Earlier this month, one of the stars from ABC’s sexiest drama How To Get Away With Murder came out as heterosexual. And it made news! That literally *never* happens! We live in a world where being gay or LGBTQ is out of the relative norm, so when Jack Falahee announced on Twitter that he wasn’t gay (despite all the rumors, gossip and wishful thinking from his gay fanbase), it came as a bit of a shock. I found the whole thing quite jarring and exciting because the coming out experience by so many LGBTQ individuals is often an experience confined to just those of us in the LGBTQ community. Jack Falahee got to experience something many LGBTQ allies never have had to experience—coming out.
All that was in my mind when I saw the new film Love is All You Need?. Based on the viral short film of the same name, this feature-length movie takes place in a world where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuality is considered taboo.
Directed by K. Rocco Shields, the film takes place in a small Middle American town where the star quarterback of the local university is outed for being a heterosexual. Her forbidden love affair with a male journalist rocks the town to its very core, setting off a series of catastrophic events that forever change the community.
The film jumps around a lot, moving between timelines showing the experiences of growing up different at various ages. I found it surprisingly difficult to follow who was gay and who wasn’t and why this or that might be considered bad in this fictional world—not at the fault of the filmmakers, but of my own pre-conceived version of the world we live in. It was confusing and challenging to understand a world so different from the one we inhabit here and now. And, ultimately, that’s what I enjoyed most about the movie—it was so familiar but so different.
In this film, the word queer is used as derogatory slang toward the heterosexual people—a way of harassing these characters as different. It’s a word that’s been debated in recent years among LGBTQ people because many from older generations still see the hate behind the word, while those of us in younger generations have co-opted it and worn it as a symbol of pride. I think I will always identify myself as queer, more so than gay. I’m different—my sexuality makes me different and that’s what I like about being me.
My take: As amazing of a world it would be to live where everyone is gay—no thanks. I’ll take the place where we are so multi-colored, multi-layered, and multi-dimensional that the majority of us are all different from one another. A world where we’re all a bit queer. And that’s a good thing.
Love is All You Need? is probably going to be labeled as an LGBTQ film, but really—this is a film that our allies and heterosexual friends need to see. It’s an important reminder of the challenges we might face as queer individuals in a non-queer world.
Watch the original short film (20 minutes):
Get the film Love is All You Need? on iTunes for just $13.99