Before I forget, if you've a taste for the slightly skewed, and aren't following Emily Veinglory's Gay Zombie Penguins, you probably should.
I'm a bad lesbian. I have no real desire to see Brokeback Mountain, although I probably will go anyway because Annie Proulx wrote the short story.
I will admit that the apparently deep-seated appeal of slash fic is somehow lost on me. I strongly suspect the good looks of the two young actors in the movie, coupled with the novelty and promise of hot guy-on-guy chemistry, is boosting this movie's popularity far beyond what it might otherwise exhibit. Normally, I'd expect a movie like this to come out low-budget, with complete unknown actors, play a long weekend in the local art-house, then disappear forever.
I'm stunned and impressed that the story--it's a good story, by the way, published in The New Yorker, in 1997--managed to draw such big names.
I worry, however, on a couple of points. I worry that a queer lovestory going so mainstream will serve to create a tempest in a teapot with the idiot far-right, and distract from the fact that we can't marry our long-term partners, file a joint tax-return, or do any number of other little things that straight, married people take completely for granted. I worry that the backlash will serve to distract from the fact that in many states it is completely legal to deny housing or employment on the basis of sexuality. "Look, you got Brokeback Mountain, for chrissakes--you're getting your perversion flaunted right in our faces, so quit yer whinin'!"
I dunno. I could just be paranoid, too.
Then, there's the completely selfish aspect--I don't really want to let the idiot far-right in on queerness. I don't really want them to see the pain and the heart-breaking self-identification battles. I don't really want to share with them that rare, private moment of "oh, my god...this is why I've never quite fit in." It feels too personal. Too private. If I thought it would make a difference for one single second, then perhaps I'd feel differently. These people aren't even going to go see the movie, though--much less experience some sort of epiphany. They'll just use it as so much more ammunition about the "homosexual agenda"--which is not about rubbing anyone's face in anything, by the way; but rather, it's about being able to have a job and an apartment; and about not being beaten nearly to death, tied with your own shoelaces and left to die hanging from a fence . . . all just because you're queer.
I will say, after cruising a handful of message boards to see what was being said about the movie, I'm glad for the sake of the young and enthusiastic newly-gay*, out there. They seem to feel affirmed and, frankly, a bit giddy. As if this movie really is a triumph towards the greater goal of cultural acceptance.
In the long run, I'm afraid, it'll do no such thing.
*Newly-gay being the under thirty-five crowd. After a couple of decades, it gets harder to sustain that level of enthusiasm about your sexuality--probably regardless of gender-preference.
Not that it isn't still fun...