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Poll

Were They Gay?

Yes
456 (65%)
No
30 (4.3%)
Jack was, Ennis wasn't
118 (16.8%)
They were bi
97 (13.8%)

Total Members Voted: 655

Author Topic: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)  (Read 891041 times)

kumari

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #45 on: December 26, 2005, 08:16:25 PM »
One such society was Hawaii. There is a word that I learned when I visited there, I think it is called "aikane." I don't know the literal translation of the word, but it describes a loving, sexual relationship between two men. It was fairly common and accepted. It is also interesting to note that men in Polynesian/Simoan (sp?) culture wore clothing that our culture would consider "feminine", skirts, dresses, flowers in the hair, etc.
I also learned that "ohana," which many of you all with children will recognize from the Disney film "Lilo and Stitch" is a word that literally means family, but also extended family, including those in same-sex relationships.

Offline doodler

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #46 on: December 26, 2005, 08:33:35 PM »
The people I know well enough to have discussed this with are all Arab and Indian.
In 2010, 606 people (all ages) were accidentally killed by guns.
Almost 3000 teens (15-19) die in traffic accidents a year.
1100 kids under 19 drown each year.
44 kids under 5 died of heat stroke in hot cars in 2013.
HIGH school sports account for 1.2 million trips to the ER annually.

Offline WLAGuy

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #47 on: December 26, 2005, 11:25:25 PM »

WLA Guy: I identify as a bisexual female and I enjoyed reading your earlier post. Having dated men in the past and entered into my first relationship with a woman about a year ago, at first I felt so much pressure to explain what category I fit into. Everyone wanted to know "does this mean you're a lesbian now?" or "does this mean you were a lesbian all along?" The answer to both is no, but then I also feel guilty when I tell people no, because I don't want it to be like I'm ashamed of the lesbian community or denying it in any way or don't want to be associated with it.
It took me a long time to figure out where I felt I belonged. Sexuality is such a multi-dimensional spectrum and people are scattered all over it.
How do you think we can get people to stop thinking in terms of categories and start simply accepting their attractions (both physical and emotional) as they come?
The story of jack and ennis certainly illustrates, (IMO), how in the ideal world this would be the case.

An excellent question, kiajean.  I'm kind of in the same boat as you.  If I were to place myself in one of the groups I mentioned, it would be one of those groups somewhere in the middle.  For a very long time I didn't feel like I belonged in the gay community.  I have had more than one relationship with different women and have a son, but am also very attracted emotionally and physically to men.  I guess I have basically given up insisting the label "gay" doesn't exactly fit me, but inside I still feel that way. 

Unfortunately I don't think there's a quick answer for the question you present.  However, I do think that acknowledging that bisexual men and women exist is a necessary start, and unfortunately for some reason many gay men flatly refuse to admit this fact.  I don't have first hand knowledge as to how the lesbian community reacts to the question, but according to your post many in that community act just the same way.  I honestly don't know if they feel threatened -- possibly they feel that someone who is able to be part of both the straight and gay communities really is making a lifestyle "choice," as opposed to those whose orientation is only toward the same sex.  I am very much hoping that Brokeback Mountain starts a dialogue on this subject throughout the country.  I think it's definitely a subject whose time has come.

TulseyJoe

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2005, 12:47:22 AM »
Feel free to discuss this in main discussion, but for those who want to delve deeper, or keep at it or make sure you are heard on this topic, go at it here.

I'll kick it off with my opinion. Gay? God yes.

As a person who was certified to teach a High School Level Psychology course by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and all of the psychology and counseling courses I had to take for the BA in Education and the Master of Education, as well as having lots of academic type research related to sexual orientation and reading Journals and Case Study books written by those who deal with sexual orientation and are certified and licensed mental health professionals in the past 40 plus years, I will say the following:

Possibly exclusively homosexual in their sexual orientation? Yes

Possibly bisexual in their sexual orientation? Yes

Gay? No way, Jose'; because they were both in denial of their homosexual orientation in the story. And both of them had heterosexual relationships, too.

I have been out of the proverbial homosexual closet since March 1984. I was not gay before I left the closet; but, in my own opinion, my sexual orientation was divinely decided at conception.

In my over-educated opinion, no one should be called gay if he is not happy having a homosexual orientation and is at least out of the closet to himself.

Yes, I know these days everybody is calling people "gay" when they are just guessing that their sexual orientation might be homosexual.

Heterosexually married homosexuals should not be called gay.

TulseyJoe

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2005, 12:51:47 AM »
Here's an etymology of the modern usage of "GAY" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay.

