When Love is Gay
This 1995 documentary by the National Film Board of Canada explores the evolving homosexual culture of the time. It features men of all ages talking openly about their sexuality and the challenges they face daily in a straight, and mostly homophobic, society. The documentary draws from intimate conversations with men who have struggled with self-acceptance. It explores the relationships between these men— be they long term and monogamous or purely sexual brief encounters.
Culture dictates most of our preferences and the way in which we do things. Contrary to popular belief, gays in general are very attracted to virility; it’s part of the gay fantasy world. The desire to be a man or to be with a man is highly erotic. The whole image of men dressing up like women in order to attract other men dates back to the 60s, nowadays a man simply needs to be a man in order to attract another man.
Many of the men interviewed relate the moment in which they discovered their sexual orientation. Being different in a society that strives to make everybody as similar as possible is very difficult. It was like swimming against the current for each of them.
These men candidly share the well meaning, yet twisted, advice they received from friends, religious authorities, and even complete strangers. The prejudice, stereotypes, and rejection are quite painful, and in an attempt to not cause a confrontation, many have learned to keep their homosexuality secret. However, a few rebel and chose their personal truth over religion, careers, and even family.
According to some, the more openly a homosexual is able to express his sexuality, the freer he will be from the pressure and problems that society may impose on him. The goal, then, is to be strong enough to rise above the negative images that most people have about homosexuality. For instance, in schools, most of the time the topic only comes up during a conversation about HIV AIDS.
When you think of it, love is always the same. There is no gender attached to it. You can’t say that love is masculine of feminine; it’s just love. Does this mean that society has now fully accepted homosexuals or do some people still have reservations? Watch this film now.