"Being Ginger" is a wonderful, illuminating look into the life of the film's maker, Scott P. Harris. At first the film seems to be a comedy about a red haired man trying to find love. But through revealing moments, whimsical animation, and real interviews, a universal story arises. We are all different. We all have aspects of our lives that set us apart from the crowd and greatly affect us. In Scott's case, it's his red hair. Through captivating storytelling, we journey with Scott as he lets the viewer into his thoughts, experiences, and internal processing of how his red hair has influence over his life and how it makes him feel about himself. Finding oneself through finding love and being able to accept it can be experienced by all. So, while the film's title highlights red hair, it is about much, much more. Everyone should watch this film and reflect on what makes them 'ginger' in their own life. And, of course, give a ginger some love.
Scott P. Harris plays himself in the film. A heterosexual male ginger now in his 30's. During his childhood and adolescence, Scott seemed to endure lots of teasing/bullying because of his red hair. He even claims that once a day for a year his entire class would stand up and clap because they hated him. While that seems extreme, he even interviews the teacher in the film and yes it apparently did happen.
Scott as a person seems damaged with very low self esteem stemming from being mentally battered while he was maturing. As an adult he seems to have not sluffed off the abuse and carries it with him...evident in the way he approaches other adults his same age.
In the film Scott interviews mostly hetero women and probes their attraction to ginger men. It seems that most of the women he finds for the film aren't particularly turned on or attracted to ginger men. Whether its the freckles, the dorkyness, the white eyelashes, the ginger body hair, or the negative stereotypes of ginger men...they all find some reason to explain why they are not attracted.
While this is sad and sorta expected it also validates to a certain extent Scott's low self esteem.
So I decided to write about my experience of "Being Ginger" . I had a similar experience to Scott's up until the age of about 18-20. In grade and middle school I was taunted with the average slurs "freckle face" "devils child", etc etc. Which really didn't bother me that much because...I like freckles. I didn't really start to have self esteem issues till junior high and high school. Which isn't unique to being ginger as I would guess all kids going through puberty have insecurities.
I had a mouth full of braces, a jaw expander, a face dimpled with acne, nappy hair, I was a little fat, and wore clothes from Wal-Mart. So I was a very easy target lol. Granted all of these are actually luxuries (#firstworldproblems) as many poor kids would LOVE to have braces, actual shoes, etc. (Definitely not a pity party for myself...just recounting my experience).
On top of being ginger, I was also a closeted gay kid in a small private christian school in the deep south. The principal actually prayed over the intercom and we had at times morning devotionals. Needless to say I was mentally conflicted. I also lived 33 miles away from my school....which meant a 45 minute bus ride each day and no friends to play with after school. I grew up on a horse farm and understood hard work and chores...but had a hard time with the cuntiness of my classmates.
The constant question from my classmates was about the color of my pubes. Everyone seemed to be fascinated/grossed out at the thought that I may have ginger pubes. I was constantly teased about it. And my eyebrows were translucent blond...I stayed a little sunburned because of lack of sunscreen education which made my white eyebrows stand out even more...my face kinda resembled "Mr. Clean".
Junior high and high school nagged on...I wasn't hopeful about life because my experience with people were that they were assholes....mainly hetero men. I applied to colleges far away from my hometown and went off to college after high school alone with none of my local peers attending the same one I chose. What happened was not what I expected.
College was totally different. People were nice. I was on a campus of 9,000 and I actually had the chance to choose my friends...not endure the 24 or so I was stuck in class with. I was never taunted about my hair color or anything really...it was a completely fun, energetic, learning, and positive experience. So the notion that I was ginger seemed to disappear and my personality as Seth emerged.
But I need to relate this back to "Being Ginger" as this is what the prose is about. So after college I finally "officially" came out of the closet. To parents, friends, Facebook, the whole nine yards. I was now a gay man in graduate school. I found love a few times and bought into the idea of owning a home, getting a 9-5, working all week, having a manicured lawn, and drinking on saturdays lol. That lasted into my late 20's until I grew very bored of this sorta hetero model for life that myself (a gay, sexual, non-monagamous, ginger) had squeezed into.
So in 2009 I broke into the single life and started traveling. I started going to big gay events such as Southern Decadence, Altanta Pride, and Gay Days Disney. What happened was astonishing. Instead of being taunted for being ginger I was sexualized as a fantasy for so many. People would stare as I walked by, I would hear stuff like "check out that ginger". It was completely the opposite attention I was accustomed to receiving from hetero women.
My experience with hetero women is not amazing when it comes to mating/procreation. On more than one occasion I have had hetero women say to me "I wanna have a baby one day...I just hope it's not a redhead". So let's say I actually cared what hetero women thought of me...I may have ended up like Scott in the film. When I experienced all these gay men wanting to jump my bones simply based on my hair color it was quite unexpected.
Thus as you can imagine...I WAS DELIGHTED! Finally I didn't feel like the ugly duckling. All of a sudden... probably about the year 2010...being ginger in the gay world was like being a top in DC or a bottom in Miami #lucky!
That's when my experience really began to diverge from Scotts...when I embraced and owned my sexuality. I am REALLY glad I am gay because its so much damn fun! I contacted Scott and asked him to interview me if he does a follow up film about being ginger. I also suggested that he include other sexualities in his next film so the audience can get a full idea of what being ginger is like for all sexualities.
Now I'd like your input! Are you a hetero person...what do you think of gingers, ginger babies, ginger pubes, etc? Are you a homo person...what do you think of gingers?