Brokeback Mountain Review

Category: Culture
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The movie Brokeback Mountain is the story about two young men Ennis del Mar (portrayed by Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (portrayed Jake Gyllenhaal) after a night of drinking jack makes a pass at Ennis eventually having sexual relations with Jack, after stating it was a one-time thing after period the two characters develop a strong sexual and emotional bond and fell in love in 1963 while working on a sheep herding job on “Brokeback Mountain” in Wyoming. The movie shows their complicated relationship over the next twenty years (1963-1983) and how it pertains to the non-heteronormative world compared to the heterosexual hierarchy world, and the labels placed upon people. The question is asked what be the two characters labels Heterosexual, Bisexual, or Homosexual as for this movie Jack and Ennis are both Bisexual whether it was admitted it to or not. The Academy Award-winning movie did not go without controversy since the idea of two men falling in love caused an uproar in theater bans. Being an openly homosexual man in the 1960s, it was candidly portrayed that character Ennis was living in fear of being found in a relationship with Jack.

Since identifying as a homosexual or bisexual person was dangerous physically, mentally, and emotionally during the 1960s because of the state and federal laws that pertained to people in non-heteronormative lifestyles. The issues that were addressed in the movie regarded laws, work, medical and how LGBTQ people had to hide their sexual identity: Sodomy(sex between two men)since, it wasn’t decriminalized until 1977, however, if the characters Ennis and Jack were ever discovered to having sexual relations, Which could lead to them to being subject to some horrors which could include being institutionalization since the medical field alleged being homosexual was a mental issue. The word “Sexuality was not removed from the diagnostic and statistical (DSM), which is the basic manual for doctors, until 1973. Before the medical community thought of homosexual people had a mental illness,” by Lambda Legal Marriage Project Director Camilla Taylor “adding that treatment for this so-called mental illness could include anything from electric shock therapy to sterilization.”

There was a scene to where the character Jack didn’t get the second show at Brokeback because the character Joe Aguirre portrayed by Randy Quaid supposedly saw Jack kissing Ennis, unfortunately, this scene was candid by Jordon Woods, Christy Mallory, Sears, and Senior Counsel at the Williams Institute at U.C.L.A. since there were no state or federal level protections from employment discrimination of sexual orientation in 1963.

The movie helped to change laws and rights for people in the LGBTQ communities like when “The Supreme Court in 2003, overturned criminal laws that once effected the criminalizing homosexual people since there were still thirteen states that still had laws saying that if you had consensual adult intimacy with another person, you could be convicted of a crime,” (Taylor). “In certain states, you would have to register as a sex offender.” Whereas by the year 2005, Ennis and Jack could have legally had sex in the state of Wyoming. (Woods, Mallory, Sears) Yet still, only sixteen states had laws that prohibited employment discrimination of sexual orientation Wyoming wasn’t one, Unfortunately, Wyoming didn’t have any anti-discrimination legislation at all so largely Jack or Ennis could have possibly had been denied work because of sexual orientation.”(Woods, Mallory, Sears).

In today time, Wyoming still does not have a statewide law which prohibits employment discrimination against LGBT people, as well as there is still no federal law which explicitly prohibits employment discrimination of sexual orientation or gender identity. (Woods, Mallory, Sears). The character Jack and Ennis had to conform to the world of heterosexual Hierarchy concept of living like a heterosexual male to survive. During the early years, religion played a role when it came to the rules of gender roles.

Since this movie, numerous states have changed the laws to protect people in the LGBTQ communities whether as a hate crime, denial of work, the right to marry, adoption and so forth yet as you can see there are some areas such as Wyoming which have not changed the question remains will Hierarchy of the so-called heterosexual world going to remain for will it finally get with the times and evolve to the understanding that people on the LGBTQ spectrum all deserve the same rights and respect as those which live by the heteronormative.

Work cited

  1. Adams, W., et al. “Camilla Taylor.” Lambda Legal,
  2. Murphy, Shaunna. “10 Years After ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ What Has Changed For LGBT Rights?” MTV News, 9 Dec. 2015, Phone interview with Camilla Taylor Woods, Jordon Blair, et al. “Model Legislation for Eliminating the Gay and Trans Panic Defenses.”
  3. Williams Institute, 21 Oct.2016
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Brokeback Mountain Review. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved from

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