WEIRDLAND: Minorities and gayness

Monday, February 23, 2009

Minorities and gayness

-What is the most important thing you learned from Milk?
-Emile Hirsch: "The film, for me, is about understanding other people, having empathy and enabling yourself to walk in another person’s shoes. To understand, as Harvey Milk said, that you have to protect the “us” out there. It’s not just the gay community. It’s the Hispanic community, the black community, the disabled community, seniors. Part of being an American is being all-inclusive. That’s the American spirit. We live in the greatest country in the world and we’re proud of it. This is just an extension of that. Being inclusive. We should not continue the exclusion of people. We’re embracing people because we’re Americans". Source:

"Is Brokeback Mountain a gay film? An interesting question, and for all its political necessity, a somewhat irksome one--it smacks of an essentialism ill-suited to the gender-bending that queerness can inspire. But every minority group is concerned with questions of identity, and the ways in which ever-evolving answers fuel both political solidarity and individual understanding. Ennis embodies that sort of iconic, manful reticence--he's a Marlboro man whose volatile feelings are scarcely contained by his stoicism. When he does speak, his words reveal a tormented tenderness, in sharp contrast to the garrulous, breezy charm of Gyllenhaal's Jack Twist. Jack is the more psychologically accessible of the two, and he's more comfortable with the possibilities of their love. But Ennis is the scarred heart of the film--his fear turns him into a character for whom fighting and fucking often become intertwined, and whose depth of feeling can be measured in his inability to express it.

The is-this-film-gay question, then, arises out of the film's structure itself--Brokeback is preoccupied with Life, in the yawping Whitman-esque dimensions, and life, in its complexities and human attachments. It is utterly unconcerned with lifestyle, which is where Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Will & Grace, Queer As Folk, for better and worse, seem to situate gayness for mass consumption.

The film is gay and not “gay”--it is existentially gay, in its depiction of love between men, if not resonant with how gayness is usually depicted or with queerness as an evolving cultural identity". Source:

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