Saturday, July 17, 2004 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA


Every once in a while, good things happen that make you appreciate the fact that not every heterosexual positions gay marriage the way George Bush and his right wing conservative cronies do. Here is a perfect example.

Take one tall, blond, good looking, seventeen year old linebacker on a high school football team, give him a video camera and tell him to tape a documentary. What would you expect to get in return? A film about sports? Hot cars? Hot babes? None of the above, my friend. How about a film concerning the fight to make gay marriage legal in the United States?

Oh, he must be gay, right? Wrong. Zach Landman is a slice cut from the pie of middle class America. He’s a rich white kid from suburbia who probably never talked with a gay person in his life, unless he was hassling them. To look at him, you’d think he and his buddies would give gays at his school a fairly rough time. Such is not the case at all.

Landman chose a courageous topic to film and was supported by his class advisors. Naturally, he felt a bit self-conscious when he took his camera to San Francisco in February to film interviews with the hundreds of gays and lesbians waiting in line around the courthouse to be issued marriage licenses. “I was nervous, but everyone was open and warm,” he said.

For four hours, Landman spoke with gay and lesbian couples about marriage and their concerns and happiness. He came back a second day and a third. What he was looking for was, “a portrait of the people behind the same-sex marriage movement – the faces, the mood, the spirit.” What he got were images and comments from a cross section of couples that loved each other with the same intensity and commitment as married members of his own family. “I find the contention that same-sex marriage can somehow harm straight people like myself to be illogical.”

When he came home from his filming, Landman stayed awake into the wee hours of the morning, editing his film on his computer. He mixed scenes of gays and lesbians celebrating their marriages with clips of President Bush, and with slides of quotes from others both for and against gay marriage.

“I contacted more than 20 organizations who are against gay marriage but none of them got back to me. The non-response from those organizations sent a powerful message to me.”

Landman’s advisors encouraged him to enter his film in the C-SPAN sponsored California Student Media and Multimedia Competition. His film, aptly called A Nation Divided, placed second out of over 700 enteries. He won a $1,500 prize.

The Orinda Film Festival will be showing the film in October. Randy Holleschau, executive director of the festival, was emphatic. “When I saw the emotions it brought out in me, I realized other people have to watch this.”

I have stated over and over again that heterosexuals need to see the human face of gays and lesbians in our day to day life. They need to see that we’re people, not sex-starved animals trying to recruit their kids into our lifestyle. Zach Landman’s film goes a long way toward doing just that.

Thank you, Zach, for your support and hard work.

To view A Nation Divided, click here.

©2004 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre  
# posted by Marcia Ellen @ 7:03 PM
Exactly the kind of thing that makes me feel warm.

That man deserves his 'I'm an honorary gay man' badge!
For surely sure, guy!! :)
Marcia, I really hope you don't mind, but may I pinch the link to the film from you?

Unlike some others, I'll ask first.

I'd really like to link to your post and the film. Here in the UK I don't thinks its much different. It would be good for people over this side of the water to see it too.

So. Do you mind?
Be my guest. The more people who see this, the better. This is the way we will become accepted, by proving we are not fearsome, not the spawn of Satan. We're just people who love and live like any other people. Good luck with it!! :)
Hey Marcia thanks for changing the text and pics. You didn't really have to do every single post, that must have been tiresome. Sorry if I bugged you.
It feels good to know that possibly we are witnessing the verge of a new mindset for freedom and acceptance that has taken growth from seeds planted time ago. I hope that time and patience will play continue to play on the side of good.
Vlad: No problem guy!! I've always been good to change when someone else is right. :)

Artistic: Yes'm, for surely sure. It will be interesting to see how we handle this new-found acceptance. :)
What I find particularly annoying about all this crap, is isn't this the country that brought us the TV show "Married by America"? And that is meant to be okay, yet two people (of the same sex) who love each other and want to commit to each other is 'devaluing the institute of marriage'?

Makes my blood boil.

Rant over.
I agree, Ann. There have been any number of TV "reality" shows that married off a pair of heterosexuals. "Who Will Marry My Dad," is another example. Thanks for your comment. Feel free to rant here anytime!! :)
That's brilliant.

I think people who are bigoted and threatend by the sexuality of others are saying more about themselves than anyone else.
Thanks Pob. You make a great point. I'm looking to a future when acceptance is no longer an issue. :)
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