Gay & Grammy – Day 3 FFF 2014

How Would Grammy LanceAround Respond to This Movie?

How Would Grammy LanceAround Respond to This Movie?

As a septuagenarian, Grammy LanceAround grew up in a different generation than most people who attend the FFF. For this reason, Mrs. LanceAround was a little nervous about taking her to the film, Before You Know It.  The movie is a feature length documentary by P. J. Raval that chronicles the lives of three gay senior citizens who are facing the twilight of their years as they come to terms with what it has meant to be gay in a world that began for them with gays being labeled “deviant” or having a “mental disorder” to today’s American society that has seen a surge in the rights of gays to marry.

At the end of the movie, Mrs. LanceAround, NumberOneSon, NumberTwoSon and LanceAround all held their breaths as they asked Grammy LanceAround, “What did you think of the movie?”

“I loved it,” She replied.

“Whether you’re gay or straight, it doesn’t matter to me,” She continued. “I wasn’t crazy about the bar scenes, but I really liked everything else.”

I guess it’s no wonder that LanceAround has a very open and accepting philosophy of life.

“Do they really have retirement communities for people who are gay?” Grammy LanceAround innocently asks.

“Yes, Mom, this is a documentary. Everything in the movie is true,” Replies LanceAround.

“Well, that’s a good thing,” She responds. “It’s not good for people to be alone. I remember when I went into my community after Dad died. I met Fred. It was nice to have someone.”

And her simple wisdom, born of a time that has seen everything from the great depression to world war to the 60’s and footprints on the moon right up to today’s social changes, sums up the poignancy and power of this documentary.

Particularly touching was the story of Dennis/Dee, a gentle hearted widower, also a septuagenarian, whose family does not know that he likes to dress in women’s clothing. He has moved from his trailer in Florida to a gay retirement community in Portland, Oregon, because he can’t bare the thought of being rejected by what little family he has left if he were to come out to them. The scene, where he puts on his dress and make up then waits for an online date with someone who might become a sex partner, had many in the audience in tears.

When a black leader of the New York City Gay Pride Festival was being interviewed as the news breaks that gays would now be permitted to marry in the state of New York, the feeling of pride and elation in the audience was palatable.

As a movie, LanceAround was just beginning to think that the documentary was following a far too familiar formula which made it feel a little plodding and dull. But the story gradually emerged as so compelling that LanceAround became engrossed and totally unaware of the formulaic devices. In other words, the movie works. And it works on many different levels, as the applause of the audience at the end of the film clearly demonstrated.

Most of all, Grammy LanceAround loved it.

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