Director of Beginners: “I Loved My Gay Dad!”
“I love my gay dad…so much!” – Mike Mills
We're All Beginners: Mark Snyder, COLAGE Communications Coordinator
Recently I had the honor of meeting and interviewing Mike Mills and Ewan McGregor of the new film Beginners. Some COLAGE staff and volunteers saw a sneak peek of the film, and we think you’re going to love it!
Aside from the fact that I share with the main character Oliver, played by McGregor, the experience of having an adorable Jack Russel Terrier, I also happen to have a gay dad.
In the film Oliver stands by his 75 year old father Hal, played by Christopher Plummer, through the coming out process, and through aging and eventually death. Meanwhile, he is managing his work life and his own intense relationship with a new girlfriend. I think a lot of us with LGBTQ parents can identify with the notion of bringing all our identities to the table.
Although the film explores the complexities of sadness and depression, it also shows that people can change and have new beginnings at anytime in their lives. When my father was incarcerated, and then began his coming out process within the prison industrial complex, everyone in my family had a new “beginning.”
Watching Hal come out of the closet as an older gay man was inspiring. It conquered a piece of the isolation I have been feeling about having an aging father who is coming to terms with his own sexuality, and it gave me hope that perhaps my dad and I can soon share a more open and honest bond as he becomes more open and honest with himself. Plus, it would be super fun to throw a coming out party at the Twin Peaks gay bar in San Francisco where all the older guys hang out!
I want to thank Mike Mills, Ewan McGregor, and the Focus Features crew for being so supportive of COLAGE and for taking a risk in making this film. Films like these make a huge impact on our families by showing us that we are not alone and by introducing our stories into the mainstream so that people begin to see the importance of treating all families with dignity and respect.