I was incredibly fortunate to see the premiere of OUTRAGE on Friday night in Washington, D.C. The film, based on the who, what, when, where and why of politics, is a very clear and concise look inside how hanging out in your own personal closet while also having "power" in our nation's capital corrupts. You've heard the saying, "Power Corrupts. Absolute Power Corrupts, Absolutely." When any politician chooses to put themselves into any type of "closet" - from former Idaho Senator Larry "wide-stance" Craig to the current governor of Florida, Republican Charlie Crist, to an entire cast of politicians from across the country - this is a must see movie. For everyone.
Watch it if you can (as it is a limited-release film) and/or save it on your Netflix queue. Before I continue, here's the trailer for the movie:
I went into the showing thinking I would be totally outraged at the end. The first problem: the film makers pulled off an incredibly balanced movie. The second problem: I left, along with many others, not OUTRAGED, but something more akin to "Seen It." And that was in and of itself distressing. As an out gay man, it was distressing to see how much power closeted queers hold, and yet they screw over the LGBTQ community ALL THE TIME.
This film is powerful, but it doesn't hit you in the gut. If anything, it makes you wonder why we put up with this. And why Americans of all shades, creeds and orientations don't question who they are electing to represent their interests. As the film so brilliantly illustrates, many of the closeted elected queers aren't looking out for their constituents. They are looking out for themselves and watching their own backs and their own personal "closet."
At the expense not just of the LGBTQ community, but of every American. It's more than simple hypocrisy. It is a travesty of justice, a travesty of democracy and a travesty of what the United States stands for. And this film is absolutely "spot-on" in exposing that hypocrisy and travesty.
The other thing that really hurt was the conveniently situated "opposite-sex" companion for the politicians in the closet. Most of the politicians are male, and most of them are Republican, so I'm going to dispense with using gender-neutral terms at this point and just say "him."
Those involved in the making of the film, most notably Michael Rogers and director Kirby Dick (yes, that is his real name...), don't simply make this a very powerful audio-visual version of Entertainment Weekly by floating gossip and rumors.
They have succeeded in making a CSI case on who is doing what to whom, the why behind it (yep,that would be to get re-elected), and how their personal "issues" regarding their own "closet" absolutely does nothing but hurt EVERYONE. From their "wives/companions," to their constituents, to the gay and lesbian community - these people are dangerous. And must be stopped.
I'm outraged. Not by the movie, which is incredibly persuasive in it's fact-by-fact CSI-ing of the case against homosexuals with power in the closet, and how they wield that power - mostly for evil.
I'm outraged that I'm not outraged. If you take away anything from my post, it's this: We've been there, seen enough of the damage - from McCarthyism to former Idaho Senator Craig "snagged" in a public restroom at an airport in Minnesota, most likely a casualty of his own legislative "record" in the United States Senate. His mug shot speaks volumes.
In the end, the pen is mightier than the sword. But keep your shields up, as we don't know what is rolling down the pike. I'm hoping for clear skies and the wind at our backs.
As this film so eloquently shows, however, it's not always blue skies and open sails. Let's watch each other's backs. And most definitely watch OUTRAGE.