MOONLIGHT: Question for a Classroom

Shadow and Act
“At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you’re going to be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.” — Juan

Moonlight was a phenomenal movie that tackled the issues of sexual identity, masculinity, and poverty. Through three different stages of Chiron’s life, we see his struggles. We see the the carnage of poverty, addiction and hopelessness ensnare his life. The movie serves as a constant reminder of the mask we all wear, to hide who we are, from the world and the people we love. Below are some questions, I had while watching the film. I hope these questions elicit responses and encourage constructive dialogue.

  1. One theme that is present throughout the film is coming to grips with who you are. In what ways does society play a part in denying one’s ability to do just that?
  2. Juan, whose character is played by Mahershala Ali, is the fatherly figure that is missing in Chiron’s life. How important are positive reinforcements in the life of someone struggling with their sexual orientation?
  3. The lessons we learn in school play a vital role in our development. Chiron’s experience with school was characterized by constant harassment. How can we make the environment safer in school for all students especially our LGBT students?
  4. With a string of new Anti-LGBT laws propping up nationwide (North Carolina’s “bathroom bill”), how can we be vigilant against the bigotry when it’s being perpetuated by the state?
  5. Does one’s socioeconomic status further complicate one’s sexual identity? And if so, how can we remedy this situation?

6. Actor, Andre Holland, grapples with masculinity and homosexuality in the Black community. Suggesting that the root to a lot of the anti-gay rhetoric stems from not the church but religion. How can churches challenge and remain a moral bulwark against the negative stereotypes surrounding the LGBT community?

The Root