Recently, I’d seen a movie recommended as a gay love story on Netflix. The main characters were cute, sweet teenage boys finding themselves and each other, so I dropped it in my queue and it arrived over the weekend. Last night, I watched it and found myself utterly horrified. It wasn’t a bad movie, but the realism and shock at the end made me drop it back into its little red envelope and throw it none too gently into the mailbox for its return journey.
The main body of the movie is about two teenage boys – one a straight senior and the other a gay freshman. For those who need a refresher, that would make them about 17 and 13 respectively. As the story progresses, you begin to notice the fact that the freshman boy, who has developed a crush on his senior study partner, is being sexually abused by his father. This revelation is heart breaking enough as the boy uses twine to create a kind of alarm so that he can escape before the older man climbs in bed with him. While the boy is hanging out with his crush, who incidentally is exploiting the boy’s feelings for sex, another of the older guy’s friends develops an unfriendly interest. He watches the interactions between the boy and his older friend.
At the end of the story, the boy goes camping with his older friend, the unfriendly guy, and a third boy who is also older. While the boy and his friend are in their tent, he pleases his friend orally to which the older boy says “Does it bother you that I don’t do things like that back?” which shows all too clearly how he is taking advantage of his thirteen-year-old friend. The story culminates in the unfriendly boy finding out about his friend’s homosexual acts with the younger boy. Separating himself and the younger boy from the other two, he rapes the boy while taunting him about touching his friend.
I was watching the movie late at night and had the sound on, but was using the captions to supplement the dialog. While this thirteen-year-old boy was face down, his hands clinging to a blanket screaming and crying while the older boy raped him, all that displayed in the captioning was “muffled screaming”. No amount of words could have captured the boy’s fear or anguish at being forced into the receiving end of brutal anal sex. I felt sick as the credits rolled and for the rest of the night, no matter how hard I tried to sleep, all I could see was that boy’s straining hands as he held on to the blanket begging for it to end.
Even though it was only a movie, it happens everywhere – and for what? How does raping an innocent boy prove moral superiority over him because he’s gay?
It’s horrifying and makes me want to just stay in bed with the blankets over my head and never come out again.