Brokeback NOT Bareback: A Photo Essay of sorts

I spent the holidays with my amazingly religious family, including my lil sister Bk who's the most adorable sweetest person ever (she's so nice we're at times unsure how we're related to her, until her disarming charm wraps itself around a wallop of a good intentioned insult).

My family is a film family, over the holidays my mom and sibs watched around 20 movies, going to the theater maybe 4 times as well...in one week people.

I call over to my brother's where my mom and sisters stayed during the holidays,

Me: So what are you watching now?
Mom: Silence of the Lambs, gotta go!

So it runs in the family, the ability to be enveloped in story, that deep love of film.

My sister Bk is over at Baylor, which she told me is more liberal than one would think. I replied it's gotta be more liberal than Bob Jones University. That my sister hadn't heard of Bob Jones made me actually feel reassured she wasn't going to turn into a gay hating religiosity spouting freak. Then I read this.



It did make me ecstatic to hear that Bk shares with others that her sister is Bi and she's proud of me and my work in the Queer community.

My baby sister, now 14, pipes in: "Well, I tell my friends she dates the genderqueers, which we all find very interesting" -- I decide to let that one go for now.

I did get a toolset for Xmas
so maybe my gram's getting my own genderqueerism.

So I'm feeling good about being queer and being in my family...for a moment.

My uncle is visiting from DC, and we get on, but I tend to avoid too much deep conversation, cause all roads lead back to god for him, and the lord goddess for me. But I guess he spoke on the evils of Brokeback Mountain to my siblings.
"There's a reason they call it Brokeback Mountain, those boys break their backs...ya know how, etc"

So this my Bk tells me, as we're deciding to see Memoirs of a Geisha and I'm like

OH HELL NO, WE'RE ABOUT TO SEE BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN!

RIGHT NOW.

LIKE NOW.


I have to cajole, beg and plead for my sis to accompany me to this film, I'm like damn for real? C'mon, there's like 2 mins gay sex tops I tell her.
(hehe, Heth Ledger is the top, and the hottest straight guy playing gay EVER)
I'm like two cute boys, directed by the same guy who did Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and it's winning all these awards etc.

She tells me it's not about the gay, she doesn't like to see movies where people cheat on each other in any fashion.

Watching 2 married men in an affair is not something she wants to see. I concede the point that it's cool not to wish to see adultery, but I try to explain that when one loves but cannot be in love...
marriage often results next.


My sister: But isn't it called Brokeback Mountain for a reason? Why is it called Brokeback Mountain then? Why?
My roommate: No, that's Bareback you're thinking of!
My sister: Bareback?


Looking at the clock and trying to make the movie, I run through heterosexism, closeted behavior being the norm,

and how it's good for the straight community that doesn't hate gay people to support gay films like this.

My sister is like well I certainly don't hate gay people, I love you don't I? She says she's also uncomfortable "seeing that type of love expressed". I was so proud of her for saying it that way, but we sure as hell HAD to see that movie now.

So we went.

The movie starts, about 30 mins in comes the first kiss and then the big sex scene and she starts getting up to go to the bathroom. I pull her back down into the seat, whispering "it won't be that bad". And it wasn't...cause it WAS FUCKING HOT. No other way to say it, but it was sexy and well done...and the acting so intense and frank, you had to let the story come...

So she liked the film in the end, and so did I.

There's talk in the queer community re: the film:
"It's too straight"

In LA Weekly, David Ehrenstein quotes The Dying Gaul, on how the Oscar winning Tom Hanks/Denzel Washington film Philadelphia isn't gay either. "It's about a man who hates gay men" and I so agree!

Though I must remind audiences that Tom Hanks kinda outing his old High School teacher during his Oscar acceptance speech is what led to the film "In/Out" with Kevin Kline...


What do Brokeback Mountain, In/Out, and Philadelphia have in common? In my mind they are the straight re-telling of our stories. In the end this doesn't hurt, it helps. We all wish two lovers will live happily ever after, and the lines that divide become less and less (or so the theory goes).

I found it so interesting that the cultural touchstones of queer cowboys, the rugged jeans hiding the large bulge, the black leather Gyllenhaal takes to wearing in later scenes...gay as the Village people. It's the style expressed a lot in the 70's, when gay culture might have been more out in the straight world than they ever knew. I think that's been a major point in the parallelism of queer culture and the mainstream.

"They don't know who we are, we are them
and I've got the Levi's to prove it"


I embrace this, I'd like to think that any one person who watches Brokeback Mountain will know more of the queer experience.
We're everywhere and we've always been everywhere, under the surface we were forced to live a lie...and many of us chose not to fight, only to love.


GO SEE IT, IT'S WELL WORTH EVERY PENNY!

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