It’s Brokeback Mountain’s 10th Anniversary! Why haven’t we had more gay mainstream movies since?

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, 2005, ©Focus Films

Brokeback Mountain came out in 2005 and is known as one of the few mainstream gay themed movies that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award. In fact, it was nominated for 10 awards. It only won 3 out of those awards, including best director, but still, for a gay movie, that’s very memorable. The Advocate recently released an interview with the movie’s Producers- Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, both of whom won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.


The interview is really interesting and it points out how Hollywood is still afraid to produce a gay themed mainstream movie. Since Brokeback, there have been very few that are memorable. The independent film market is filled with gay lead characters and new movies are made on a regular basis. I even commented on this topic recently, pondering, why do we not have any mainstream gay romantic comedies? For that matter, why do we not have Sci-Fi movies with a leading gay character? Or Action Adventure? Anything? In the latest James Bond movie, he alluded to having bisexual encounters. That was something. We have lots of bisexual women in all of these genres but a leading gay male, not so many.

I have seen Brokeback Mountain several times myself and I completely respect this movie to the highest degree. I have had many people ask if I would ever review it, which I would, but I do not think there is a need for me to state my opinions on it. I do think it is wonderfully done but it also has a very cliche depressing ending to it as well. I won’t go into that now, but even though the movie did have a horrific ending to it, at least it was out there for everyone to see.

That Gif above was pretty much my reaction to watching Brokeback. Anyways, Brokeback was not a movie that was secretly released. In fact, it was shoved in everyone’s faces. I remember having friends that were tired of seeing the previews for it and tired of hearing about how many awards nominations that it received. And besides winning multiple awards and opening the public’s eye to homosexual storytelling in mainstream movies, it also showcased two well known actors who delivered incredible performances. Unfortunately, not too many gay themed movies have come out since this flick.

Why do you think that movie studios are still afraid to release gay themed movies with a gay character in the lead role? With Marriage Equality becoming legal within the U.S, I am hoping that this will change in the coming years. It’s not very likely to happen overnight, but it could change a bit more noticeably now. Right? What do you think?

7 thoughts on “It’s Brokeback Mountain’s 10th Anniversary! Why haven’t we had more gay mainstream movies since?

  1. As well, aren’t all movie kinda Gay movies? As someone who works in the entertainment industry I can tell you that the presence of gay people is ubiquitous. We work in every aspect of movies and how often do you hear people say how gay a buddy picture seems. Does everyone remember the American Dad episode where they find the unedited script to the next Fast and Furious sequel? It turns out to be hard core gay porn with car chases. Hilarious.

  2. Exactly, Do we really want another Broke Back Mountain? I don’t want to see any more movies made by Straight people about gays who have crappy lives and then die. It seemed to me that Straight people liked that movie more than Gay people. It seemed to make them cry and feel noble, as though the reason they should love Gay people was that our lives are pitiful and you should feel sorry for us.

    How many Straight people do you think would be going to a movie about Gay men who don’t put up with their abuse and make the decision to just get away from it.

    I know a guy who got bashed by a man wielding a baseball bat. He was so angry and appalled he grabbed the bat away from the guy and nearly beat the shit out of him until someone stopped him.

  3. The other day I was looking over a listing of 175 gay movies that were influential. It reminded me of the long history of the gay movement, the path of our stories, and how far we have come as gay folk. Many of these movies have received awards and acclaim. The movie, Brokeback Mountain, like the others, is one of the “bricks in our gay foundation” in the securing of our rights.

    For the folks who wonder how come there has not been another movie like Brokeback Mountain, asks the wrong question. They are not looking at the long arc of history.

    For example, Hattie McDaniel was the first African-Amercan person to win an Academy Award, that was in 1939. The second African-American woman to win an Academy Award was Whoopie Goldberg in 1990. Both of these awards was for actresses in a supporting role. While six other African-American women were nominated for supporting roles between those years, a span of 51 years between awards did take place. Four other African-American women have won Oscars for supporting roles since 2001.

    The first and only African-American woman to win an Oscar in a leading role was Halle Berry in 2001. Nine African-American women have shared the honor of being nominated, with three nominated after 2001.

    For African-American male actors in a leading role, the first was Sidney Poitier in 1963, and the next was Denzel Washington in 2001. While nine other African-American males were nominated between those years, a span of 38 years. For African-American male actors in a supporting role the first winner was Louis Gossett, Jr. in 1982, and the second was Denzel Washington in 1989.

    Since 1989 there have been two other African-American male actors in supporting role who have won – Cuba Gooding, Jr. in 1996, and Morgan Freeman in 2004. Since 2001, so far only two other African-American male actors in a leading role have won as Oscar, Jamie Fox and Forest Whitaker.

    Why do I bring up the plight of African-Americans in the film industry and the Academy Awards? Simple. To show that sometimes it may take a while for the talents, our civil rights, our humanity to be recognized by the main-stream bodies that hand out awards. What matters is that we keep telling our stories. And we keep telling our stories. The good stories, the great stories, the tragic and sad stories. We continue to tell our stories. The long arc of history says that we will get to that promised land, and plenty will know our stories.

  4. My complaints exactly.
    There are more gay actors playing straight roles in Hollywood movies than there are gay roles.
    Particularly in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and superhero movies; there are no mainstream movies with a major gay character.

  5. I think my biggest problem with the movie was how depressing it was. I had “come out” to myself as bisexual, but I was still living in a VERY homophobic region (even more than the one I live in now). I also didn’t have any gay/bisexual friends at the time, so the movie took me to a dark place Looking back on it now, this film is a very good HISTORIC gay film showcasing the problems of being gay/bisexual in the 60s. That being said, I don’t find the film terribly romantic.

    Moving and TRAGIC? Yes, definitely. Not romantic, though.

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