Annie Proulx & homophobia

This photo was scanned by Remba Imaging. photo was scanned by Remba Imaging. is a whole lot of online chatter generated because Annie Proulx, author of Brokeback Mountain, said recently that she felt her intentions in writing the book have been misinterpreted. I stopped answering some of the comments because they had become intensely hateful & unreasonable. In my 20’s in Gay Lib it was easy to be intense about THE cause; the enemies were everywhere. In fact, otherwise reasonable hetero couples seemed blithely unaware of the existence of gay people. Needless to say, that unconcern was infuriating.

As a visual artist, it is Proulx’s right to feel aggrieved about reactions to her novel. Her intention, anyway, has been thrice diluted: from novel to script to screen play. I know from my exhibitions during the Sydney GLBTIQ Mardi Gras, people frankly seemed to take the work completely unseriously. If they were there for drinks & a lascivious good time it all rolled past their eyes effortlessly; if they were were art apparatchiks you were on trial. None of that gracious attitude that art takes effort & a major toll on yr life energies.

I understand Proulx’s attitude: the climate where homophobia is allowed to flourish needs serious study; however, I find that novels from that era, often by anonymous writers are unreadable: lots of nods n winks. Although he is redeemed by his high camp style & for having influenced Evelyn Waugh, Ronald Firbank personifies the epigrammatic & elliptical, n is barely readable.

I look forward to the time when a more nuanced reality will become apparent in the GLBTIQ communities; the current issue is same sex union parity. It is a situation that will only succeed in gated communities & in affluent settings. Anyway, the first gay divorce has already been listed; meanwhile, str8s are avoiding the institution like the plague. I thought we were vanguard  stylists.


About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
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2 Responses to Annie Proulx & homophobia

  1. Steadfast says:

    The issue of marriage equality is really a US issue where the registration of a ‘marriage’ in the legal system entails a lot of other partnership and property rights that are not otherwise obtainable except by this ‘marriage’ thing and it will be easier marriage to be available to same gender couples than it will be to wind back all those other laws and then put them into law as available to any sort of couple. In Australia that has effectively happened. Indeed in Australia you only have to share a domestic partnership for a few years for the couple to be recognised as equivalent to being ‘married’ as far as all property and relationship ‘rights’. So here you don’t have to be ‘married’ to be treated in law as effectively married. Indeed the problem here is for a couple living together to NOT be treated at law as effectively ‘married’. — Sort of the ‘I want to live with him yet keep my own property and identy seperate from him’ options seems not available anymore.

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