Sunday, January 08, 2006

Brokeback Mountain Cancellation

Once upon a time... long, long ago... I woke up one morning on a new planet. I had no map and even the scenery was changed from anything I had known before. Confusion and indecision dominated my mind and soul. I was lost and wandering. That was the day my son told me he was gay. I can only imagine in my worst nightmares what it must have been like for him... he had no idea what to do, had spent his childhood knowing he was different but had no clue what the difference was.. and could not talk about it. I was lost... but he had been lost and alone for a very long time.
Having grown up with family that I love very much and who are very religious, I had never been exposed to homosexuality as a reality. In my very imaginative mind, I found the idea of bigotry repulsive and vowed to raise my children with a different view of the world than what I had known. Little did I know just how much the conversations and ideas that are heard by little minds effect the base of their little souls... including mine. I had no idea just how bigoted and closed minded I was (and quite possibly still am!.. even tho I have come a ways, baby!)
This morning as I read through my Yahoo! homepage news headlines, I came across the one that states the acclaimed movie Brokeback Mountain has been cancelled in some places in Utah. My heart broke.
There has been more public awareness of the gay community in the last few years than at any time I can remember. Having someone in the family who was gay was just not something ever considered... like everything else, it always happens to someone else and opinions are formed, sympathy extended to the poor people involved and life goes on... because it is not something that will ever happen to you. It's was never mentioned in the movies and the only time it ever made the news (wow! it's really true!) was when a gay person did something bad. Hate crimes were not newsworthy when they involved crimes against gay people simply because they were gay. Invisible, hidden and therefore not real...
Well... that's not how it is.
What this blindness causes is...children who have no concept what to do when they realize that they are somehow different from the other kids.. Guilt because they have been taught their entire life that the very core of their soul is an abomination to God... Shame because of the pain and embarassment they feel will be heaped on the family they love... Fear because of the absolute conviction that their family will no longer love them... And not be overlooked here, the fear that their very life is in jeopardy due other people's bigotry. And heaven knows that they can't talk to their closed minded parents who make wonderful open-minded statements but don't back them up with any kind of reality (I am shamefully speaking of myself here).
Years have passed since that day. A lot has been learned, but usually at the expense of a wonderful son who refused to allow the bigotry and close-mindedness to put him in the position of living his life as a lie. I have much to be thankful for in life... but his strength and courage in the face of my ignorance and bigotry is one of the most important gifts I have ever received.
Brokeback Mountain is a chance... and even a small chance is better than ignorance... for so many, both old and young, to see the reality of life as it truly is on this planet. Real people with real differences.
Exposure to differences in life, even through movies, perhaps will assist some young people and better prepare them if at some time they find themselves in the position of being different. Perhaps they would not wake up some morning on a new planet, lost and with no idea where to find a map. It will be only too sad if this cancellation is a precurser to more of the same.


Chloe said...

I am just reading up on some of your older posts, and missed this one. I have many gay friends, and am fortunate in having a very tolerant up-bringing.

Your son is fotunate in having a Mother who can write with the insight that you have shown.

You may feel otherwise, but I think he is blessed to have you.

Linda_S. said...

Thank you, Linda. You have made my day.