Penn doesn’t let the Milk sour in his support of gay rights

Courtney Johnson

The Academy Awards are one of the most anticipated annual award shows. Between the fashion and the speeches from brilliant and talented A-listers, many people can’t watching watching and admiring this event.

This year, in my opinion, was one of the best years for the Oscars. The stage was outrageous and beautiful, and the announcements of the winners kept me on the edge of my seat. As I watched clips of amazing movies from the past and present, I couldn’t help but be proud of the fabulous movies our world has produced over the past 81 years.

Rooting for personal favorite films and actors to win and accept the Oscar is a hopeful experience. As for myself, I felt there were many incredible movies that deserved our recognition, but after seeing last year’s film “Milk,” starring Sean Penn, I felt this movie deserved an award to honor its work and dedication.

I watched this movie in awe because it is a topic that is very special to me. To have an inspirational movie about gay rights in our country is a huge step forward for our society, showing what battles we have gone through as a nation.

“Milk” is about the famous Harvey Milk who was an incredible political figure in the 1970s. He not only jumped great hurdles to become the first openly-gay politician, but also helped mold gay rights laws through his activism.

Sean Penn did a phenomenal job not only acting in this role, but also in helping us find it in our hearts to accept equality for all. This was not only a movie to me, but a message to Americans to help realize what the gay community has gone through, and what it is capable of doing.

When Sean Penn won the award for best actor for his performance in “Milk” this year, it brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t only feel like this because I believe he was most worthy of this award, but it was perfect timing for what had gone on in the Nov. 2008 elections. Sean Penn addressed the subject of equality for all, relating it to the subject of California’s Proposition 8, which had many people backing it in last year’s election.

Those who voted for Proposition 8 took a stand in favor of banning gay marriage in our state. I feel passionate about his words, like many others, because I proudly held “No on Prop 8” signs before California went to the polls.

I encourage everyone to rent this movie when it comes out. Sean Penn will make you fall in love with his role, and the film certainly shows the hardships that the gay community has gone through. It displays the darker side of our country, with its history of prejudice, but also shows what our country can achieve over time.

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