It seems the entire motion picture industry and audiences across the country are praising the new Lee Daniels film "Precious" based on the book Push by Sapphire and starring Monique as an abusive mother and Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe as an overweight, abused, and illiterate victim of incest. It can be argued that a film with a predominantly African-American cast hasn't been this anticipated since Dreamgirls in 2006 and at the helm of this cinematic gem is Daniels- an openly black gay man.
While this fact has been somewhat ignored by the media and definitely not mentioned in conversation among the minorities who are flocking to the theater in droves to see the film, Daniels is using the films attention to describe his experience as a gay man of color in countless interviews and it's not always pretty.
"In the Black American community, homophobia is rampant, says Daniels to Clay Cane of Bet.com. " I think it is very difficult to be out, gay and Black. I feel very much alone, especially amongst my people. It's a very lonely place. I'm not going to live a f*cking lie. I'd rather get stoned, be made fun of and take a bullet." He adds, "It's not cute being out, but it's a really important part of the story that I think is overlooked."
Daniels’, says there was "zero tolerance" for gays in the southwest Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up. He recalled, “I was beat up, and I went away to a white world that was more tolerant. I don’t want to know what I would have become if I’d stayed where I was. In our culture, homosexuality is so bashed, and I think that’s what f*cked me up.”
Daniels masterfully infuses what he calls a "gay sensibility" into Precious by featuring two lesbian characters that are void of stereotypes and forces the audience who may have held negative views towards gays and lesbians to look at them differently.
What does it say about our community that one of our own felt he needed to "go away to a white world" in order to live authentically?
Daniels was recently included in Out Magazine's annual Out 100 list. Precious opens nationwide on November 20.