8: The Mormon Proposition was one of the hotter draws at the 2010 Sunstone film festival this past January. I should know: I showed up at Sundance's Salt Lake City box office well before dawn one morning in the hopes of getting my hands on a day-of-show ticket, and, when that didn't work, queued for over three hours outside the Tower Theatre in the wait-list line. All I got for my efforts was extremely cold feet and a new Facebook friend.
I finally managed to see it, this past Friday, when it opened in theaters across the country. I was at the very first general admission showing in SLC.
There wasn't much about the general contours of the movie that surprised me, largely because I've been paying attention to Mormon anti-gay sentiment since the late 1970s. As a teenager I fell in love with the poetry of Frank O'Hara, and discovered to my surprise that no matter how I worked at it, I really couldn't bring myself to care who he slept with. That was when I started to think that homophobia was just plain weird, and found myself puzzled when others expressed it.
Some of the details of the movie, however, were shocking, and much of it was upsetting--I admit I cried a lot. (I wasn't the only one crying, though.) But the most shocking thing about the whole story is, I think, something the movie misses.
I've got a piece up at Religion Dispatches discussing this shocking omission. I'm not going to link to it, because as I've said, my blog is semi-anonymous, meaning I don't link to my last name. But I hope you'll head on over to RD and check out my essay. It should be easy to find: it's currently the lead story. (Go me!)