I hate going to the movies with my dad. When we went to go see The Hate U Give, he very loudly whispered to me right before it started, “I think we’re the only white people here,” and everyone turned toward me and it was so uncomfortable and I could tell he made others uncomfortable.
The other time something similar happened, it was way worse. We were going to Love Simon, (which surprised me because my dad is moderately homophobic) and there was a few kiss scenes between two guys (because, you know, it’s a movie about a gay guy), and my dad, VERY LOUDLY, says to me, “I hate seeing two guys kiss.” This bothered me for a couple reasons: it was rude to talk during the movie, the movie is about a gay guy so of course some gay stuff will happen, but most of all, my dad just broke the little space of safety that so many people in that room had.
Love Simon allowed LGBT people to see a movie that was about them and feel included. It was a large step for LGBT to not just be a fetish or a joke, but a normal group of people. And in this theater that was supposed to be a special few hours without judgement or discrimination, my dad ruins that. He reminds everyone in there that there are people like him, who will judge them.
After my dad said that, the entire theater had less heckling and joking around and people laughing at the jokes. In a space where they were supposed to feel free, my dad intruded that comfortable atmosphere. And if that wasn’t enough, when the “big kiss” happened, he let out a groan of disgust.
I’ll never forget my dad saying, “Ugh,” and turning around to see two girls a little older than me use their large Coke to wipe off the rainbow flag on their cheek and smile sadly down at me.