Saturday, January 19, 2019

Bohemian Rhapsody

Note: SPOILERS for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody follow. I jotted this down in November but spruced it up to post today.

There are many themes in the movie that portray Freddy Mercury’s life and dreams. Many which ring true to my soul. 

Like many of us, he wants to make something of his life and he knows he has talent and he goes for it. I realize there was only so many minutes available in the film to portray him but it felt like they rushed him into singing without really portraying him as a person first. It almost feels like he sets his family aside for his career from the start, changing his name completely, apart from them and as a watcher, I kind of want to know more about where that’s coming from, inside of him. What did he experience growing up that made him feel like he needed to escape from the family name? Of course I also relate to this since my parents disowned me when I came out as transgender. I re-married several years later and gladly took my husband’s name, no longer proud of the family name. And I’ve become something special in my own right with my own talents too.

Anyway, his family, especially his father, is almost ashamed him for what he’s becoming as he gets more and more popular. Freddy seems to look past that and sees into the future of who he will be and what he will accomplish. He finds his own true family within the band, Queen. And in truth, though he was a major piece of the spirit of Queen, and the lead singer, he even admits that the band is his family and it’s a great thing to watch as all members of the band bring their songs and lyrics to the table, contributing in different fashions. Over the years since I transitioned, I’ve been forced to make my own family as well. I’ve met many friends along the way, some of which I have been close enough to call sister and even mother. Family really is who you make it sometimes rather than the blood relation we were raised to believe was thicker than water. It’s also interesting to me that my family issues are not the only ones….that many people out there are estranged from their blood families in some fashion and it’s often not LGBT acceptance related.

Ok back to Freddy. He's obviously in love with a girl from the beginning of the show, before he’s even fully committed to the band. As the years go by, he discovers himself to be gay and he realizes that he can’t keep holding onto her. He tries to let go, giving her a place to live very close to him but the kind of relationship one can have that is not intimate is still so limited and leaves a hole for someone else to come and fill it. He's aghast when she finds a new boyfriend who can love her like he can’t. Similarly, I had to let thy wife go as well, not because I was gay but rather because she wasn’t (haha). But gosh darnit if I don’t know the feeling of trying to keep someone you love close to you even when you know it’s better to let them "fly away" to live their best life. I’m actually struggling with that even now as my husband is moving away and I am trying to figure out where I want my life to go even if it is not quite as entangled with his as it has been for the past 7 years.

In the final moments of the movie, Freddy gets back together with Queen and they perform for the Live-Aid event that is destined to raise a record amount of donated money to stop hunger in Africa. These moments of the film portray what it’s really like to be loved on stage, to perform with your heart and soul and feel the energy of the crowd. I remember getting a similar feeling when playing bass guitar in the worship band at church and have also experienced it runway modeling and on stage for competitions. There is no other feeling like performing your passion and being loved for that performance.

In all of that, Freddy finally wins the respect of his father after all of these years by performing on a stage for a good cause. Something his father always preached about. It’s quite wondrous to see the two unite in a hug as his fathers eyes fill with tears of pride for his son after all of the years when they were merely filled with disappointment. Alas, not every story has a happy ending….especially in real life. I’ve had to come to terms with my hope…..a hope that my parents could maybe one day be proud of me….be proud of who I am today and what I’ve accomplished. I’ve had to let that hope die so that the constant disappointment doesn’t keep bringing me down.

But you know what? “The Show Must Go On” and as “Another one bites the dust” I just ask you all two things: “Let me Live” and “Don’t stop me now”

You see what I did there, right? 😉 

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