L Word Mississippi
I had a slight(ly huge) obsession with The Real L Word on Showtime. Beautiful women whose lives were filled with drama, love and heartbreak, and truly wonderful personal journeys. When the last season wrapped, I was happy to see two weddings but sad to see the series come to a close. A couple of days ago, I saw a promo on Showtime for L Word Mississippi: Hate The Sin. I missed the premiere, but made sure to record it the next time it was on.
The title was a bit off-putting, but nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed for the next 90 minutes. I have experienced my fair share of discrimination. As a multi-racial person, I’ve gotten the question “what are you” more times than I care to remember. When I lived in Georgia, I came face to face with the KKK and was made to feel less than human in my high school. I grew up knowing what homosexuality was due to a gay second cousin, so I never gave it a second thought, but was always disgusted with the challenges my LGBT friends would face. Even today, I see their struggles and it gets to me. Because I’m not sheltered at all, I didn’t expect to be as shocked as I was at the stories from Mississippi.
L Word Mississippi began with the clear message that it’s not okay to be gay. There is no holding hands in public, no kissing your girlfriend at the market, and no being free to live and love as you choose. The religious community in Mississippi is massive, and that is a major factor in why the struggle for these women is so great. “Praying the gay away” is thought to be something you can do. Even some of the women featured on this documentary pray to save their own souls from their so-called sinful lives. They have found love, but due to the teachings of the church, believe that love to be wrong and want to be saved and find a man to love.
Rene’s story had my jaw on the floor, especially after we were introduced to her son, Devin. Rene spent her life dressing masculine and even stuffing a strap-on down her pants in order to feel more like a man. She stopped and began trying to dress and act more feminine after finding Jesus a year earlier. Her son came out as gay a few years ago and she blames herself completely. I dare anyone to look at Rene and Devin and try to tell me that being gay is a choice and not simply the way you’re born. It’s beyond painful to watch Rene deny who she is in order to appease the church and the community. It’s worse when she tries to impose those twisted beliefs on her son, who is happy to be who he is.
The other relationships we get to see in this documentary are truly beautiful. Cameron and Amber are such a loving couple, and lucky enough to have a support system in the Per2yon Family, but you can still see the pain on their faces. The level of hatred and ignorance they have to face is beyond my understanding and I give them so much credit for being strong each and every day. Sara, who is expecting a baby boy, struggles with not only being a lesbian and the stigma that is attached to that, but is dealing with her wife transitioning into becoming her husband. BB, a former pastor, is trying to right the wrongs of her past by helping LGBTQ youth so they don’t feel lost, ostracized, and suicidal. The “love the sinner, hate the sin” message is strong, but it’s clear that the actual feelings of the community is “hate the sin, shame the sinner.”
I don’t want to elaborate any further because I want everyone to please look this documentary up and watch it. Regardless of your beliefs or level of acceptance, please watch this with an open mind and heart. I want you to be as shocked as I was that this type of hatred and ignorance is not only still incredibly present, but is so widespread. I am grateful for all the women involved for sharing their stories and hope that as more people see L Word Mississippi, more people begin to realize that it’s not the LGBTQ community that needs to change. It’s the rest of us.
Posted on August 13, 2014, in Crazy People, Family, Fear, Life, Love, News and tagged discrimination, equality, gay, homosexual, l word mississippi, lesbian, lgbtq, multi-racial, religion, showtime, the real l word. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.