This chapter is an exposing comparison of two recent films in the queer canon—Brokeback Mountain (2005) and By Hook or By Crook (2001). Brokeback Mountain was heralded as the watershed entry of queer material into the cowboy movie genre, with the result of revealing that genre's homoerotic roots against the backdrop of the expansive but harsh world of the American West. By Hook or By Crook on the other hand tells a contemporary story of butch friendship against the odds in the day-at-a-time world of poor, queer San Francisco. The comparison is intended to provoke questions of border crossing and boundary change in both dominant and nondominant spheres of cultural production, to better describe how queer cultural producers and citizens actually live and work, and thus to better imagine a cultural future at least partly unbound by political habit in the present.
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