This post is a series of screen captures from the newly released film Finding Me. In the photos are the two main characters Faybien and Lonnie seen throughout the film during different moments of intimacy. These moments onscreen for me have always been so empowering. Maybe I'm a hopeless romantic, but when I was single these fictional onscreen moments gave me hope that I also could find and maintain a healthy relationship with another black man.
There's a belief that the images we see on television and in film have the ability to not only entertain but change the hearts and minds of millions of people. This couldn't be any closer to the truth when it comes to how gays and lesbians are viewed by the mainstream. For years gay characters in television and in film were either the sassy sidekick, the flamboyant hairdresser, or the punch line for some cruel joke. And black gay characters were almost non-existent.
But what about the effect these images have within our own community? There is a lot of pessimism when it comes to dating and establishing a long-term gay relationship. If you don't believe me just read the comments on this open thread. It can be done, brothers are doing it everyday.
While Faybien and Lonnie's relationship is purely fictional, seeing two black gay men affirming who they are and loving each other despite all of the obstacles in their way can be very real for all of us. I feel crazy even writing about this because I'm discussing two people who don't exist, but I truly believe that art imitates life.
It's not unrealistic to see yourself in a similar picture with your Faybien or Lonnie if that's what you want. We've been telling ourselves for so long that there's no good men available or any men interested in anything beyond sex that we've ruled out the possibility of experiencing true love.
Can you imagine what might happen if we did the exact opposite?