So I bit the bullet and saw Moonlight and I must say, I was thrilled, sad and most importantly mind fucked. Mind fucked to the point where it took me back to so many stages in my life that I clearly thought I was over with. I went back one more time before writing this article, just to double check the mind fuckery this quality movie bestowed upon me.
What was so great with moonlight was it’s buildup telling a familiar story that mirrored some experiences I had in my life. The movie had so many pivotal points that made me think back to experiences in my life and how they shaped me. You must see Moonlight first to understand these powerful parallels which had me crying as if Beyonce had passed away.
Little was the lone child of single mother addicted to drugs. For the most part he had to raise himself. He took a liking to the local drug dealer who became a good friend and a local kid, Kevin, who became his only friends. One of the most definite points in Little’s childhood that sparked his sexuality was when he had a moment with Kevin.
When I was little I had already had an idea that I was different. I used to play with all the local neighborhood girls, had dreams about kissing boys and played with Barbie dolls. I actually remember telling my one of my favorite aunt’s that I did have this dream who quickly overlooked a 5-year-old telling her he may be gay. I remember one time when all my cousin’s were at the house and they were putting on nail polish. I had willingly volunteered to have mine painted and then proceeded to put on one of my aunt’s red heels and parade around the house.
My older aunt, who was visiting as well immediately grabbed me when she saw me and scolded me. Telling me ” There will be no FAGGOTS in this family” and spanked me. There I was outside, hurt, embarrassed, crying and clueless. At the time I had no idea what a faggot was, but had gotten the impression that it was bad due to my aunt’s enraged interaction with me.
Chiron Chiron was that super dorky teenager really trying to make heads/tails of his life. His mother’s antics had him crashing most of the week. Still mainly a loner Chiron was the bullies muse. His only friend, Kevin, is still in his life, a little bit older, wiser and sexier. Chiron is beginning to see Kevin as someone of his desires and dreams about him on numerous occasions.
When I was a young teenager, I had my coming of age story like most of us do. His name was David ( of course it wasn’t) and he was my best friend. We spent almost every waking day hanging out, whether it was school, boy scouts and church. We were inseparable. It came a time when both of us were curious about sexuality and came to an agreement that we would experiment with each other. It was nothing serious beyond mutual masturbation, as we were clueless the concept of lube , let alone preparation.
The path to my betrayal began when someone jokingly had called him gay and he assumed I had shared “our secret”. In search of revenge , he decided it was his duty to tell everyone in school that I was gay and that it wasn’t a good idea to associate with me.
The rest of my junior high school experience , 7th & 8th grade I existed in a depressed stupor. I had no friends to talk to and he made sure of that. I was at my lowest point and even contemplated suicide. I’d go to school just because I had to and would try to keep . To make matters worse, at one point he thought my punishment want enough and wanted to inform my family. I was terrified at that point because they were all I had left. They knew something had happened to me and that I wasn’t ready to share.
As soon as I graduated I ran away to the farthest school that would get me away from every student/ ex-friend I could. Francis Lewis HS in Flushing NY became my solace as I experienced many forms of myself.
Black is now the man’s man. He figured out his life he best way possible and is now pushing drugs on the street. He lives alone in a small house with just him and his money. Unexpectedly he receives a call from Kevin wanting to reconnect and apologize to Chiron about what he did to him when they were younger.
It was that moment in my life where I realized I wasn’t living my truth, that the world felt heavier. I had come back from WestPoint because those smart motherfuckers had figured out in 6 months that I was gay. My family was still in the dark even after the attempts of my former best friend to out me. I had done so much and hide behind my own accomplishments but I still felt empty. When I looked in the mirror I could barely recognize myself. I kept telling myself that I would eventually tell them , but time and carelessness had caught up to me. My parents found out I was gay because I had a some naked pictures on my computer and my cousin had borrowed my camera to take photos for MySpace. Upon connecting the camera to upload her photos, my photo album popped up along with penis galore. I was devastated and relieved that I wasn’t kicked out, yet betrayed because it was a secret that I wanted to share on my own.
My other biggest hurdle that I lived life as if the pain I had felt from the betrayal of my former best friend. Looking back it felt as if a jar was put around a candle. I had no real drive, I had a degree but I wasn’t working in a job I liked, I had issues trusting people, didn’t want to be hugged and sabotaged any inklings of a relationship. It took a stranger to recognize that pain and the hurt that I was carrying, who also introduced me to a life coach who helped me get past the past. I didn’t go to Florida to see David and confess my love ( tehehe) , but I did receive a random FaceBook message from David. He had apologized for what he happened and I did shed a tear.
There were so many similarities in the experiences Chiron went through. It felt as if I lived in him and he lived in me. The only thing I could do is cry about the experiences life put him through and his determination to live his truth and find his voice.