The Wikipedia? That is a very unreliable source of information. Anyone can edit  any subject when he reads it in that online encyclopedia.  I know because I have done it, too.

Offline Alex

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #50 on: December 27, 2005, 01:02:31 AM »
Here's an etymology of the modern usage of "GAY" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay.

The Wikipedia? That is a very unreliable source of information. Anyone can edit any subject when he reads it in that online encyclopedia. I know because I have done it, too.

Then, try this one.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gay
There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.

TulseyJoe

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #51 on: December 27, 2005, 01:09:39 AM »
Here's an etymology of the modern usage of "GAY" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay.

The Wikipedia? That is a very unreliable source of information. Anyone can edit any subject when he reads it in that online encyclopedia. I know because I have done it, too.

Then, try this one.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gay

That link gives more trustworthy  sources. Thanks! I am familiar with some of them and read the definition of "gay" in them, too.

Offline peteinportland

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2005, 05:35:01 AM »
All right, wading back into this topic (sorry WLAG, but my longer posts that take some thought usually occur around 3am in the morning, so you will have to wait for me to catch up each day---nice thing about this format though is that our discussions don't get lost into the swirl of other topics).

I still think you want men who DO identify as gay or straight to identify with a label they think does not fit them. My friend, I know many gay men who were in marriages and who produced kids and who accepted the sex and love part of their marriage who would never identify as bisexual. Why? Because they think of themselves as gay; they think they were born as gay men and had to make hard compromises and choices in their lives before they could identify as gay. During their marriages, they never looked at another woman in a sexual way, and after their divorces they never had any desire for sex with anyone but a man. They don't want you, or I, or anyone to call them bisexual because they are not. They are gay.

Likewise (and I think this is where you are really agitating for truth in advertising so to speak), I have known a number of straight men who have had sex with guys but who do not look at guys sexually or seek to be with them. They also do not want to be labeled as bisexual because they don't feel that they are. I myself have been with a number of men who wanted to see what it was like (have the experience so to speak). Some went on to be bi, some to be gay, and some decided that sex with guys wasn't their thing (and no, not due to anything I did ;)). I have known several male strippers who work in gay bars who have done a reverse beard: they have a boyfriend so their gay customers will think they are gay or bi, but in reality they are straight and after they leave stripping, they never have any desire whatsoever for a sexual or romantic relationship with men. A couple of these strippers even felt a lot of love for their "boyfriends" in the same way that I love my closest friends.

Likewise, I have known and do know many truly bisexual men who match all of your categories (those only physically attracted, those both physically and emotionally attracted) on both sides of the aisle. Some of these don't label themselves as bisexual, but they really are. Most of the bi guys I know have no problem telling me they are bisexual, but many do have problems telling their wives, girlfriends, friends, families, and others. But these guys (and there are many of them, you are right) are truly bisexual in one form or another.

I don't think we are very far apart here. I just have had life experiences that strongly suggest to me that both gay men and straight men can get caught up in relationships or experimenting that truly go against who they really are. I think Jack is in this place in his life. I think he was born a gay man and can never find a way to be who he really is (for me, one of the great tragedies of the film). But again, as I've said before, the labels with these two don't mean that much to me, and I don't think they meant too much with the artists involved with this work (both book and film).

An interesting discussion, eh?

Offline peteinportland

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2005, 05:43:11 AM »
Quote
Ennis is perfectly willing to live a life of emotional stuntedness, of beans and trailers, of failed marriages and lonely, half-hearted love affairs. Alma is good enough for him. Does that make him straight or even bisexual? I think it simply makes him afraid.


Mallory, I am jealous. I wish I would have written that line. Oh, so right on the money.

Offline koolzies

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #54 on: December 27, 2005, 05:55:17 AM »
Let me just say that I really like everyone's responses. It's nice to finally find a place where everyone is open to new ideas. Anyway, to the matter at hand:

I don't think they were either gay or bisexual. To me those became, over time, labels to define people's intimate actions with the same sex and it shouldn't be that way. Ennis, I believe, went through his entire life being "straight" and he came across Jack who he fell in love with. He was scared to death, of course, because it was new. Jack, on the other hand, may have had experience with men and was more open to the fact that, "Hey, this can happen". It's hard to explain what I'm saying. The tagline for the movie says it best: Love is a force of nature. There is no gay, bisexual, or straight. There is only nature and sometimes, in certain situations, it can be love.
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« Last Edit: December 27, 2005, 05:59:56 AM by koolzies »
"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the Sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." C.S. Lewis

Offline WLAGuy

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #55 on: December 27, 2005, 10:58:55 AM »
I don't think we are very far apart here. I just have had life experiences that strongly suggest to me that both gay men and straight men can get caught up in relationships or experimenting that truly go against who they really are. I think Jack is in this place in his life. I think he was born a gay man and can never find a way to be who he really is (for me, one of the great tragedies of the film). But again, as I've said before, the labels with these two don't mean that much to me, and I don't think they meant too much with the artists involved with this work (both book and film).


