Yesterday began the United States release of the movie "Call Me By Your Name" which has received rave reviews and Oscar buzz ever since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier in the year. Outlets as diverse as the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Variety, The Independent, New York Times, Rotten Tomatoes, etc., have all lauded the movie and its actors and directors. All of which, of course, means it is NOT showing in Hampton Roads and cannot be found among any of the "coming soon" information" although it appears to be coming to Richmond next week. With a strong gay romance theme, my fear is that other than the Naro Theater in Norfolk, few theaters in the region may show this movie that likes to view itself as "world class" and sophisticated - Virginia Beach perhaps laughably is trying to court Amazon for a major headquarters facility - yet has a huge Regent University/Pat Robertson display at Norfolk International Airport (which has no international flights). Talk about telling visitors the area is not sophisticated or accepting!
The irony to me, of course is that places like Hampton Roads - Southwest Virginia even more so - need to see this movie and perhaps have their parochial eyes opened to the reality that love is love (reading the book which the movie is based on, which I have done, would be equally good). In many ways the husband and I have a very nice life in Hampton Roads, but this is yet another occasion where I am reminded that this is not where I really would prefer to live. There is a reason why all of our vacations are to truly progressive cities and/or foreign countries (Ft. Lauderdale in a month, Key West in March, and London and Paris next September).
Yes, Virginia is set for another four years of progressive Democrat leadership under Ralph Northam, Mark Herring and Justin Fairfax which hopefully will improve things over all - an employment non-discrimination law protecting LGBT Virginians would be a nice start. But socially and culturally, Virginia still has a very long way to go. As shocking as the concept might be to Virginia Republicans who daily prostitute themselves to right wing religious extremists best embodied by The Family Foundation, it takes more than low taxes to attract world class, progressive businesses. Meanwhile, the husband and I will persist in doing our part to open minds in this area even though it gets exhausting at times.