Brokeback Mountain : Gay & Black Glossary


Brokeback Mountain
A movie about two extremely closeted deep-in-denial cowboys, (Jack Twist played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Ennis Del Mar played by Heath Ledger) who fall in love, but out of fear marry women then meet occasionally in the years following. They live in a gay-hostile rural Wyoming society where the church convinces them they are hell bound. This decision to marry brings misery all round to the men and the wives. Bring plenty of Kleenex. It does not mince the ugly face of homophobia. It does for tourism to Wyoming what Deliverance did for tourism to Georgia. The religious right trash the movie because it emphasises the humanity the gay couple. It is important for gay acceptance because it is one of the few movies where because gays are not presented as silly stereotypes. It is long, slow-paced movie. It takes place over about 20 years. The straight actors do an excellent job of portraying the tension, longing, isolation and vacillation of the closeted life. It shows the unecessary cruelty the straight world has toward gays, who just want to be left alone, but let themselves be bullied by mean-spirited straights. Straight people often presume they are superior and have a right to make life miserable for gay people who did them no harm. The movie holds those people up for a good look to see them for what wretched bastards they really are. It was hard not to treat the movie as real. It haunted me with a pervading sadness and anger. Even though I knew it was fiction, it represented thousands of real events and lives. It reminded me of why I started my own gay lib project with such fierce determination, even when I thought I had almost zero chance of any success. I just had to oppose the lies and cruelty emanating from the religious bigots.

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