Category: HBO Documentary

HBO Documentary About Closeted Politicians "Outrage"

This morning a friend in New York e-mailed me about Mayor Koch’s passing and he wanted to know what the name of the HBO special about closeted politicians was. I remembered watching it about three or four years ago but had to do a search to come up with the name.

It was called “Outrage,” and it was about something I talk about here all the time: gay public officials who are not out of the closet for various reasons. I tend to be kind and make excuses for this sort of thing, often blaming it on behavioral circumstances and how people were brought up and can be victims of their environments. I still think that’s true. But what this documentary focused on was the way some of these closeted gays often vote against important gay issues in spite of the fact they are actually gay. It’s an interesting mind set to say the least.

While the documentary argues that “self-hating” closeted gay politicians damage the rest of the gay community when they vote against gay interests as a camouflage technique, it makes an even stronger case that by living a lie, they cripple themselves.

Dick’s film declares up front that there is a widespread conspiracy among closeted gay lawmakers, who often publicly speak and vote as “social conservatives” opposing basic rights for gay people.

What’s even more interesting is that this documentary mentions names, which you don’t see very often. One of the longtime double standards has always been to cover up the gay topic and keep it hidden. They will report about infidelity if a straight politician is caught cheating on a wife or a husband. But rarely will you find them release information about a politician being gay. It’s the ultimate taboo.

It gets more investigative with politicians whose sexual preference has been questioned and who deny they are gay.

This group includes former New York Mayor Ed Koch, former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, former U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

These are only a few. There are more and it’s not restricted to Democrat or Republican, for those of the far left wing persuasion who seem to think this is only restricted to Republicans. And I would suggest renting this or watching it online if at all possible. And mainly for this reason:

The real goal, you’d think, is a society where being gay is not something anyone would need to hide in the first place.

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The Fran Lebowitz Documentary on HBO

I went to a holiday party last night and three of the guests were discussing a recent HBO documentary with Fran Lebowitz. Being a fan, I went home and watched the entire documentary On Demand late last night.

She’s known for sardonic wit and she’s been compared to Dorothy Parker by many critics. She doesn’t own a cell phone or blackberry, but she drives around Manhattan in an old checkered cab. I’ve always found her to be refreshing…in a rough, honest way you don’t see very often. Especially nowadays, when everyone is so worried about being politically correct and not offending anyone.

I also loved part of the documentary where Toni Morrison asked a few questions. Both women are icons and both represent a period in American Literature that I’ve always loved. And it just so happened I’m re-reading Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye right now (Read. This. Book.), which made the show even more interesting.

I also laughed at a few of the comments Ms. Lebowitz made about the state of publishing these days. She did it with both wit and humor (I think there’s a huge difference). Her comments on smoking had me snorting at two in the morning. And when she started discussing New York thirty years ago compared to New York today, I just shook my head and smiled. Though I’m not old enough to remember New York thirty years ago, I do remember the city when it wasn’t quite such a tourist attraction.

So if you have a cable package and you get HBO, check this one out. It’s worth watching just to see how Fran Lebowitz works the room.