Fear of Differences and A Single Man (the movie)

I write this to honor the end of the military ban on Gays serving openly.

The 2009 movie A Single Man is brilliantly acted by Colin Firth. He plays a gay man in the 1960’s whose partner of 16 years dies in an accidentFear of Differences, being gay and he considers taking his own life.

It’s a very powerful reminder of how ugly secrecy can be and how silence about differences destroy lives. This is not only true of the 1960’s. The West Point Cadet who blogged about her struggles this year as a gay woman and who subsequently left makes it still very true today.

Colin Firth is a professor and there is a scene in a classroon where he says: “Hate is for a cause. The cause was fear. Minorities that go unnoticed constitutes some real or imaged threat to the majority. If the minority is visible the fear is greater.”

My son and I were looking at a medieval painting in a catholic church in Cuzco,Peru together and he pointed out that the devil had clearly been painted as a Jew. If the minority is visible the fear is greater.

Couples work is all about respecting the differences. The Spanish didn’t respect the differences of the Incans. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell doesn’t respect the differences. Helping people respect the differences is what my life’s work is about. Helping individuals be more true to themselves is all about respecting differences within.

We are so fearful of differences. Here is Pittsburgh we have a Carnegie Mellon University art project that is a lunch counter, that only serves food from countries we are at war with. It’s called the Konflict Kitchen. Food is one tangible way to remind us to respect differences.

Fear makes us strangle each other – then when we’re in love it must mean we’re so alike. Then in years 6-10 love crashes on the rocks of the differences to help create a 50% divorce rate. Figure out respecting differences and relationships endure.

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