A few days ago I watched Philadelphia (1993) directed by Johnathan Demme starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. It tells the story of Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks), a homosexual lawyer who gets AIDS and is fired by his company when they become aware of his sexual orientation and disease. He sues his company and is represented by Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) who originally hates gays but changes his views bit by bit about both AIDS and homosexuality. At the end of the movie, Beckett dies but he wins the law suite. After watching the movie I asked myself: “would I feel compassion for someone I refuse where s/he stands (sexually, politically…etc.) if s/he is undergoing such a painful, drastic experience?” I am heart and mind against homosexuality. Yet I usually feel compassion for any creature that suffers from any physical or emotional distress.
I think the human psyche is complex enough to hold ambivalent feelings like love-hate or loathe-compassion feelings. Personally speaking, I would loathe where the gay person stands in terms of sexual orientation. But at the same time, I would feel compassion for their misfortune!
What do you think? How would you feel?