A Black Gay Man’s Journey to Self-Worth Begins with ‘The Inspection’

Reading about a homeless, gay teen usually puts me in a dark mood, but the fact that this story has such a happy and successful ending reinvigorates my faith in the way we constantly overcome the odds. 

On November 18, 2022, Elegance Bratton’s The Inspection releases in theaters nationwide. It stars Jeremy Pope, Raul Castillo, Bokeem Woodbine, McCaul Lombardi and Gabrielle Union. Its debut in cinemas is brought to you by A24, the powerhouse distributor that pushed titles like Hereditary, Swiss Army Man and Uncut Gems.

Box Office Mojo summarizes the plot as: 

Ellis French enlists in the Marine Corps and ends up at boot camp on Parris Island, South Carolina. He initially meets the physical requirements but is not as successful in disguising his sexual orientation, making him the target of a near-lethal hazing from training instructor Leland Laws and a fellow recruit, Laurence Harvey.

As it turns out, The Inspection is a biographical narrative of sorts that details the life of its writer/director, Elegance Bratton. While some events are added, changed or altered to fit the overall storyline, the foundation for struggle and survival remains. 

Bratton describes it as “black, gay Rocky.”

He also says to Marine Corps Times

I was kicked out of the house at 16 for being gay, and I spent the next 10 years homeless. I really thought that I was completely worthless, but fortunately, a drill instructor told me that your life is important, and you are important, and you matter.

I think we’re at a time, politically, where the left and the right are screaming at each other from our differences, rather than actually listening to each other. The Marine Corps is where I learned how to not only listen to people who are very, very different from me, but how to form meaningful human connections with them. This dysfunctional family helped me to love myself more, even as they asked me to repress myself.

The Inspection is noteworthy because it showcases Bratton’s time in the military during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era, but also because there aren’t many (or any?) movies about black gay men in the armed forces. Luckily, Bratton came forward to make this historic movie a reality. 

The Inspection is in theaters November 18, 2022 nationwide! Go see it and show your support! Don’t let this one get hate voted down like Bros did! 

PS: Let’s take a good look at the lead actor because… Damn!

Sources: Marine Corps Times, The Boston Globe

1 thought on “A Black Gay Man’s Journey to Self-Worth Begins with ‘The Inspection’”

  1. This movie looks so good. I’m excited to see gay movies being made. My younger self would never had imagined he’d see so many gay tv shows & movies.

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