Sunday, December 25, 2005

"Brokeback Mountain" An Aid In Breaking Down Discrimination?

In Today's Philadelphia Inquirer (Sunday, 12/25/05), there's a front page story, 'Brokeback' signaling a new attitude on gays? As most of you probably already know, Brokeback Mountain is a story of two American cowboys that fall in love. The movie is slowly gaining popularity in the US, and the movie is being released in more and more cities. (I myself have not yet seen the movie). The Inquirer looked at the impact the movie is having on Americans. "The pulse of a nation can't be measured by the popularity of a single movie," the article states, "...the early success of Brokeback Mountain. an anguished love story about two male ranch hands, is being interpreted by some as a sign that Americans are growing more compassionate and broad-minded about homosexuality." According to William Doherty, professor of family and social science at the the University of Minnesota, "It's very clear from surveys that the country has been moving rapidly toward more acceptance." In the Inquirer article a registered nurse is interviewed, stating she wanted to see the movie, "because I have friends who are gay, and I wonder what it's like for them." Another person interviewed was a psychologist, who said, "I see a lot of gay kids who are in high school, and it's something I'd like to understand in order to help them."
Brokeback Mountain may well be another tool to help Americans better understand the gay community. In turn, hopefully more acceptance will be the result. I would also like to suggest that maybe if more of our gay brothers and sisters with celebrity status had the courage to come out, perhaps even more acceptance of gays would be the result. (I personally know coming out is not an easy decision). Look at the positive affect celebs admitting to depression or a medical condition has. Statistically, 10% or 1 in 10 men are exclusively gay per the Kinsey Report. I would argue this percentage is even higher; one cannot admit being gay, even in an anonymous survey unless one can admit to himself that he is gay. So, if 1 in 10 men is gay, there must be more gay athletes, actors, doctors, and so forth. Look at a professional football team and tell me there aren't any gay players out on the field.
At the end of the Inquirer article, one interviewee states, "My father is a fisherman and a hunter, but I can guarantee you he and his buddies are not going to see it (Brokeback Mountain)." Well, statistically, it is highly likely this father has at least 1 gay buddy in his group. And yes, gay men do hunt and fish too.

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