I completely agree with your point about people getting caught up in relationships that go against who they really are.  I'm still having trouble with your concept of Jack, though.  If you think back to the scene where he meets Lureen in the bar (after he sees her for the first time at the rodeo), he was the one who kept checking her out, which is why she finally approached him.  Yes, she took the more aggressive role in their relationship (even in the scene where they have sex for the first time, she is on top), but Jack just wasn't an aggressive person (even though some have called him an "aggressive bottom" since he made the first move on Ennis, and kept pursuing their relationship).  We can pretty much tell that Jack had already had experiences with other men before he met Ennis, and my thinking is that unlike Ennis, who had no experience whatsoever with male-male relationships and, so far as he knew, no other possible outlet for that attraction (had he even considered being with a man other than Jack, which he didn't), Jack did have alternatives to beginning a relationship with Lureen, and because he had those alternatives, I think he really was attracted to Lureen. 

I just had to stop for a minute, because I realized that I'm just like Jack.  Had my girlfriend in college agreed to marry me after we found out she was pregnant (she knew I was attracted to other men when I first met her), I could have ended up in Jack's position.  In fact, her father owned a business and was pretty successful at it from my understanding, so that could have been my house at Thanksgiving.  Wow.  I just saw up on the screen what my life would have been like.  Talk about a jolt.

Offline lightsrays05

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #56 on: December 27, 2005, 11:42:00 AM »


Man's Bisexual Nature...



"...Each species is involved in a cooperative venture, upon which ultimately all earthly existence rests. You project you present beliefs backward into history, and you misinterpret many of the conditions that you observe in the natural world. This cooperation that I speak of is based on love, and that love has a biological as well as a SPIRITUAL basis. Your beliefs, for example, cause you to deny the existence of emotions in animals, and any instances of love among them are assigned to 'blind' instinct.

... The love and cooperation that form the basis of all life, however, shows itself in many ways. Sexuality represents one aspect, and an important one. In larger terms, it is as NATURAL for a man to love a man, and a woman to love a woman, as it is to show love for the opposite sex. For that matter, it is more NATURAL to be BISEXUAL. Such is the "natural" nature of the species.

INSTEAD, you have put love into very definite categories, so that its existence is right only under the most limited conditions. Love goes underground, but springs up in distorted forms and exaggerated tendencies. You have followed this course for different reasons at different times. Neither sex is to blame. Instead your sexual situation is simply another reflection of the state of you consciousness. As a species, presently at least in the Western world, you equate sex and love. Love, in other words, must it seems to express itself exclusively through the exploration, in one way or another, of the beloved's sexual portions.

This is hardly the only limitation placed upon love's expression, however. There are innumerable books written with instructions, each proclaiming the said methods to be the proper ones. Certain kinds of orgasm are "the best". Love's expression is furthermore permitted only between members of the opposite sex. Generally speaking, these individuals must be more or less of the same age. There are other taboos, involving racial restrictions or cultural, social and economics ones. If this were not enough, large segments of the population believe that sex is wrong to begin with - a spiritual debasement, allowed by God only so that the species can continue.

Since love and sex are equated, obvious conflicts arise. Mother love is the only category that is considered wholesome, and therefore nonsexual under MOST conditions. A father can feel very guilty about his love for his children, for he has been conditioned to believe that love is expressed only through sex, or else it is UNMANLY, while sex with one's children is taboo.

Creativity rides the tides of love. When love is denied its natural expression, creativity suffer. Your beliefs lead you to suppose that a natural bisexuality would result in the death of the family, the destruction of morals, rampant sexual crimes, and the loss of sexual identity. I would say, however, that my last sentence adequately describes your PRESENT situation [with dry humor].[/size] The acceptance of the species natural bisexuality would ultimately help solve not only those problems but many others, including the large instances of violence, and acts of murder. *Jail sex anyone???* In your terms, however, and in your circumstances, there is not apt to be an easy transition.

