Out And About

I really struggled to think who would be the best person to include as my “plus one” for the invitation I received to the Sydney premiere of the new film, “Love, Simon”. It’s a new American coming out film which focuses on a young man (final year of high school), who is “outed” by a fellow classmate in a moment of anger. As a fifty two year old, I’m not the “target market”. But I was curious to see the film, and how younger people might respond to it in these “gender fluid” days in which we live. Though I’d hoped there might have been wine and canapes, as the invitation mentioned the two main actors would be in attendance, there was, instead fairy floss, and those candy hearts from my childhood.

“I’m pretty sure most of the candy hearts in Australia were made at the Easter Egg Factory in Lismore”, I told my friend Scott who I asked to come with me. You know the ones I mean. Hard candy. Shaped like a heart. Insipid sayings on them. In my class in primary school was a girl called Janet Gray. Her parents owned the Easter Egg factory, before later relocating to Brisbane. Quite a few of my family members worked at the factory, and to this day, I have a strong memory of visiting the factory which was located on Foley’s Road, nearby to where I grew up in South Lismore. I digress.

In some ways, “Love, Simon” has a 1980s college vibe to the film, with the quirky school principal, and the associated characters, including the “funny guy”. But the film transcends that genre, to be quite a sweet film about teenagers, and quite revolutionary in the sense the film has been made by a mainstream studio, with a mainstream audience in mind, and with significant marketing and promotional activity associated with the launch in Sydney. Though the film was focussed on a mch younger audience than Scott and myself, we both quite enjoyed it.

Love, Simon Premiere in Sydney

That was, most definitely, the highlight of my weekend. Otherwise, it was a quiet one, resting up after some busy personal activity in the last few weeks, as well as work, which is keeping me fairly busy at the moment. It’s that time of the year.

It wasn’t until last night that I re-emerged from the go to work, come home, routine. Kate came down from Newcastle for last night’s opening at the National Art School for the Redlands Art Prize.

As we made our way from Central Station, we called in to some of the arts-related shops and galleries on Oxford Street. The most interesting thing we saw was an exhibiton by Gerwyn Davies at the Australian Centre for Photography. The photographs were interesting and fun, and we especially loved the manequin display at the back of the exibition.

Gerywn Davies at Australian Centre for Photography

The Redlands Prize? There were a few interesting pieces in the exhibition, with my favourites documented here.

And of course, it’s always terrific to visit the National Art School, which is such a lovely venue, even if the weather’s inclement.

National Art School

Afterwards we enjoyed a glass of wine and a schnitzel at The Oxford, and listened in/participated in the pub’s trivia night. There’s an awful lot you can fit into a few hours!

Kate and James

2 comments

  • Good to hear the Oxford is still going. I have some hazy memories of the venue in 1990s. I am not so sure that you aren’t the target market for Love, Simon. Coming out as gay at secondary school is unimaginable for me. I have never really come out, except perhaps at work at times when forced into a corner. For family it was a slow realisation. I guess 39 years ago I presented R as my newest good friend to my parents. It helped a lot that he is an very nice and caring person. He was readily accepted. My dyke sister’s partner was not by Mother.

    I should reflect on if I actively hid my sexuality. I don’t instantly know, but I do remember what turned me on when I was young.

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  • I actually came out in high school, but it’s an ongoing process. Even now, at work, colleagues still ask me about my wife and kids. I have to correct them!! As a friend/colleague noted, “James, you need to gay it up a bit!!”.

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