I remember reading the "Brokeback Mountain" story when it was first published in the New Yorker, I believe about eight years ago, and it pretty much freaked my shit.
I'm usually quite culturally liberal, but there's something about homosexuality that always makes me think of the Roman empire crumbling and stuff like that. It seems to come to a head pretty late in a civilization's decline, By the time it becomes prominent, I think it's equivalent to the bruises you start to see on a piece of overripe fruit. It represents a new, deeper level of decay.
Anyway, I'm sure there are many individuals for whom homosexuality does not seem like a choice. But I think there are as many or more people for whom homosexuality is an option but not a foregone conclusion (in other words, they're in the middle of that 6-point spectrum used to rank homo vs. hetero). I haven't seen the movie yet, but I think depictions like this that get people thinking about homosexuality will cause many to go ahead and explore it, whereas they probably never would've if society kept a better cap on it.
I don't think I'm a homophobe: I've had friends and roommates who were gay. As part of the gay-friendly early '80s punk/new wave scene, I went through my own teen process of determining it wasn't the right option for me. Within the last three months, I have brewed a pot of decaf to share with a confirmed gay man from Hollywood, CA, and sat up late talking with him, along with my wife. I'll probably see the movie on DVD eventually, and I'll probably admire many things about it. My gut-level response to Larry Miller is that it was dumb to pull the movie at the last moment. I don't believe in censorship.
But deep down, I'm alarmed. I see more bruises forming on the fruit. I think we're in trouble. To mix in another metaphor, compared to the heterosexual sexual revolution of the '60s, I think the gay movement is like crack cocaine next to pot, in terms of potential to ruin people's lives and upset the right balance of things. However, fruit is going to ripen no matter what you do, and part of me is clinically interested to watch our civilization follow the natural process. Problem is, when this fruit eventually falls off the tree, I don't see how we can avoid going with it. I guess that's where the Church comes in, to form some kind of alternative zion society where we can escape the fate. I hope this zion society has electricity.
I watched all six hours of the up-with-gays Angels in America the other week, so that adds to my angst a little too...