La Mission Response (#1)
In many (recent) cultures homosexuality is not accepted by any means, rather it is considered taboo or even sinful. Catholics are raised to believe that love and love-making are reserved for relationships between one man and one woman. I have learned that during the Roman Empire it was not uncommon for a man to sleep with another man; even Julius Caesar had male partners. However, it has since become much less acceptable in our society. As this idea solidified throughout the years, homosexuals were forced to hide their true feeling for fear of being ridiculed or prosecuted. Recently there has been an increase in expressions of homosexuality, especially in America where homosexual marriages are legal in many states. America has established itself as a country where people have many rights and are free to fight for the rights they do not have. As homosexuality has become more prevalent and public, many people/groups have resisted accepting same-sex relationships. Gays in America are still made fun of in many social situations.
In La Mission, Jay (the father) is clearly a very religious, manly man. He is truly shaken and disturbed upon learning that his son Jess is gay. He literally doesn’t know how to act. However what he doesn’t realize is that his son has been gay all his life, therefore Jay should not have to change how he acts. The first time we saw that Jess was gay on screen (when he kissed his boyfriend) I was also disgusted like Jay. I instinctively looked away during all the “gay” scenes. However, seeing how Jess was treated by his peers and elders made me think twice about my views on homosexuals. What people must force themselves to understand is that being gay is not a choice. As hard as we try we cannot change how we feel. If his feeling tell him that he likes a man, he cannot change that. Many gay men try to hide their true feelings by sleeping with women to divert the attention, some gay men go so far as getting married to a woman to try to prove to others (or even themselves) that they are not gay. Recently, many married men have been “coming out of the closet” because today’s society is becoming more accepting of gays.
That, however, is not the case in most countries. According to the article “What it’s like to be Gay in Tajikistan” being gay was a crime in Tajikistan until 1998. However, even though it is decriminalized, homosexuality is not even remotely accepted. It is not uncommon for a gay man to be murdered. And when this does happen, the police cover up the crime. Worse yet, if the police find out you are gay, they blackmail you. They threaten to tell your family/friends about your orientation if you do not pay them a certain amount. They are of course forced to pay the amount. In the case of Ravshan Uzakov, the blackmailing persisted until he could no longer take it. Uzakov ended his own life at the age of 23.
Hopefully homosexuals in America continue to fight for their rights. When they succeed other countries will likely follow order eventually. Although I don’t like watching men kiss, I can understand that it’s just the way they are, not a choice they’re making or a disease they posses. Even though I may still look away, I accept the fact that they are gay.
Article used: What It’s Like to Be Gay in Tajikistan http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/01/what-its-like-to-be-gay-in-tajikistan/251888/