April 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
I attended the LGBTQIA film festival hosted by NOGLSTP on Saturday at Purdue to watch the film entitled “Change.” The film told the story of a high school aged boy named Jaime who lives in California. He has many intersecting identities as a gay, African American male. The story takes place during the 2008 election announcement. The presidential election in important to Jaime because he is a supporter of Barack Obama and Jaime and his family are excited for the possible election of the first African American president of the United States. On the same day of the presidential election, California is also voting for Proposition 8. Proposition 8 is a bill that would ban same sex marriage in California. Propositions are bills that are voted for directly by the voting public. The film follows the internal struggle that Jaime feels over the outcome of Proposition 8 and also the conflict he faces when his group of friends harass one of his gay classmates. Jaime has not come out to his friends so he struggles with defending his classmate or going along with his friends. At the beginning of the film, his group of friends decides they are going to tag their gay classmate’s house the day after the announcement of the Proposition 8 outcome. In the evening, Jaime returns home to watch the election results with his family. When Barack Obama wins the election, his family celebrates and everyone is very happy and excited with the outcome. The next morning at breakfast, Jaime’s father mentions that Proposition 8 has passed. It is obvious that his family, except for his sister, is not aware that Jaime is gay because his father makes several anti-gay comments and voices his happiness that the proposition has passed. Jaime is visibly upset and it is obvious that though he is excited with the presidential results, but he is hurt by the Proposition 8 results. He then receives a text saying that his group of friends are on their way to tag his gay classmate’s house. Jaime runs to his house, apparently planning to stop this from happening. When he arrives at the house, he sees that an offensive name has already been spray painted to the front of his house and his friend is sitting on the curb looking upset. Jaime seems to decide that he doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him being gay anymore and walks over and sits beside him. He holds his hand and comforts him. His group of friends walk around the corner and see them sitting together. They start yelling at Jaime, saying he was a “traitor.” The “leader” of the group seems to struggle with the idea of allowing the group to beat up Jaime but after a few minutes, he walks up to Jaime and throws the first punch. The movie ends there. This film was interesting because it showed how someone’s intersecting identities can affect many aspects of a person’s life in many different ways. The day of the election was a conflicting time for Jaime because one event was supporting one aspect of his identity while another event went against another aspect of his identity. Overall, I feel the film was successful in portraying the struggle that many people, along with Jaime, were going through during the 2008 election.