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A Taste For Brown BodiesGay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire$
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Hiram Perez

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781479818655

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479818655.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2019

Gay Cowboys Close to Home

Gay Cowboys Close to Home

Chapter:
(p.125) 5 Gay Cowboys Close to Home
Source:
A Taste For Brown Bodies
Author(s):

Hiram Pérez

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479818655.003.0006

Reviewing what became a common critical response to Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain (2005) as "not a gay movie," this chapter contests the prevailing reading of Ennis Del Mar as repressed homosexual, inviting his difference to help open both "gay" and "queer" to new narratives. Ennis's queerness is concentrated unexpectedly in a cowboy ethic; because nationally that ethic is memorialized as heroically masculine, its queerness has dissipated from legend. This chapter restores the queer in cowboy, insisting that we situate Ennis close to home (Wyoming, ranch labor, rural) in order to appreciate his difference. Hence, the chapter challenges a metanarrative for modern gay identity largely founded on migration to metropolitan locales and on gay cosmopolitanism. In contrast to most readings, the chapter uses both Annie Proulx’s story and Lee’s adaptation to critique gay assimilationism and contemporary neoliberal (“homonormative”) gay and lesbian politics.

Keywords:   Ang Lee, Annie Proulx, assimilationism, cowboy, gay cosmopolitanism, homonormative, modern gay, neoliberal, rural

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