Tonight we saw one of the most talked about films of 2005, Brokeback Mountain. It opened in a limited amount of theaters several weeks ago, but now has reached our local AMC megaplex. The film is very rich in image and story. The acting is top notch all the way. My only complaint is that Heath Ledger mumbles an awful lot of his dialogue. Ledger’s character is a man of few words, so when he speaks you assume it must be important. Unfortunately, some of it is unintelligible. I can’t wait till the DVD version so I can turn on closed captioning!
I really felt for the women in the picture. It must be a terrible feeling when you find out that your husband prefers to be with a man over you! I kept thinking about gay marriage. If society were more accepting of homosexuals, so many men would not have been forced to “live a lie”, in a loveless marriage. Society and some religious doctrine have done so much damage when they insist that homosexuality is not an intrinsic part of a person’s personality. They dismiss it as sin and thus create a terrible conflict within the child or adult who faces his/her sexuality. If it is sin, then I can choose to be straight. I really wish that heterosexuals could walk in a gay person’s shoes for a moment. What would happen if they were confronted with the idea that heterosexual love is wrong and they should choose not pursue it? What if the majority of people they meet were homosexual? How many healthy, happy, heterosexuals would there be? Not many, I’ll bet. In contradiction to the best available scientific evidence, I am gonna go way out on a limb here and say that maybe there are some people who actually sit down and make a decision to be gay or straight. I can tell you for certain that I have never met one, and I bet that most people who tell me it is a choice haven’t either. The religious right want us to change our behavior, but they can’t change who we are inside. Just as in Brokeback Mountain, we can marry, have kids and avoid having sexual relations with who we really want to, but that doesn’t change who we are… just our outward appearance. How does supressing the truth we know about ourselves glorify God or help the people we choose to lie too?
The biggest problem I have with the concept of “homosexuality as sin” is that it creates an atmosphere of hatred. If society believes that we are choosing to do things that are “wrong”, we are looked upon as immoral or “just plain bad”. We are taught from an early age that if we do bad things we will be punished. In some parts of our country, and in some parts of the world, people who do bad things are even executed! Ask yourself. Do you feel upset when a criminal goes to jail? Or a murderer is shot? If these people deserve it, then why shouldn’t a Mathew Sheppard or a Teena Brandon? Unfortunately, the concept of “homosexuality as sin” has created many people who think that their deaths were justified. I mean, after all, they were bad people anyway. If we teach that homosexuality is wrong, we are teaching that homosexuals are bad and should be punished, and that it is ok to deny them the their right to happiness. It is sad that situations depicted in Brokeback Mountain actually have happend and continue to happen. Two people should never be denied to express the love they have for one another.
Brokeback Mountain may be a fictional story, but one of its lessons is true whether you are straight or gay… to thine own self be true.