Saturday, November 26, 2005

rent

saw rent yesterday. never got to see the stage version, but absolutely loved it. it made me laugh, cry, and despite the awful last scene where mimi dies and then comes back to life saying that she was sent back by angel, the drag queen who died from AIDS, i absolutely loved it.
apparently, however, a lot of people disagreed, and walked out before the first act was over. did you people not know the premise of rent? what did you expect from a modern musical version of "la boheme" with 4 characters suffering from AIDS, 4 homosexual characters (one of them a flaming drag queen), and 1 exotic dancer/heroin addict living in lower east manhatten in the late 80s? songs about rainbows and bunnies? i think not. i laughed about it afterwards, but something about it upset me. i laughed at people walking out until i saw people walking out during "i'll cover you", a scene in which two of the gay characters sing their love for each other. why did this upset me a bit? well, let me tell you...

i had a conversation with a friend the other day, in which we discussed individuals who were born and raised in utah and their general naivety of "the world" - now i say this and the following without trying to completely generalize utahans, as this specific friend is one, and as i know many who do not fall into this category - i grew up in dallas, a big flaming liberal city, and, needless to say, was exposed to the world from a young age. not only was i one of the few members of the church in school, work, etc, but i came to know a lot of different people with different beliefs, life styles, religions, races, political stances, etc. the diversity that is missing in most of utah was alive and well in dallas, and because i had wonderful parents who were not only converts, but one who grew up in LA surrounded by diversity, they taught be the value of respect and acceptance. never did i take any of the persecution i received at school personally, and never was i so quick to judge others who were different from me that i was led to impose by beliefs on them and deem them sinners/bad people/un-human. that is not what the gospel teaches. i respected them for their beliefs, accepted that, and loved them.
when i moved to utah, i was thoroughly disappointed and upset that many people i encountered in one way or another were so close-minded, disrespectful, and so unaccepting of anybody who didn't fit the "mormon culture" mold. i thought that surely, a high concentrated group of people who were taught the gospel would live it, and be more loving and accepting as a whole. how disappointed was to find out that this wasn't the case. having just seen rent, i consider homosexuality, and some of the blatant and hateful way i have seen some (not all) utahans treat and judge those who choose that lifestyle. having been on the acting scene in dallas as a teenager, and just living in dallas, i have had numerous contacts with people who choose this lifestyle and are quite proud of it. i even knew one who was dying of AIDS and is probably no longer with us. they are all wonderful people with kind hearts who are just like you and me. is i ironic that most of the gay people i know are more kind, compassionate, accepting, and respectful than many "good" members that i have met in utah?
when it comes right down to it, if we strip away all of our "labels" we and others place on ourselves, such as "mormon", "gay", "texan", "vegetarian", "utahan", "republican", or "american", we are all simply human beings. do you realize what huge implications that has? we are all god's children, and he loves everybody equally, even those who sin. and are we not all sinners? christ taught that he who without sin should cast the first stone. i think that is one of the most poignant moments in the life of christ, for he, the only one without sin, did not cast a stone at the sinner. we should see others as christ sees them, and that alone would demand that we respect, love, and accept all of god's children, not just the ones who shares our beliefs. there is a separation and a difference between loving someone unconditionally and not agreeing with their beliefs. it's called respect.

in conclusion, i loved rent, the characters and ideals found in it, because i have known and do know these characters in my life, and love them.

6 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, things aren't so hot here in Dallas either. Went to see Rent with Kari and Meg last night and after, Kari went to the bathroom and overheard some teenage girls whining about how they didn't want to see two girls doing "that" ever again. Kari said it was all she could do to keep from grabbing one and kissing her on the lips. My question is this: doing what, exactly? Singing to each other, pecking each other on the lips? It's not like there was full on lesbian action going on. It's sad to me that just a hint of a suggestion of homosexuality can cause people to go into shock.

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  2. I love you Nama. And I love my gay siblings too. I just had to tell my mom to get off my brother's back. And I let her know that constantly telling him, "I love you, I just don't agree with what you're doing." Is like saying that she loves him in spite of him. He knows she doesn't agree. But constantly telling him that she doesn't approve of him is really hurting him.

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  4. Please also understand that although some people do NOT condemn those things (I have one gay and one lesbian relative, both of whom I love very much), they also don't agree with them. I would not go see the movie in the first place because of its content. I hope no one will judge me incorrectly and say I am intolerant. I am free to choose what movies I want to watch, and there is no law that says I must watch something that doesn't uplift me personally. In your tolerance, please also be tolerant and understanding of people who don't share your same opinions and interests.

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  5. i liked rent to, and the last scene is the only one i didn't like either, i thought it was hoaky

    -michael

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  6. point well taken anonymous.
    just to clarify, i wasn't saying that those who don't see the movie are wrong, intolerant, etc. i was speaking generally and used the instance as a shoot off to turn my blog into a soapbox and address an issue i feel strongly about.
    and i respect you for your personaly choices, as long as you make them with respect, and it sounds like you do.

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