Gallagher on Savage on "Brokeback"
Maggie Gallagher, in a post at the Marriage Debate blog remarks on Dan Savage's "Brokeback Mountain" article I mentioned below.
Its not clear the absence of trully wholehearted, fully heterosexual sex passion was the really big problem in Almah's life, or that this was the great attraction of that chubby nice grocer fella she later married. The question of how (if at all) eros is related to normal life, esp. under hard living conditions, is one of the unexplored themes of the movie and the book.
In the comments, several posters alluded to the selective inattention to the rest of the movie required to prompt such a sculpted response on her part.
A different comment got more of my attention. José Salano writes:
No need trying to refute point by point the clever and cute but baseless beliefs of Don Savage's non-film review. Dr. Robert Spitzer, the thousands of ex-gays themselves, and many others demonstrate how far off he is. Granted, overcoming homosexuality is difficult, but no more difficult than overcoming adultery, pedophilia, alcoholism, gambling addiction, etc. [...and so on...]
So I felt I had to respond:
Homosexuality is not something to be "overcome." It's simply the biological norm for a small portion of the population. Attempting to change one's sexual orientation is harmful as this can lead to depression, suicide and other self-destructive behaviors when the person discovers that such change is impossible. It is considered to be a violation of professional ethics by a wide range of health, mental health and educational organizations. These include:
* American Academy of Pediatrics
* American Counseling Association
* American Association of School Administrators
* American Federation of Teachers
* American Psychological Association
* American School Health Association
* National Association of School Psychologists
* National Association of Social Workers
* National Education Association
I would hope as a school board member, you would leave any 19th century view of homosexuality behind and support the school personnel in your district in following theses guidelines in regard to how they deal with their gay and lesbian students.
"Brokeback Mountain" is an example of what happens when people try to be something they are not. Please support your school personnel as they encourage their students to be who they are.
So far I haven't heard back from José.
BTW, Maggie's post includes nearly the entire Savage article, so if the one at the NYTimes disappears into archive purgatory, checkout her copy.
Update: José and I exchanged another pair of comments.