Moulin Rouge came out in 2001, right in the middle of when I was coming out – to myself and everyone else. My friend Megan, who was my rock at that time in my life, had seen the movie and thought that I would enjoy it. So one afternoon we left work early and walked through the parking garage to the theater in the Arboretum (before it became a Cheesecake Factory). And I didn’t just enjoy it, I fell in love with it.
At that time in my life I was unbearably unhappy. I was struggling to reconcile my faith with my sexuality and had resigned myself to always being alone. I desperately wanted to escape the impossible position I found myself in but no idea how to do so.
And then I heard One Day I’ll Fly Away which summed up what I felt so concisely:
One day I’ll fly away
Leave all this to yesterday
Why live life from dream to dream
And dread the day when dreaming ends
And the seemlingly impossible dream represented by Come What May:
Never knew I could feel like this
Like I’ve never seen the sky before
Want to vanish inside your kiss
Everyday I love you more and more
Listen to my heart, can you hear it sings
Telling me to give you everything
Seasons may change winter to spring
But I love you until the end of time
Through the help of friends I was eventually able to “fly away” to a place where I lived happiness instead of dreaming about it by accepting who I was. A couple of years after seeing Moulin Rouge I met Benjamin and Come What May become reality. It didn’t last forever, but I still cherish those 7.5 years.
Moulin Rouge reminds me that in my past I felt happiness forever out of reach, and yet I obtained it. Of the longing for love and companionship and then the fulfillment of that dream. And that the fulfillment of the dream can happen again.
Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic.