Brokeback Effect: Coming to a Theater Near You?

I’m finally going to see "Brokeback Mountain" tonight. Several years ago, I read the Annie Proulx short story upon which the movie is based, but I’m curious to finally see the movie for myself.

Monday night the movie garnered even more buzz than it already had by winning four Golden Globe awards, including best dramatic film, best screenplay, and best director.

While guest blogging for Folkbum in December, I wrote: “This movie is likely to get millions more people to see—and feel—the intense social pressures, the psychological anguish, and the just-as-real and powerful love that gay people experience.” I still think there could be a “Brokeback effect” in Wisconsin.

The movie has been rolled out very gradually every weekend to more theaters. Wisconsinites have only been able to see it so far in Milwaukee, Madison, and Duluth. (Unless someone has other information?) But according to the Marcus Theaters website, this weekend it opens at cinemas in Ashwaubenon, Brookfield, and New Berlin. (Do you think Rep. Mark Gundrum will see it?) Last week, The Capital Times covered the reactions of non-gay men, including state Sen. Fred Risser, who saw the movie in Madison.

Meanwhile, if you think “gay cowboys” don’t really exist or if you wonder if gay couples truly face hardship or discrimination, read this story.

Sam Beaumont, a gay rancher in Oklahoma, was kicked out of the home he shared with his partner of 25 years. The deceased partner willed the house to Beaumont, but it turned out the will was missing one witness signature. A cousin of the deceased partner sued to get the house and won. Now the cousins of the deceased are suing Beaumont for 25 years of back rent.

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At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read this post today on's "Broadsheet" blog:

Broadsheet crush of the day: a fella with the whimsical handle "thebeesucksass," whose recent IMDB post (reg. req'd) about "Brokeback Mountain" was unearthed at Daily Kos.

"If the film we wanted to see hadn't been sold out, I don't think I'd ever have seen it," he writes. "It's been four days ... and progressively, day after day, I have been forced to admit that I am ashamed of the way I felt about homosexuals. I literally had no concept of what life is truly like for these individuals, and must continue to be. In my heart I know that good, wholesome, long-standing friends of mine -- true-believing Christians -- have made life horrible for these people when they go out of their way to bad mouth them behind their backs ... tell their children homosexuals are going to Hell, etc.

"I can't explain what I'm feeling, but I haven't had this kind of doubt (about the church I go to) since I made the decision a long, long time ago to leave the family business against my father's wishes ... In a way, I guess, my own personal history and my relationship with a disapproving (and uneducated) father somehow made me 'get' what Heath Ledger's character goes through ... The God I believe in, that I teach my kids to trust, would never wish the kind of pain that I went through on anyone, which really I now know for real is the same kind of pain homosexuals must go through just to live what for them is an honest life, and the choice they must make. I'd never had my eyes opened to this before, not ONE IOTA.

"Tonight, winding down, I said a little prayer. It was more or less the same thing that's been going round and round inside my head since I saw this movie ... who am I to judge? I honestly was trembling at one point during the credits before we got up to leave, and I had to struggle to re-gain my composure. Now that I am remembering that, it reminds me of the way I trembled when I first asked God to forgive me of my sins and accept me as I am.

"'Brokeback Mountain' humbled me."

He has a follow-up post. ("My wife's youngest brother said something about the movie as a joke and everybody else chuckled along like you'd expect. I'd already decided what I was going to do if anybody mentioned it, and I said, 'I saw it when I was in Texas. And you know, it was damn good.' They all shut up, and it was pretty quiet for a while.)


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