‘Being a black man in America is relatively difficult right now, being a gay man in America is incredibly difficult. And so being a black, gay man … can be perceived as the worst possible thing right now."Rhodes was giving an interview about a protagonist embodying this double identity that he part-played in the 2016 movie "Moonlight" (premiering in February 2017 in the UK). It seems that this is the first major, black-directed and black-cast movie that addresses issues with growing up gay. Benjamin Lee rightly said in The Guardian that
"Stories of LGBT people of colour have been largely ignored in film or at least relegated to the sidelines".
This being 2017, one would be forgiven to think that a movie like this would have been long overdue. As a (white) gay man in the UK, issues with my sexuality seem to be a thing of the past decade or two. Bullying, awkward coming outs and even just overhearing hurtful comments seem long behind me and I feel that 90% of the general population would treat me respectfully as a gay individual.
However, is this the same experience for black gay people in America today? I am left wondering even just after watching two interviews by the two other actors that played the same character at different lifestages: In the following two interviews, Ashton Sanders and Andre Holland both struck me as a little insensitive or even ignorant when talking about the gay character they played: