In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicles, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
As if being the focus of Taylor Swift’s standout song and the short film “All Too Well” wasn’t enough to drag Jake Gyllenhaal for filth, an old interview of his is making the rounds on social media. It’s an interview with Details magazine, which stopped printing a couple of years ago, so we’re going to base this post on a reference from a Brokeback Mountain study guide and the following screenshot of it below.
The point being, apparently Gyllenhaal thought that the characters Ennis and Jack developed “this love, this bond” that basically grew from him approaching the story “believing that these are actually two straight guys who fall in love.” And if no one is going to tell him, we will. Because at this point, we think that Gyllenhaal missed the entire point of the movie.
Let us explain.
Brokeback Mountain, for those that haven’t watched, tells the story of two cowboys named Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist. Ennis was played by Heath Ledger and Jack was played by Gyllenhaal himself. Now, this movie basically tells the story of how they fell in love and how that love continued for quite some time, despite the changes that came their way or the obstacles they faced.
And Gyllenhaal, in his infinite wisdom, tried to tone down the fact that he was in a gay love story and that Brokeback Mountain was the story of “two straight guys who fall in love.” And it begs two questions. One, what the actual hell, Gyllenhaal? We know you read the script and we’ve watched the movie. And two, what made you think that you can downplay their love?
Is it because you’re uncomfortable with Brokeback Mountain? Because you didn’t look uncomfortable in the scenes and moments that we watched. You sold it with Ledger from start to finish. Did Brokeback Mountain mess with your carefully curated sense of self where you had to look within and contemplate whether you were as straight as you thought you were?
We understand that this was years ago. We do. Plus people change and we hope that Gyllenhaal has. But words matter and during one of the biggest movies for LGBTQ representation, he decided to downplay Ennis and Jack’s love as “two straight guys who fall in love.” And that’s never going to be ok. Not today, not tomorrow, and not back when this interview came out in 2005, the same year as Brokeback Mountain.
Because when two guys fall in love, that’s not straight. And yes, it might throw your world for a spin. But it’s not wrong. It’s never been wrong. It’s the freedom to be yourself and live your truth. And if your truth, Gyllenhaal, is that you liked kissing another man in Brokeback Mountain, if you liked the freedom it gave you, you’re not as straight as you think.
And that’s ok.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)