Remember that little art house movie about two gay ranch hands that no one was supposed to see? Ten years after its release, it’s still got people talking.
2005’s Brokeback Mountain was groundbreaking when it hit the big screens, arguably kickstarting a very real conversation about same-sex love for many Americans who might otherwise have avoided the topic indefinitely.
It certainly made an impact on younger audiences, but what about the older generation?
Though your first instinct might be to assume that people in the 70+ range wouldn’t be so down with the cowboy love story, VH1 gathered some anecdotal evidence quite to the contrary.
They conduced interviews with some elderly film buffs, and here’s what they turned up:
“I was 71 in 2005 when the movie Brokeback Mountain was first shown. Through my early years and even today, I consider myself to be basically free of prejudices. Growing up in the New York City area, I paid little attention to differences in race, color, religion, sexual orientation, etc. However, being an avid movie fan I was somewhat apprehensive about the potential for the showing of homosexual-related explicit scenes, which I do have a problem in viewing. I did see the film, – enjoyed it immensely and never did feel uncomfortable. In fact, in many ways, I felt that this story had to be shown. Generations of suppressing and ’hiding’ these issues simply had to stop.”
– Sheldon, 81
“Brokeback Mountain was a movie about the relationship between two men. The movie was extremely well done and challenged one to think about those relationships. Both my wife and I enjoyed the movie and were not offended by any of it. We also enjoyed reading the book.”
– Merle, 83
“An aspect of the movie Brokeback Mountain that I found most interesting was the strong homophobic response it evoked from many of my acquaintances whose backgrounds were similar to mine. I would never have anticipated such strong negative responses like ’disgusting’ and ’revolting’ to an honest attraction between two men. I wonder if their response would have been different had the story involved two ballet dancers as opposed to two rugged cowboys. Despite the setting, I saw the movie as an unconventional love story with a sad ending.”
– Larry, 87
“An extraordinary portrayal of two men caught between their mutual sensual attraction and their inability to face living together in the wake of society’s condemnation. One encourages the other to be true to his feelings, but the resulting guilt, fear of discovery and lack of courage results in a later-in-life regret of a ’road not taken.’”
– Terry, 80
Editor’s note: Have you seen Brokeback Mountain? Did it have an effect on how you viewed gay or bisexual men or their relationships? We’d like to know.
Originally published at queerty.com.