A young acquaintance of mine tagged me in a Facebook note he'd titled "The Skinny on Homophobia in 'Watchmen.'" He cited the scene in which the lesbian Minutemen are found murdered with the words "Lesbian Whores" written in blood above their bed, as well as Ozymandias' perceived homosexuality, contrasted with shots of Dr. Manhattan's penis. What? He even claims that Ozymandias' hybrid cat is an allusion to Siegfried and Roy (the source material pre-dates S&R by about 10 years). He and other responders then go on to say that director Zack Snyder has a homophobic agenda, citing the character of Xerxes in 300 (more on that in a moment). When I tried to rebut, saying that any issues with homosexuality are Alan Moore's and not Snyder's, another poster brought up the character of the church organ player in Dawn of the Dead. Huh?
I ask you, is it me, or has everyone just gotten too god damned sensitive? Of course I am against homophobia. But I don't go looking for it in every movie I see (unless it's overt - and then I'd probably avoid seeing it in the first place). My Facebook friend then goes on to say that he "has an eye for these things" and that he was "molded" by Larry Kramer and Derek Jarman. Below is an edited version of my final comments on the post:
"None of the things you mention are Snyder's issues. They are Moore's. Snyder was simply recreating what Moore wrote. Are you trying to say that there are no bad gay people? That we are all altruistic do-gooders who would never harm another human being? The film is about the dark underbellies we all try to hide from one another. Comedian shoots a pregnant woman, for God's sake! I was far more offended by that than by anything Rorschach (who is obviously unstable) had to say. And Ozymandias' tiger is right out of the book, pre-dating Siegfried and Roy by about 10 years... The most horrific serial killer in American history, Jeffery Dahmer, was gay. Does that make all serial killers gay?
"I think we'll need to agree to disagree. Not being a fan of Larry Kramer's brand of activism, or someone who goes looking to pick fights, I think the only real way to deal with homophobia is through education and rational discussion, rather than ranting and taking to the streets in the anger. All that seems to do is rile up the opposition and make the protesters look crazy. Maybe once you've reached my age, you'll see the difference. We no longer live in an America where the LGBT community is rounded up and hauled off to jail for "indecent behavior." Real change is slow and painful. The way to be heard is through rational discourse and the democratic process. In the meantime, can't we just enjoy a little dark entertainment once in a while, without analyzing it to death?"
As for 300, I think it is probably the gayest movie of 2006. Where else will you find 300+ scantily clad musclemen, showing off their magnificent physiques for one another (and us)?
Here's the thing: It's never been about Us (the LGBT Community) against Them (the Straight Community), but rather Us (the Rational Humanitarians) against Them (the bigoted assholes afraid of what they don't understand). Maybe that's why I have more straight friends than gay friends. Many gay activists seem to me just as narrow-minded as their fundie opposites. What I want to know is, when will everyone realize that there is no "Us" or "Them," only "We?"