The first time I met Jessica at her house, she answered the door in a wife beater and pajamas. I was a bit stunned because I had written about this person in a story five years ago and here’s this actress that exuded her. I was fascinated by what came out of her mouth because she was telling me “Beverly’s story” when she spoke. It was unreal.
We knew that a very deep thing was moving between us with her part in NUNE—and that it wasn’t just about film, acting or the role. It was something huge—something of deeper implication.
There were many obstacles that stopped the filming from happening and that’s another story, a saga in itself. And each time some big thing happened, Jessica and Brianna would say the weirdest thing to me. Things like, “this movie must be that important if everything’s trying to stop it. All the more reason for it to get made!” And that touched me. These girls are enlightened. They got it.
Often, when I looked at Jessica, I’d think of how a lot of gay youth lived in the dark because they didn’t have the iconography of an ideal beauty. The gift that Jessica brings to the world is big. In terms of looks, American beauty and iconography, she is right up there with Grace Kelly and Sharon Stone—they are all imprints of one another. Jessica is just another imprint of that—but serving a larger purpose than filling a mold. Instead, she’s breaking down old molds and recreating new ones for the youth; and this gives promise.
While reworking my graphic novel companion to NUNE, I’m taking a mental journey into the 1980s. In the 80s, there were so many gorgeous actors whom you never knew were gay and it was so well disguised that you wouldn’t believe it today.
A lot has changed since the 80s in terms of social tolerance and acceptance for human differences.
I am careful about using the word “gay” because my work is about Transcendence more so than human sexuality. The path of transformation is about Love, accepting self and others. We are not trying to make gay films or turn everyone gay. People need love and self-expression. They need to live without self-limitation.
The change in Hollywood has been dramatic yet ever so slow. It’s hard to believe that actors are still having difficulty “coming out” in Hollywood. The stakes are just too great for them—especially early on when they are trying to build their career. So they forge on, sometimes forever, until they come out—if at all. I feel sad for the dinosaurs that never do it. I feel that they have let a huge part of humanity down because it is cowardice and selfish. I don’t mean to be harsh. But it is hard to find it respectable. I do not respect those icons for they have failed me. True, they were victims of social conditioning. But they chose to be victims when they were in the seat of power for change.
I consider Jessica and Brianna gibborims (true heroes) for sure. I think projects like these help inspire actors to take on roles that feed their soul. I am more impressed by actors who do this early on, than those who do it after they are established…because after you are established, you’ve already earned the credit and admiration of the world.
Likewise, I’m not impressed when a big director does something risky. He’s big already. Who cares? When you have nothing is where there’s true sacrifice.
When you walk into the poorest town in a Third World country and a family invites you in for a meal while they are starving, it’s selfless. This is what makes heroes. You can’t earn that when you have nothing to risk.
Gibborim (גּבּר, גּבּור) is a Hebrew word that can be glossed “mightiest” which is an intensive for gabar (גּבר) that can be glossed “mighty”.