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Saturday, May 31, 2014

'Breaking Through' DVD: True Tales of X-Men/Barbara Walterses of LGBT Public Officials

Product Details
Breaking Glass Pictures shows impeccable timing regarding releasing the DVD of the documentary "Breaking Through" during Gay Pride season. These tales of (not always initially) openly LGBT folks being elected to public office is a very apt subject for this period of celebrating the right to be open about yourself.

A more random coincidence is even more awesome; folks who are familiar with the "X-Men" franchise know that the parallels between the mutants in those stories and LGBT folks extends well beyond Wolverine being a hugely talented song-and-dance man.


A scene in the newly released uber-uber-awesome film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" includes Magneto praising the mutants who fight against the prejudice of us lower homo sapiens (no pun intended this time) and condemning the truly gifted among us who conceal their true selves out of fear of being persecuted.

Every interviewed politician in "Breaking" is at least as brave as the "out" mutants in that they sought office in a hostile environment. The fact that these public officials do not rampage against those of us whose only special power is being invisible to bartenders (thanks Demetri Martin) is a bonus.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Breaking" provides an excellent sense of the hatred that these folks face merely based on their sexual orientation.


These folks further have something in common with another high-profile figure who has made the news recently. The recently aired last episode of "The View" in which Barbara Walters appears includes a gaggle of female news people much larger than the group from Murphy Brown's baby shower. These women, and their colleagues who receive individual face time, all identify Walters as a pioneer for every female television journalist in her wake.

Similarly, the men and women who appear in "Breaking" make it easier for the current crop of LGBT politicians to run as an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person.

Retired long-term Congressman Barney Frank is the most high-profile member of the group; his talking about his early days on Capitol Hill and the limitations that his sexual orientation place on his political aspirations is very interesting. Frank's former House colleague and current Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin also shares some of her experiences.

A conservative politician earns the award for the most amusing story in the film; he tells of his opponent in his campaign telling Republicans that he is gay and Democrats that he is a Republican.

A common theme among the stories that the men share regarding overcoming obstacles of varying degrees of hostility is being labelled gay and accordingly tormented simply for not being like the other boys; it seems that even the slightest hint of feminine characteristics triggers this rancor.

Like Walters and the braver mutants, these men (and their female counterparts) show that rising above the irrational hatred and public bullying is possible. It is nice to think that their work leads to a day in which sexual orientation is no longer an issue in a campaign.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Breaking" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.