Saturday, February 04, 2006

Take Two, Brokeback Mountain

One of the dangers with blogging, as far as I'm concerned, is getting caught in a "thought thread" -- one of those moments where you find something, you just HAVE to comment on it, but the deeper you get into it, the more complex it becomes.

Such is the case with this. While reading an excellent post on self-loathing over at Joe.My.God, I happened upon a comment by Homer of Homer's World, which read as follows:

I saw that movie (Brokeback) yesterday and what struck me afterwards is that it was the first gay romance movie I have ever seen. I know, I know- it is only a movie. But for the first time I guess I was experiencing what straight people get to see all of the time.

My first reaction was.........what?

Sure, Brokeback may be one of the first movies that so flatly shows two men involved in this sort of thing. But frankly, I've never considered that there was a beast such as "gay romance". When I watch Damn Yankees, I know what Joe and Meg are feeling, even though Meg is quite obviously not a man. When I hear Carrie Underwood sing "Bless the Broken Road", I know what she's talking about, even though it isn't necessarily about g2g relationships. Romance is romance.

Quite often what I wonder, though, is if what gays are looking for isn't gay romance, but simply any type of stable description of romance at all. We are the first generation of gays to grow up as open and out as we can be.....but we are also the first generation of people whose parents were more likely to be divorced or separated than they were to be married. To many of us the familial strife and unloving households in Brokeback are nothing unusual; we saw that every day of our childhoods, be it our neighbors or own families. But the decades-long devotion that Ennis and Jack share is something that is so unusual, so novel, that we find it particularly striking and noteworthy.


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