I usually get an idea for a blog by something that has inspired me, it could be a conversation or a line in a movie or anything at all. Then I store it away in my brain to develop and when I have more time to sit down and write it, the blog happens when I physically cannot leave it alone, when I have this determined urge to write it. This one arrived this morning, 1am as I was just falling into sleep, after sitting patiently in my head for a week.
I was talking to a friend of mine about a film I had made recently, (which you can find here https://vimeo.com/42902661 Love Letters) and she was relieved for my sake that I wasn’t gay although she had wondered. This made me curious, why was she relieved?! Being gay is not a bad thing, not that I know what being gay is. Yet she agreed and said that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks; that we all make mistakes. We left it at that because it was late but I came away not able to sleep.
I found it fascinating that a well rounded and educated woman could agree with me that it was wrong to judge people on their sexuality yet still saw it as wrong, as a mistake. I’m sad for her, that she really doesn’t see it, that she doesn’t really get to experience the celebration if a person who is gay. I have a lot of gay friends and I delight in them.
What a blessing and a priviledge it is to be around someone who has taken a hard step in accepting who they are, evolving in it and holding it out to the world; ‘this is who i am’. I admire that. I find I’m still learning, still evolving and still accepting who I am, so I learn a lot from being around people who are willing to be themselves, it’s a gift for me.
And yet I have to admit, I was nervous when writing my film, a lot of people told me to think twice maybe three times before including gay and disabled storylines. But my intention to break the mould and light up some darkness was strong and I needed to get it out there. Sure I was scared people would think I was gay because it had my own pieces of poetry. Not because being gay is a bad thing, I was just scared of what people’s perceptions of me would be, until I heard myself think it and slapped myself with humble pie. I needed to put it out there BECAUSE I was scared, and not only that. I needed to play the gay role to teach myself what I was trying to tell the world.
I’m glad I played the gay character, I’m glad I got to step into her shoes. Susannah is strong, and confident in who she is and how she feels, she’s patient and kind and is content within herself to not push the love of her life into loving her, instead she waits. Not only that but Susannah has curves and wears no make up yet is loveable, is attractive, is wanted. Susannah is someone I’d love to know and love to be more like. I have no regrets playing her.
One of my actresses asked me why didn’t I play Bridget (the first character) ‘because that’s obviously you’ when in fact they are all me, they all come from me, those poems arose from parts of my life. It’s funny how people can perceive you differently. This is why I didn’t cast a deaf girl to play Isabella and cast a perfectly able, wonderful friend of mine.The character was not just her disability, far from it, I wanted to show how normal someone is with one,and how the perspective within is quite different to those who surround you.
I looked at the footage when sitting down with my editor and good friend Tom, and was not afraid that people would think I was gay, in fact I am proud to stand up for and beside any gay person. No, all I saw were my bulges and double chins, my left leg turning in and my left hand playing an invisible piano. It frustrated me.
Then I had a humbling moment when Tom turned to me and asked had I watched the film, had I not wrote it? Did I not understand it? I was being a hyprocrite, sure preach to everyone else to become okay in who they are but despise yourself. I realized if I didn’t like my own bulges and saw them as faults I was in no fit manner to help anyone else. So I made a conscious effort to love who I am, to love every bump, to celebrate my disability, to dance in my uniqueness and to joyfully excite in whomever I fall in love with! To not be my own obstacle. Judge not lest ye be judged. Choose wisely before you pass somebody else’s actions off as mistakes or sins; their actions are most likely perfect for their life and will aid in their happiness immensely. There is no wrong or right when it comes to free will and love, no black and white, jusy colour lots and lots of rainbow colours!