So much for the great gay lovefest at the Oscars. Our coveted golden boy, like so many other men before, slunk out in the middle of the night without even leaving a twenty on the dresser. But, that doesn’ t mean things necessarily look worse in the cold light of morning, not if you look at the bigger picture in which Oscar and the movies many were rooting for, are but tiny pixels.
“Brokeback,” with a leading eight nominations, did win Oscars for best director, adapted screenplay and original score. “Capote,” which had five nods going into the awards, earned the best-actor honor.
“Transamerica” was shut out, despite great reviews for lead actress Felicity Huffman.
Gay advocates said the number of Oscars earned by those movies wasn’t as important as their impact on Hollywood and America.
“The films lead to conversations, and conversations lead to greater awareness, a level of comfort with gay and lesbian Americans,” said Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
As the old song from the civil rights movement reminds us, it important thing is to keep your eyes on the prize. And the prize in this case isn’t a golden statue to sit on the shelf of a heterosexual actor or directory who may also be one of our allies. The prize is a world in which we and our families have all the rights and protections any other person or family has.
The prize is equality, and it isn’t won on Oscar night. It isn’t going to come in along with the box office receipts. It won’t be won by one movie in one year, or three movies in one year, or half a dozen in the next. It’s won, or it will be won, in our living rooms and around our dining room tables.
It’s won in our neighborhoods and in the aisles of our local grocery stores. It’s won in our churches or temples, or anywhere we stand to affirm our commitments. It’s won in the hospital delivery rooms and court rooms where our families are created. It’s won in our communities when we have the audacity to go about living our lives without secrecy or shame.
It would have been nice to see that shiny little bald guy go home with Heath Ledger or Jake Gyllenhaal as well with Ang Lee. But that’s not the real prize. The golden statue may have been lost last night, but the real prize is being won, step by step, piece by piece; by all of us.