The parent-child relationship has its own unique emotional, structure, which survives even those distortions you have placed upon it, and its ancient integrity would not be weakened, but strengthened, if greater stress WERE LAID UPON YOUR BISEXUAL NATURE.

Children would fare far better if the ancient parental qualities were not so forcibly focused upon the mother. This in itself leads to more dependence upon the mother than is healthy, and forms an artificial allegiance between mother and child against the father.

...Now: Heterosexual love is one important expression of bisexuality, and sexually represent the reproductive abilities. Heterosexuality, however, rests UPON the species' bisexual basis, and [intently] without man's bisexual nature, THE LARGER FRAMEWORKS OF THE FAMILY - THE CLAN, TRIBE, GOVERNMENT, CIVILIZATION - would be impossible.

Basically, then, man's inherent bisexuality provides the basis for the cooperation that makes physical survival, and any kind of cultural interaction possible. If the "battle of the sexes" were as prevalent as supposed, and natural and ferocious, then there literally would be no cooperation between males and females for any purpose. There would be none between men or between women either, for they would be in a constant state of battle against each other.

In the natural biological flow of a person's life, there are periods of varying intensities, in which love and its expression fluctuates, and tends toward different courses. There are also individual variations that are of great importance. These natural rhythms are seldom observed, however. Tendencies toward lesbianism or homosexuality in children are quite natural. They are so feared, however, that often jus-as-natural leanings toward heterosexuality are blocked. Instead, the young person is stereotyped.

Individual inclinations tower creativity often emerge in a strong fashion in adolescence. If those drives in either sex do not conform in expression to those expected of the male or female, then such young persons become confused. The creative expression seems to be in direct contradiction to the sexual standars expected.

I AM NOT SAYING THAT LESBIANISM AND HOMOSEXUALITY ARE MERE STAGES LEADING TO HETEROSEXUALITY. I AM SAYING THAT LESBIANISM, HOMOSEXUALITY, AND HETEROSEXUALITY ARE VALID EXPRESSIONS OF MAN'S BISEXUAL NATURE.

I am also stressing the fact that love and sexuality are not necessarily the same thing. Sex is love's expression, but is only ONE of love's expression.

...I am saying that deeper bonds of biological and spiritual love lie at the basis of all personal and cultural relationships, a love that transcends YOUR IDEAS of sexuality."




Offline happycamper

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #57 on: December 27, 2005, 11:50:10 AM »
Just to put my two cents in here. Were they gay? I don't think it is important, but...

Jack, I would say, without a doubt, Ennis, I would say that it is more questionable at least if you are talking about the physical side of things. I think that Ennis was in love with Jack, in spite of the fact that he was a guy. Ennis didn't expect to feel that kind of strong connection with anyone, and the fact that he felt so strongly about Jack allowed him to overcome his reluctance to be with another man. Jack on the other hand, had multiple physical relationships with guys, although Ennis was the love of his life.

It is interesting in the movie, that Jack kind of holds responsibility for their relationship. On their second night in the tent, he keeps whispering "I'm sorry" to Ennis as he is kissing him. And later in their last scene together, Ennis states "You made me that way," although he might have meant that Jack made him that way by being lovable, I think he meant that Jack was the one who started things up while Ennis would have stayed in his shell.

In that same scene, Jack says "I'm not like you....Tell me you're going to kill me for needing something that I don't hardly never get." Again, he could be referring to Ennis ability to hold his feelings in, but I think it was a statement that Ennis didn't have the same feelings towards men that Jack did.

Now you could argue that the fact that Ennis falls in love with another man, makes him de facto gay.


Offline mountain boy

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis)
« Reply #58 on: December 27, 2005, 12:00:02 PM »
I don't think Jack is saying "I'm sorry" but rather "It's all right."
« Last Edit: December 27, 2005, 12:21:02 PM by wdj »

Offline happycamper

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Their first time
« Reply #59 on: December 27, 2005, 12:05:52 PM »
That first night in the tent, after Jack puts Ennis' hand on him, Ennis says something that I thought was "What're you doing?" but I read on the former discussion list that he said "Roll your own" meaning that if Jack wanted to take care of that, he should do it himself. But then Ennis get's caught up in it, and does things his way. I noticed the second time that I saw the movie, that Ennis uses spit to make things easier. It seemed to me that he wouldn't know this was necessary if it was his first time, but the short story states that Ennis figured out what to do "no instruction manual needed."

I like how after the first two nights they are together, we never get such an intimate look at their relationship, it is kind of like it is so special that we are not going to be privvy to it.