Are There Gay Cowboys?
Via Ace, I see that some Sheridan, Wyoming cowboys don’t cotton to Brokeback Mountain. The thought of gay cowboys, eating pudding or otherwise, sickens them.
JIM-BOB ZIMMERSCHIED is not a happy cowboy. “They’ve gone and killed John Wayne with this movie,” he says angrily, beer in hand. “I’ve been doing this job all my life and I ain’t never met no gay cowboy. It wouldn’t be right.”
I would point out that John Wayne died in 1979. Unless Zimmerschied is speaking metaphorically. But I’ve never heard of a metaphor-speaking cowboy.
The target of Mr Zimmerschied’s outburst is Brokeback Mountain, the Hollywood western-with-a-twist that is being tipped for Oscar success. The “gay cowboy flick”, as it has been dubbed in America, is directed by Ang Lee and stars the Australian Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as two young ranch hands who begin a long-term love affair in 1963 against the stunning backdrop of Wyoming’s mountains and prairies.
I’m with Ace on this one: If this movie isn’t about gay cowboys, I’m not sure what it’s about.
Flushed by Bud Lite, Mr Zimmerschied, a squat walrus-moustachioed man in a hat and check shirt, was in full flow. “John Wayne and Will Rogers, they made real cowboy movies. They portrayed us like we are. There ain’t no queer in cowboy and I don’t care for anyone suggesting there is.”
While the patrons in the Mint Bar may be convinced that they have never met a homosexual cowboy, the popularity of the gay rodeo circuit in America is proof that they exist. “I was born gay and I was born a cowboy,” said Mike Yocum, a rodeo enthusiast from Oklahoma. “I grew up in a saddle. It’s horseshit to say there’s no such thing as a gay cowboy, but it’s a very touchy subject.”
Meanwhile, Mr Zimmerschied offered a suggestion for another film about same-sex romance on the range. “A movie about two women would be different,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind that at all.”
That’s so wrong.