As Dirt mentioned in her post, we recently watched the 1996 film Twilight of the Golds. I had never seen it before, and although I am (sort of) glad I saw it, because it was so illuminating, I have to admit that part of me wishes that I hadn’t seen it because it is still haunting me days later.
To give a brief overview of the film, the storyline focuses on a family: parents and 2 adult children. One sibling is female, heterosexual, and married, while the other (David) is male, gay, and in a long-term relationship.
Early on, it becomes obvious that the parents have a problem with the gay son: his partner has NEVER been included in family get-togethers, and, in one particularly horrifying scene, when the sister takes a bite of food from her brother, the mother snaps at her to not eat after him.
At this point in the movie, I was already angry: why was David still even in contact with these homophobes?
But, as it turns out, what was to come was much, much worse.
The straight married sister learns she is pregnant, and her husband is a genetic researcher who has found a way to identify homosexuality in fetuses with a high degree of accuracy.
(I am sure you can already see where this is going…).
After learning that there is a very high chance that the baby will be “like David”, the sister, who has seemed to be a supportive and loving ally to David up until this point, finds herself seriously considering whether she will abort the baby. (Meanwhile, her parents and husband clearly want her to).
I won’t give away what happens in the movie, but suffice it to say that David is heartbroken when he finds out that his sister would even consider killing her baby simply because it is likely to be gay, and that his parents would agree with that decision.
Although I am certainly aware of the prevalence of homophobia/lesbophobia, have experienced it myself, and have known many who have been rejected by their families/communities, for some reason, this movie was a huge, unwelcome wake-up call.
It is bad enough to know that gays/lesbians are disapproved of, criticized, misunderstood, rejected, bashed, demonized, and ultimately on our own, but it is truly terrifying to realize that, if given the chance to identify and abort us, many of those who we currently consider to be our “loved ones” would likely have killed us before we ever got a chance to live.
Because, even though I know it was just a movie, I realized with chilling certainty that this scenario could happen. No, correction: Not “could happen“, let’s just be honest: We all know that it actually would actually happen if scientists were to ever find a definitive and testable cause.
Those who would choose to abort us would rationalize that they are doing “the best thing”: “Why bring a baby into the world who is going to face a lifetime of challenges and prejudice?”, they would say, self-righteously, perhaps a bit defensively. “Since we can now prevent that kind of pain, we should”, they would say with satisfaction, never understanding the irony that the attitude/hatred/homophobia that led to their twisted idea that gays/lesbians would be “better off dead” is the very cause of the pain they (allegedly) wish to spare us from.