Review aside, the movie showed three instances of CCTV cameras, which made me think even further about the nature of suceptability of queer people (someone mentions a gay guy been beaten for cruising in a park), the suckiness/rite of passage characteristic of coming out, and the different kind of queers out there (which then have different types of gazes upon them).
First time there is a security camera near the building where Russ lives; the shot is a couple of seconds long and the camera pans from side to side. Being out sucks sometimes. It does have a liberating sense in which you are aware and feel empowered on how you are going to feel and how you will respond to others out there. But is painful sometimes too because it leaves you exposed to all the bullshit that bigots out there presume about your life, what you want to do with it, and how you behave. Russ says he is happy in his home, but his semi-out self feels uncomfortable sharing his uneasiness, as well as his feelings being queer with his close non-queer friends.
The second time is at the train station; the PA system reminds everyone that everything is being recorded for security purposes. Coming out (which is something you do for the rest of your life) does feel like a rite of passage. At this point, my choosing to share with someone about my boyfriend does little to the fact that I am indeed exposing myself to a non ‘tolerating’ opinion about who I am. As Glen helped Russ have that experience, I felt like I was also helped by several catalytic events in my life that pushed me to those moments. Regardless, I am happy they happened and I am glad the way they turned out.
The third time is right at the end of the movie; we see the CCTV camera again on top of the building when we see Russ in his window. No matter if you are the loud queer who talks and closes down a party everytime you get the chance about your struggle as a queer person of color, or the quiet passive one that chooses to pass by, the gaze is always there. Sadly, this is the gaze that turns some of us off, whereas it evokes a desire to speak in others. The gaze is sometimes too much to bear, like when you have to live in a time where the government decides the best way you get to enjoy your life living as who you are. The gaze is always there, and it is always watching how we comply…or not.