CARY — Equality NC (ENC) presented a screening of “Bob and Jack’s 52-Year Adventure” from Jan. 11-17 at the Galaxy Cinema in Cary. Proceeds received went to benefit ENC. A question and answer session was held with director Stu Maddux over the weekend.
The film shared the true, self-told story about life-long love and the equal rights two men who are still in love will now need to survive.
In 1952 an Army sergeant was cornered and courted by his commanding officer. Their romance grew and then grew too obvious. Rumors turned into anonymous tips to headquarters. They avoided court-martial by confronting the troops in their unit. That pivotal moment cemented Bob and Jack together for the rest of their lives.
Now they share how they have remained a couple: how one man left his wife and children, how both moved together to a small town in the Pacific Northwest and started a radio station and today how they face the new battle of being gay in their 80s.
The film addressed the question: “How do I have a lasting relationship?”
Society teaches gay men (and gay culture reinforces) self-doubt about oneself. Does that include the incapability to have a life-long relationship?
This film dispels that deep, destructive, self-doubt that many queer people keep in them.
Bob and Jack show that the LGBT community is no different than everyone else out there looking for life-long love.
The director wondered if the few lasting gay couples that exist are just squeaky-clean, freak occurrences that have few arguments, no infidelity, little passion. Clearly not, he said. This documentary revealed how much gay, young men and women a half-century ago had the same problems as their counterparts today.
“At the same time Bob and Jack ended up surprisingly similar to my very straight grandparents. If there is anything discouraging about Bob and Jacks’ story it’s the lack of legal validation for all their years together. Listening to the fears they have about the future, you can’t help but feel that you are listening to any elderly couple talk about social security and Medicare. How will one survive when the other one is gone? Bob and Jack have no such safety net,” he added.
Maddux didn’t intend for the documentary to have any political overtones, but it made him understand more clearly that gay marriage is not just a token nod of the head to committed couples. It’s a necessity for any relationship that has lasted so long that one member will outlive the other. “Every time I watch this documentary, Bob and Jack seem to deprogram me a little bit more,” he concluded.