Queering Brokeback


I feel that in a lot of ways this movie was very positive for the queer community. It brought light to the issue of queer violence a lot more than other films have done in the past. It shows just how brutal people can be. When you look at the scene where Ennis is brought with his brother to see what was done to the one known homosexual of the town, you hear this brutal story of the death of this poor man, and his only crime was living with the man he loved. Then there's the scene where you hear of Jack's death, and how a tire exploded while he was filling it with air on the side of the road. That story is complete nonsense, and when they show him getting beaten, it's obvious what really happened. I feel that this is so important to show because we hear about the bullying and abuse that many people go through, but rarely see how far it can really go.

There's also the idea of hiding your true self in order to protect yourself, and your family. That's another very important theme that makes this movie extremely queer. These men obviously were in love, and Jack seemed to accept it and wanted to live together, but Ennis was far from acceptance. This movie is a journey of self discovery and acceptance, and unfortunately for Ennis it seems it comes too late. It seemed as though Jack already accepted he was gay and there was no way around it, but he was in love with Ennis, and if they weren't going to have a relationship, he figured there was no point in outing himself to the world.

I feel that these are two very important issues, and the fact that the movie isn't just showing a happy-go-lucky gay family where everything is perfect and they're falling into this heteronormative white picket fence model makes this movie extremely queer. So what if they're trying to mask their sexuality. That's what so many homosexuals go through. Many even go to further extremes to rid themselves of their heterosexuality and I feel like that's something it could definitely benefit from because it would bring another queer element to it that also is left out of these cookie cutter "GLBT" movies.


I agree that the theme of hiding one's self is extremely queer. This is not something that straight folks have to deal with. But I don't know about this movie being extremely queer. Aside from the queer love between them, the incident in which Ennis has unconventional sex with Alma, the aggression that Jack and Ennis take part in before an intimate moment, Ennis not conforming to a monogamous lifestyle, the men cheating on their wives, Ennis's divorce I woud say the rest gives rise to heteronormativity. Now days even the last three are becoming more heteronormative. While this may seem like alot I think the other side has more support. For example both Jack and Ennis have masculine jobs, they have children, they are religous, they're cowboys, they have wives, they don't have a public relationship, they have to sneak around to be together, they have sex with their wives, their wives cook. I think other films like "Female Trouble" and "Prescilla" did a better job of getting us away from cookie cutter GLBT movies.

I agree with your points about queer violence. The scene where the two brothers are brought to look at the murdered man is just awful, and I hope nowadays someone could get arrested for that sort of thing. Not only is there that scene, and Jack being beat to death, but there are other harmful bits of homophobia in the movie, such as when the man in the trailer refused to give Jack and Ennis work, because he knew that they were gay. I think it is really great that this movie attracted audiences of all different kinds, and not just queer audiences. It really helps to raise awareness. I know someone who is (was?) very homophobic, but they still love this movie. There are some really important issues being brought to the public here.

I agree that the depiction of violence in the film was a heartbreaking yet refreshing change from what we are used to seeing in queer cinema. The fact that this violence was exposed to children seems even more enlightening. It speaks volumes about the indoctrination of hate. If being gay was truly “wrong” then it wouldn’t be necessary to instill that value in children, it would come naturally. The scene where the father was showing the children the gay man’s corpse spoke volumes to me about the innocence and acceptance that is put out by children and that dissipates as one “grows up” and enters adulthood. Previous to this “lesson,” those children likely didn’t know what gay is, and certainly didn’t condemn it. Their father gave them that knowledge, and being so young, they didn’t have any alternative sources of information to turn to and thus were forced to accept his ideas as truth.

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This page contains a single entry by bode0156 published on April 6, 2012 5:29 PM.

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