No one told me Brokeback Mountain was about us. It was supposed to be about other people, you know, homosexuals. That's the hype, right, two gay cowboys in love.
So why did I see my friends and I in this story? Adolescent girls who couldn't imagine escaping the narrow confines of our strict upbringing. Young women struggling to find our way in a society which promised to prize independence but, too often, rewarded conformity.
When you're stuck inside the status quo, when it's all you know, you've played a part in this film. And I, for one, have acted, at some point, for some person, rather than risk exposing myself to condemnation and punishment.
Brokeback Mountain, with its vulnerable performances and clear-sighted direction, is about our natural human struggle. Our longing to belong pressed up against our longing to be ourselves. Our desire to live peacefully (and safely) pressed up against our need to live truthfully.
This film reminded me that liberty can be a shared delusion. We enjoy certain freedoms, yes, yes, but that doesn't necessarily make us free.