In a society where homosexuals have historically held little to no real influence, where marginalization, bigotry, and discrimination still permeate many levels of the social order, there is a temptation to grasp any vestige of power, to use what gifts we possess to assert ourselves, to feel empowered.
On Bravo's recent Great Things About Being Queer, number fourteen on the list named the ability to scare straight people as one of the great joys of our sexuality and position in society. There is a secret pleasure in knowing you can unleash the forces of your homosexuality on heterosexuals, perhaps make them feel as uncomfortable as they might have made you feel over the years, perform a little instant karmic vengeance in a petty but satisfying way.
Along this train of thought, some gay men are reveling in watching heterosexual males squirm at the prospect of two gay cowboys leaving the horses to the stables and riding each other instead. When Mickey Kaus stated he did not want to see this film because he is heterosexual, he noted:
If a gay man, say, goes to see "Wuthering Heights," there is at least one romantic lead of the sex he's interested in! In "Brokeback Mountain," neither of the two romantic leads is of a sex I'm interested in ... My wild hypothesis is that more people will go see a movie if it features an actor or actress they find attractive! If heterosexual men in heartland America don't flock to see "Brokeback Mountain" it's not because they're bigoted. It's because they're heterosexual.
Citizen Cain responded:
Got that? Kaus isn't interested in Brokeback Mountain only because he wants to see women when he goes to the movies. But it's not, NOT, because he's homophobic.
Cain goes on to poke holes in Kaus' argument with plenty of disingenuous strawmen, but that isn't what interests me here.
What is fascinating is how certain sections of the gay movement have decided the goalposts of tolerance and acceptance must be further moved to satisfy an insatiable need for validation. It is no longer acceptable that gays be tolerated and accepted in the abstract. Now heterosexual males are not allowed to be uncomfortable in graphic depictions of man on man action or else they're homophobic.
This is a dangerous and patently stupid attitude for gay men to take if they care at all for the near future of gay rights in this country.