Internalized Homophobia and its manifestations in relationships.

“As it did go. They never talked about the sex, let it happen, at first only in the tent at night, then in the full daylight with the hot sun striking down, and at evening in the fire glow, quick, rough, laughing and snorting, no lack of noises, but saying not a goddamn word except once Ennis said, “I’m not no queer,” and Jack jumped in with “Me neither. A one-shot thing. Nobody’s business but ours.” There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk’s back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, sus­pended above ordinary affairs and distant from tame ranch dogs barking in the dark hours.” (pg 15)

Although Ennis and Jack had such an intimate relationship, their own ego’s and internalized homophobia kept them apart. Their relationship was so organic and didn’t need to be clouded by conversations of what it meant or what they were. At first their sex was only in the tent as a one off way to release steam. As they became more comfortable with each other and their desires, their locations for sex became more and more visible. It was love in such a way that the location did not matter but rather the act itself. They believed they were invisible to the outside world as well as invincible. The secluded nature of Brokeback Mountain allowed for their intimacy to flourish without the harsh gaze of society. Ennis was quick to say that he isn’t a queer, asserting that what they had done was only some sort of release with no emotional meanings behind it. Ennis avoided the labels that he considered dirty, not from his own experiences but from what society had to say about gay individuals. His aversion to being blatantly gay was also seen when he embraced Jack from behind (42). He could not face his own demons and ideas that he couldn’t physically face Jack. These moments of intimacy as well as tension are extremely visible in the movie as well as the novel. Seeing the movie after reading the book made it a much more emotional experience for me. Being able to see their feelings rather than just reading the words on the pages made it so much more powerful. Not to mention the star studded cast that portrayed these characters so well. The ending scene of the movie/the first pages of the book were so raw and emotional in an almost tangible way. You could feel the hurt radiating from Ennis as his child is soon marrying and his own love has passed away without being able to say a final goodbye. 

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joandidionluvr

Biology major and Gender Studies Minor!

2 thoughts on “Internalized Homophobia and its manifestations in relationships.”

  1. Hey:)
    I really enjoyed your post and specifically, the excerpt you chose to analyze. Similarly, I also analyzed the same passage and discussed the intertwining of internalized homophobia and masculinity. In particular, I found it great that you had mentioned the quickness and tone of both Jack and Ennis in those specific lines, especially when stating, ” Ennis was quick to say that he isn’t a queer, asserting that what they had done was only some sort of release with no emotional meanings behind it. Ennis avoided the labels that he considered dirty, not from his own experiences but from what society had to say about gay individuals.” I really believe that this highlights the unfortunate reality of what members of the LGBTQ+ community have to face every day, not outwardly but inwardly.

  2. I think the reasoning for the intensity of both Jack and Ennis’s internalized homophobia is directly tied to their rural upbringings. Being raised on a ranch in the 1940s, by presumably traditionally minded parents and surrounded by heterosexual friends, both men received a clouded and hate-influenced definition as to what homosexuality was. They refused to accept their queerness and define themselves as a homosexual couple because their idea of gay men and gay love was perverted by fear and disgust, to the point that they could not bear to apply it to something so divine. Their relationship on Brokeback, as you said so eloquently, was so natural that the thought to quantify it in such a way was not necessary. Brokeback mountain and the porn theaters described by Delany are both ‘safe spaces’ for queer men, or men who are ambiguous in their sexual identity such as Jack and Ennis. As I was reading your response, I thought about how many similarities the spaces share, the isolation from the heterosexual community (except for the occasional onlooker, personified by Ana and Joe), the casual and comfortable social and sexual environment, and the sense of liberation and freedom attached to both areas. Although I think Jack and Ennis would definitely never patronize somewhere like the Adonis, I think they would be amazed internally about urban queerness.

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