Outrage

Title: Outrage
Director: Kirby Dick
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Year: 2009, to be released on DVD January, 2010
Available: Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

The usual practice is to rent a DVD and review the movie. There are real advantages in reviewing from a DVD. One has the opportunity to watch the movie several times, and to review important parts of the movie. In a movie theatre, a person has no chance to do that. One only has the time to make a few mental notes, because theatres are too dark to take down any written notes.

Recently, the documentary Outrage came to theatres in town. Outrage is about queer American politicians who, while speaking out against human rights for sexual minorities, denying their sexuality. Pretending to be straight when a person is gay or bisexual is not always easy. A person has to constantly manage both presentation and information. For example, a gay man might have to work hard to ensure he does not cross his legs when sitting. A gay person who has a same-sex partner might refer to the partner using gender neutral pronouns, so nobody will know about the relationship. Getting married to a member of the opposite sex makes it easier to appear to be straight. Individuals who feel insecure, or who have a lot to lose if people learn they are gay may take their acting to the next level by attacking homosexuals and gay rights. Few people have more to lose than people who have jobs that require popular approval. Closeted gay ministers and elected government officials have a lot to lose if they are thought to be gay. More than one gay or bisexual person has deflected attention from his or her own sexuality, by being very vocal in their opposition to homosexuality. Closeted queer ministers and politicians can become powerful political enemies of the queer community so nobody will think they might be queer themselves. The documentary Outrage looks at this tendency among political leaders in Washington, D.C., and in some American states.

Outrage uses case studies of some American political figures who strongly oppose gay rights, and appear to be gay. In some cases, men have sworn affidavits saying they had sex with some of these very homophobic political leaders. Some of the politicians discussed in the documentary are nationally known figures. In one case, a politician appears to have gotten married to cover his homosexuality.

In the documentary, the practice of outing closeted gay people is discussed. Outing a member of a sexual minority group can devastate personal lives. The question arises if it is ethical to out political figures who have been endorsing policies that harm sexual minorities, and/or have been making very homophobic comments in the press. When a political leader acts in ways that are almost traitorous and treasonous to his or her own people, is outing that leader an appropriate an ethical response?

Outrage is a must watch for gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-identified, and straight allies to watch. Christian gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified individuals will want to watch this video, so they can start to think about how Christian queers should respond to the problem of closeted, homophobic politicians, as well as the practice of outing such harmful leaders.






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