Skip to comments.Brokeback Syndrome — More Than One Way Off the Mountain
Posted on 02/25/2006 3:31:10 PM PST by Coleus
By now, the plot line of Brokeback Mountain is well known.
Others disagree. Daniel Mendelsohn, in a New York Times column, declared, "Both narratively and visually, Brokeback Mountain is a tragedy about the specifically gay phenomenon of the "closet" about the disastrous emotional and moral consequences of erotic self-repression and of the social intolerance that first causes and then exacerbates it." In other words, Brokeback Mountain is not a universal love story, but rather a tragic gay story portraying the social oppression and "erotic self-repression" of homosexuals who hide or suppress their feelings. On the heels of Mr. Mendelsohn's essay is another New York Times op-ed by Dan Savage generalizing the fictional Brokeback plotline to all men who experience attractions to other men but desire a heterosexual marriage. Call it the Brokeback Syndrome.
Throwing down a challenge, Mr. Savage writes: " if anyone reading this believes that gay men can actually become ex-gay men, I have just one question for you: Would you want your daughter to marry one?" Is Mr. Savage correct? Is it impossible for some men who experience attractions to other men to buck the Brokeback Syndrome? If even possible, should they? Should societal norms encourage men in such situations to leave their marriages and come out as gay if they experience persistent attractions to the same sex? According to writers for the official newspaper of the Brokeback Buzz, "erotic self-repression" is so destabilizing that being an ex-gay cowboy is not only impossible but the attempt invariably produces "disastrous emotional and moral consequences."
Don't tell that to Rob and Lois Winslow of Lafayette, CO. For approximately 25 years, Rob was one of those closeted people pitied so by the Times' writers. Prior to marrying, Rob had disclosed his same-sex attractions to his fiance' Lois, but they went ahead with marriage. About 10 years ago, Rob confessed to Lois that his struggle had not ceased. Their world was turned upset down. Although Lois was supportive and loving, the road they traveled together to save their marriage was painful. Rob is not a cowboy nor does he play one on TV. Rather, he is a businessman who had come to the decision that he was indeed a gay man who was about to declare it. Concerning the Brokeback Syndrome, Rob said, "I really felt that way. I wanted to leave my family and find Mr. Right."
Rob set off on a business trip he hoped would turn into a weekend of sex with a male co-worker. What he found instead was an encounter with a man who described what he called "sexual healing."
His pursuit of that option came through various counselors, religious commitment and eventually involved an Exodus International ministry. He told me recently in an interview that he has not had a homosexual experience in 10 years and says, "I am no longer attracted to men at all."
Concerning men experiencing the Brokeback Syndrome, Rob says he can empathize with their situation. "I think I can relate to them. These (same-sex) feelings seemed like they had always been a part of my life." Now however, Rob sees this issue from a different perspective. "Although I think I understand what men who relate to Jack and Ennis are feeling, I think it is an unnecessary choice to give up on their marriage commitment. What I have now is so much better." Even though Rob doesn't experience attractions to men now, the point of his story is not to generalize claims about sexual orientation change to others. Rather, the Winslows see Rob's experience as demonstrating that love is more than eroticism. Their choice to preserve family for each other and their children was a loving thing to do, even when faced with a season of "erotic self-repression." As far as married men struggling with the Brokeback Syndrome, Rob does not recommend it. He just wants people to know there is more than one way off the mountain.
Warren Throckmorton. "Brokeback Syndrome More Than One Way Off the Mountain." http://www.drthrockmorton.com/ (February, 2006).
It's a film about adultery where they cheat as homosexuals.
Hollywood loves gays and adulterers.
Hey, I'm still trying to get my head around the idea that shepherds would sleep with each other when the job comes with a harem.
The homosexuality illness in a nutshell indeed.
That's so baaaaaad
This is a perfect example of Hollyweird trying to force feed an agenda. It is falling flat on its face and is a finacial disaster.
Yes, he is, for once.
Ya know, sometimes you're just saddled with a whole heard of ugly sheep.
How would you feel if your daughter married a man who claimed to be a reformed homosexual?
Can't imagine my daughter ever being attracted to someone like that, but if she did want to marry an ex-gay, I'd be horrified. On the other hand I'd be equally horrified if she wanted to marry a man who had been a serial heterosexual adulterer. Such people have shown that they don't have much ability to resist temptation, and there is always temptation.
Me too, which points to something of a problem. On the one hand we encourage gays to join groups like Exodus and leave the gay lifestyle, but on the other hand, we're never going to truly let them put it behind them.
I'd check him out REALLY carefully, hear his story, get to know him really well. I know men who have been healed through Exodus Intl. It is a good solid program.
Depends on what you mean by "reformed homosexual". I don't want my daughters marrying ANY man who has been sexually active. (And the same goes for any woman my son wishes to marry.)
There are some women who are willing to take them on. The ex-gays can put their homosexual history behind them with those women. My daughter and I aren't among them. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but if I married an ex-gay, every time I got into bed with him I'd be thinking about what he'd done with men and I'd be sickened. It has nothing to do with forgiveness per se--after all, the ex-gay man has done nothing to me for which I need to forgive him. It's just the gross-out factor.
Anyway, I tend to go for real guys who love women and absolutely love having sex with us, not metros and not people who have to work on being attracted to women.
I wouldn't want one of my daughter's hooked up with an ex-gay either. Which just goes to prove my point. Ex-gays are never going to be really welcomed in heterosexual circles.
No, Dan Savage is a gay hysteric, while Mikey is the straight-ish hysteric.
You knew what you were doing, didn't you?
I'd be uneasy if she married a reformed homosexual, manslut, alcoholic, druggie, con-man, theif, armed robber, politician or any number of other atypical lifestyles involving repetitive anti-social behavior.
Excellent point. Unfortunately, this is true as well of many groups that don't fit into the conventional image of what it looks like to be part of a church.
And I think I'd be concerned if my daughter was attracted to an ex-gay man, but for now I have to try to accept and see them as "healed" - that's what Christ calls me to.
Through the blogging medium I have observed a rather impressive following with Exodus. Although I can't ever claim to understand what goes on in the heart and mind of a homosexual, from the enlightening blog discussions, those trying to overcome homosexuality experience an overwhelming struggle. The guys from Exodus (and similar movements) are very committed to helping one another overcome.
When I read the hope and success the men find through Exodus, I am very thankful.
My Dad's friend just went to see the movie thinking it was a western. Once to their shocking discovery it was a gay sheephearder movie, they walked out.
The best comment I've heard on Brokeback Mountain came from a co-worker who shoots CAS, "Now we know why John Wayne hated sheepherders."
>> "we're never going to truly let them put it behind them" <<
Well "putting it behind them" is what the whole problem is about, isn't it.
I know what you are saying, but the wording just asks for a comment.
John Wayne hated sheep herders like I hate 'bloggers'. Everytime a new protocol comes along it becomes cool for fifteen days.
Film at 11...
Great article by Dr. Throckmorton.
I'm a heterosexual male who's never experienced such a temptation, despite an abundance of exposure to it. What about that?
Yep and only one thing can change em!
I was referring to serial adulterers as those who find it hard to resist temptation; I was not referring to you, sir.
If he had been recently tested for a variety of STD's and HIV and been clean and abstained from homosexual contact for 5 years, I'd be ok with it.
When somebody claims to be ex-gay the world is suddenly skeptical. The world doesn't believe their claim, the world doesn't believe their testimony and their declaration that they are ex-gay.
When somebody uses the same standard to believe the declaration of gays but ignores the declaration of ex-gays, they should ask themselves why they believe one group and not the other.
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
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