It’s all ultimately so sadly predictable. But man the energy this generates is palpable. I do love the dad turning out to be not a total shithead though.

united states, 2011, english



There are so many things about this film that one could be moved by, or that could have an impact. It’s a remarkable achievement, and terribly good. It’s sad, but also funny, and it turns our attention to a person and reality that isn’t usually the focus of cinema. In this case this is the classic genre of coming-of-age, but told from a queer Black perspective.

What moved me are two things. Both are more personal than anything else. In order to understand either we need to establish a bit about the story here. This is a film about a seventeen year old high school student who is struggling to come to terms with her sexuality, living in an extremely repressive and heteronormative Christian household.

When she finally does come out, her conservative Christian mother essentially disowns her. Her father, on the other hand, and her sister, do not. Both of those characters are what I felt most connected to. The father, for probably obvious reasons, as a father myself. But also because it’s so rare to see a dad as the one who understands, as the one who is supportive and caring. He’s a terrible husband, but he’s a great dad, and that part is so nice to see.

The sister struck the deepest chord though. Because I also have had the experience of having a sibling come out to me. And my reaction was, all things considered, more or less the same. I didn’t care. It didn’t bother me at all. I don’t think anyone should be bothered. It changed absolutely nothing about my relationship or feelings for my sibling. Perhaps that’s why I silently thought “of course she’s ok with it", even after the film portrayed the sisterly relationship as fraught and adversarial. It’s a sibling thing y’all.