Ender’s Game is the story of Ender Wiggin, the boy who is bred and raised to be the perfect fighter who can lead Humanity to victory against the Buggers, an alien race who threatenes Earth’s existence. Ender is profoundly gentle and kind hearted. He’s also supremely gifted at killing.
This is one of my favorite stories of all time, and I know there are millions of people who have the same thought.
Orson Scott Card is the author. He is Mormon and has demonstrated severely and persistently homophobic sentiments. He is, of course, entitled to his own values and opinion, but we would hope he would be more compassionate about how he vocalizes them
The Ender’s Game movie comes out on November 1, 2013.
The conundrum is this. How should the LGBTQ community respond to the new movie in light of the decidedly anti-gay values of the story’s creator?
Here are four ways the LGBTQ Community could respond to the Ender’s Game movie.
Because of Orson Scott Card’s…opinions… about us in the LGBTQ community, we could all quietly boycott the movie by not going. Millions more people would not join us in the boycott, Orson would still make whatever paltry profit the movie industry will let him keep and we will all miss out on what is(hopefully) sure to be a great movie.
We could all loudly and flamboyantly boycott the movie at theaters all across America with signs and face paint, loud chants and insults. Movie attendance may be diminished slightly if we make ourselves scary enough. People would think we’re crazy and messed up and they’d be right. Some of us would likely get beaten up or arrested and millions of people would have something to laugh about before going in to enjoy what is(I really hope) sure to be a great movie.
As has been profoundly pointed out here, the story themes and characters of Ender’s Game resonate deeply with the experience and struggle of the Queer person. With this in mind, we could decide to claim this movie as ours. We could camp out in front of theaters for three days before the movie comes out and pre-buy every ticket so that on the night of the premiere, every movie seat is taken up by someone from the LGBTQ community. Our thought could be to say, “Mr. Card, despite what you think of us, we have every right to be here and enjoy ourselves and tonight we’re doing it at YOUR movie!”
That…might be cool. But at that point, the entire exercise has become more about being gay then loving sci-fi and more about making a point than enjoying a movie and if that’s what we want to do, we might as well save ourselves the $12.50 + tax + popcorn – student discount and make our point somewhere else that is more visible and costs less.
I’m trying to be silly here, but not that silly. These few ideas I’ve thrown out are from an Us vs Them mentality that has to draw lines and make everyone pick sides. Christian or Gay. Sci-Fi fan or Queer. Gay-Christian or Anti-Gay sci-fi fan. Queer, non-Queer. Sci-fi lover, non-sci-fi lover. Christian, non-Christian.
Labels, labels, labels! All we do by fighting about our labels is further polarize two communities, Queer and not-Queer, who are already at odds with each other much too much of the time.
We fight about marriage rights, civil rights, discrimination in the workplace, stereotypes. We call each other ugly names, faggot, bigot, pervert, fundamentalist. Do we really need to fight about a movie too?
Responding to hate with more hate doesn’t fix anything and just makes everybody more angry. And nobody thinks clearly when they’re angry.
We’re forgetting that we’re all Human and all just trying to make our way in the world in relative peace and comfort.
Here is what I plan to do about the (hopefully, I really hope they make it good) fabulous Ender’s Game movie.
I’m going to go.
I’m going as a Christian.
I’m going as a Gay man.
I’m going as an undying lover of science fiction.
Along the way, I’m going to invite my very straight conservative Christian friend, and I’m going to invite my Gay friend. I’m going to sit the three of us together in the theater and we’ll enjoy a good movie together.
Here is what I invite you, dear reader, to do.
Come to the premiere, wherever you live, and identify yourself by what you value. If you are a Christian, wear the awfulest-from-the-early-90’s Christian T-shirt you can find(bonus points if it’s from a summer camp we’ve never heard of). If you are Queer, wear the gaudiest combination of rainbows and glitter you can(bonus points for the highest heels.) If you are a loyal lover of science fiction, come in costume from any sci-fi/fantasy saga(bonus points for the best Mr. Spock). If you identify as all 3, send me pictures of what you come up with!
Then we will all be there together, reveling in our bad stereotypes. All of us looking silly and undignified together. All of us, Queer and Christian and Sci-fi fan all brought together by a common interest, a love of the Ender’s Game story, all of us together in a common purpose, to enjoy what will undoubtedly be a great movie. (Man, now I’m gonna be so sad if the movie sucks…)
It’s time to stop being divisive! It’s time for Christians and Queers to stop fighting and hating each other! It’s time we started learning how to live peaceably with each other! It’s time to stop missing out on simple pleasures like good movies because we’re angry at someone!
What better occasion to reconcile? What better time to build bridges and relationships and maybe even say, “I’m sorry for hating you before.”
So then. November 1, 2013. Midnight. A movie about a war between Humans and Buggers could be a time for peace between Christian and Queer.
Who’s with me?
Please like and re-post this blog if you like peace and reconciliation and science fiction and are tired of people hating each other!