Beloved and I finally celebrated our anniversary last night. The original restaurant was inexplicably closed, and so we made our way to another Mexican place, one I actually like better... it has the feel of a real cantina (not that I actually know anything about authentic cantinas... but I really do love the atmosphere of this place).
We ordered Margaritas and our meals and reminisced... It was really lovely, just what we both needed. Then we went home and watched Desert Hearts, the 1986 film about a [female] Columbia professor who goes to Reno, Nevada in 1959 to get a divorce, and winds up meeting and falling in love with another woman. I had seen the film years ago, when it first came out, and I was terrified by films depicting lesbians because, well, I just was. I remember cyring hysterically after seeing The Hunger, that vampire/lesbian cult classic with Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve. Everyone I was with assumed I was crying because I was freaked out by the vampires (David Bowie was never so perfectly cast). But that's not why I was crying. I was crying because I was so stirred by the lovemaking scenes between Deneuve and Sarandon. I was a newlywed, and I knew that, Houston, we had a problem.
Anyway, Desert Hearts was another film that terrified me. It hit too close to home. It still does. When the protagonist, Vivian, realizes how she feels about Cay, she is immediately confronted with her own terror about people knowing. She fears losing her job, she fears becoming a pariah at the university, in academia, etc. She can't envision a way forward. At one point Cay does something (I can't remember what, perhaps she gives her a kiss or takes her hand in a public place?) that causes Vivian to recoil, to say something along the lines of "What are you trying to prove?" Cay's response is haunting:
"I'm not doing this to try and change the world. I'm doing this so that the world won't change me."