the majority of children whose parents get divorced for any other reason?

If it's about hurting children - then where's the outrage over how hetersosexuals are ruining their families right and left?????

Oh...because they were gay - then the children were so much more hurt - give me a break.

Anonymous said...

sorry "Anonymous Lesbian" but I must demand that the "children and wives" get the last word on this

yes, divorce hurts children and so does a lot of other things adults do!

ALL if it is bad...really BAD

give you a break? give me a break!!

Anonymous said...

50% of marriages don't end in gayness - they end in divorce.

When you marry, make a promise, having children cements that promise to each other....when you break that promise because you no longer feel the marriage is working for "you" or you are not "fulfilled" by the marriage or you've "grown in a way" that your partner hasn't - A person making the same selfish choice you accuse these men of - Putting their needs above their children's. It's the same act of selfishness - it's just not politically correct to say so since over 50% of heterosexual marriages in and we have so many single parent households -

Coming out to yourself is not a single act - it's a process of self discovery and acceptance...when heterosexual people come to an awakening about themselves - A woman in her 40's who is no longer fullfilled and walks out on her marriage - It's the same act of selfishness - but we excuse that....All I'm saying, these men did nothing worse than heterosexual people do every day and while no that doesn't make it right......It only "seems" so much worse to you because you can't fathom every being in that situation - it's not your experience...so you judge it. When's the last time you chided a good friend who is divorced or is divorcing for a reason other than infidelity or abuse because it was "hurting the children"????? Bet you didn't....It's all the same hurt to a child...to call it out because they were gay - not cool.

Anonymous said...

you still don't get it! it's not about being gay at all...it's about selfish parents! the very WORST kind of selfishness~

maybe someday our beloved Carrie will do a blog about a straight couple that hurts their children due to some act of selfishness...trust me, you'll see, I won't kind or soft or nice or understanding there either!

Anonymous said...

I may not be gay or lesbian, but I am the child of one, and the pain of knowing there's a "secret", but not knowing what it is, and never really learning the truth, is harder to overcome than the "usual" secrets that break up marriages.

Anonymous said...

anonymous heterosexual:

This is why there will never be peace in the Middle East.

When you look at this you only see two victims - the women and the children - I look at it and see three. I can admit it is awful for the women and children...I can't imagine the devastation I would feel if all of a sudden my partner of 13 years ran off with a man....but you can't or won't admit that these men deserve compassion too....

It's all academic for you - nice and neat hypothetical for you to judge someone's actions when you never have and never will be in that situation - you can't even imagine it.

Until you have compassion for the men too instead of simple disdain for their selfishness - you truly haven't expanded your heart...to show compassion to all beings. It's so easy to sit back and say we all have a choice - yes we do, but until you know what that choice FEELS like from the other side - maybe you can muster up a little more compassion.

Is it simply gay men you have no compassion or for all men?

Ziji Wangmo said...

I'll have to rent Transamerica -soon. I agree that truth beefits everyone and everything. That was a difficult piece with Brokeback -they couldn't or weren't able to be true to themselves.

Anonymous said...

When a marriage ends, there is always pain...and children are hurt when adults can't get their crap together: heterosexual or homosexual.

Would you really look a person who's father had a extramarital affair with a woman and kept it a secret and say your pain is worse than theirs because your parent is gay? A family is still destroyed...children are still hurt - there's still a betrayal.

I'm saying both are equally painful - both betrayals are bad. But when you say it's "cruel" because these men were gay - you are assigning value.......and in essence making your true feelings about gay people known.

Anyone that can watch this movie and not muster up some compassion for the men - missed the entire purpose of the film because they can only focus on their "hot button" issues and are unable to see beyond themselves.

I don't think anyone here disagrees that "the truth" is always the best route - being honest to yourself and others - always the best way.

But most of you have never faced the following:

Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't have that luxury? Ever been afraid that someone would physically hurt (or kill) you for who you love? Afraid your spouse will use your homosexuality to take your children from you when you "come clean"? Ever been afraid of being fired for being gay (that's still legal in many places)?
Ever been afraid of being denied housing because you are gay (that's still legal in many places too).
Ever been afraid to go to your small Southern hometown with your partner and child, not because you are afraid of the reaction, but afraid for your safety?
Ever had men with rifles patrol the perimiter of your farm with rifles and shooting off their guns just so you know they don't like you living next to them? (Yes, this happened- it was not a movie).

Some people don't have the luxury that all of you have.....and good God, I can't understand why the people on this page can't muster up some compassion for that.

Learning Lollipops said...

I have a great desire to rent these two movies this weekend and watch them.

Great sensitivity in your critiquing of the movies, Carrie.

Reverse Stalker said...

You know, what's all this fuss about...poor sweet Carrie, doing her 'movie review' business and now she's the center of a lot of "you don't know what you don't know don't know what I know you don't know," oy! I'm going to get a cuppa a tea and head over to the site on how to forgive...http://www.forgivingnature.blogspot.com/...now that girl has got it ALL going on!!