Author Topic: <-- Introduce Yourself -->  (Read 501289 times)

Offline Phillip Dampier

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<-- Introduce Yourself -->
« on: February 12, 2006, 10:43:34 pm »
So that we can start getting to know one another a bit, feel free to tell your story.

Here's mine:

I'm 38 years old and reside in Rochester, NY.  I've been a lifelong resident of this western NY city located just south of Lake Ontario in what has been called the Finger Lakes region of New York.  Although we've got hills, we'd have to head south to Pennsylvania or east to the Adirondacks to experience some mountains for ourselves.  I live in the suburbs and have all my life, so seeing the wide open spaces on Brokeback Mountain is something I can see if I hop in the car and take a drive out into the country, but it's not something I live by any means.

I spent my teen years being an extremely introverted recluse.  I had my various hobbies, none of which were social at all, and I basically didn't hang out with anyone.  When I finally started college I had enough of having no social life and, through trial by fire, managed to come out and become an open extrovert.  I went through a few long distance relationships back in 1986 which were hell.  I understand very well Jack's frustration at being limited to see and spend time with Ennis, who lived several states away.  One of my goals in life was to make sure I didn't end up spending my life alone and made finding a relationship that would work for me a very high priority.  I lucked out in finding my partner (inside the area code too!) in early 1987 and we've been together ever since.

I am relieved I don't have to live the Ennis relationship mess, but that doesn't make me better than those who do because other baggage in my life exists in quantities worthy of American Airlines.  Having friends who drive you nuts with their super secret emotions and definition of commitment can be almost as irritating as those who are dating or married to someone like that.  I've had plenty of those enigmatic people in my life, and they can drive me crazy, so I recognized Jack's frustration with Ennis straight away.

On the issue of commitment, I turned out to be both Jack and Ennis.  Like Jack, I fought for a relationship and made it a priority.  But when I found the right person, Ennis came to the party and I found I was actually making excuses for not moving in and making the full commitment required.  When I heard Ennis giving a laundry list about his job, society, etc., it dawned on me I had his Excuse-o-matic on loan over here too.  Suddenly guilt through recognition.

I'm in transition as far as my job right now.  I've been doing stuff that doesn't fulfill me or provide any sense of accomplishment or joy and I've been thinking a lot about the future and where I am going to be in 10-20 years.  I don't think we do as much thinking about the future when we're younger.  It's an odd dichotomy - time seems to move slower for me when I was young, but years passed, little got accomplished and it didn't seem to bother me.  Now time is moving faster and I worry more about what exactly I am accomplishing today and whether there will be enough time to actually find something that is economically -and- emotionally fulfilling.  I don't want to be Ennis staring at a piece of pie with little/nothing to show for it.

Sometimes big changes are terrifying and in order to get from "familiar but unsatisfying" to "unknown but changes your life for the better" means you need some support, encouragement and ideas.

I've been aware of all of these negative things in my life for a long time now, but I have compartmentalized and distracted myself from having to deal with because I had no real idea on how to change them, and I wasn't very motivated to either.  Plus, the whole fear of failure keeps you from trying sometimes too.  Better to dream, right?

I first heard of Brokeback Mountain from some news clipping or trailer I saw.  I thought -- gay western, what the hell is that.  Well, it's got Donnie Darko in it and that was an amazing performance, and it's original - gay ranch hands fall in love in the 1960s.  Wow.  I honestly didn't know who Heath Ledger was. 

I've been spending less and less time in movie theatres in general because, frankly, there has been at least three years of mostly junk thrown in our faces.  The major must-see movies for me had been the Harry Potter films.  But to spend $7-9 to sit in a theatre with obnoxious people with cell phones, talking, and other annoyances just was really not for me anymore.

But because Brokeback seemed unique, my partner, my cousin, and a close friend elected to go and see it together at the local art house.  Thankfully, disturbances at this particular theatre (the Little Theatre in Rochester, NY) have always been extremely rare, and they are non-profit now and worth supporting.

When the lights went down, the previews and the animated short came and went, the movie began.  I think I've written extensively about how this movie hit me, so I won't repeat myself here, but I can say I was in no way prepared for it.

All my carefully protected compartments for the little problems in my life were vandalized by Annie Proulx's story and Ang Lee's film.  All of a sudden it's all right in my face, and the screen is so big you can't look away.  You also don't get to play the "in denial" card.  Sorry, but the emotional tsunami hits you and, as Ennis likes to say, if you can't fix it you just have to deal with it.  It's totally out of your control.

I hate being out of control.  I must have answers.  Someone has to have the answers.  Prowl forums, see movie again, listen to soundtrack (me, listening to some country & western music which must result in a tear in the very fabric of space!), annoy friends with Brokeback tie-ins about everything (try shopping and walk in the bean aisle, try to explain why YOU are watching Oprah, why are you suddenly considering a vacation somewhere in the western US or Canada...), and then finally admit you have a problem!

Obsession... the new outdoor fragrance from Calvin Klein.  When you can quote scenes from the movie by heart... it's Obsession.

My friends who have seen it have needed to talk about this movie.  Unfortunately, a lot of them have their own significant others who had zero interest in seeing this movie and thus had nobody to talk to it about (if you were dragged to Saw 2 or any movie like it, you can get a court order to require the attendance of the person who thought Saw 2 truly dealt with the unresolved issues in part one but thinks Brokeback is a bunch of gay cowboys who do nothing but screw).  I spent until 4am in an area cafť going through how this movie mangled me and what I could do about it.

When I read Annie's quote, which is my signature line, it dawned on me there was a way out of this emotional hell and that would be to finish the story in a positive way in my own life.  This forum is my first tiptoe into the big changes to get me down the road of getting more fulfillment out of life.  It's a small first step, but an important one. 

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2006, 08:42:38 pm by Phillip »
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Offline Impish

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2006, 08:14:51 pm »
I'm 50 years old.  I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, but left Chi-town in 1975 and have lived all over the country since then.  I also spent a year living abroad in Paris.

I now reside in the southwest of the U.S., and have for 13 years now.  When I arrived here I was ready to grow some roots some place after so much (13 times!) moving across country.  I wanted to make friends that I wouldn't have to say goodbye to a year ot two later.

I knew that I was gay (altho' I didn't use that term) when I was 8 years old (nb. I'm gonna post that story elsewhere).  I hit adolesence in the late 60's, lost my virginity in '68 when I was 13 years old, and dived head long into the "sexual freedom" movement of the 70's.  I came out to my parents when I was 17, and was involved in gay political activism in '73 and '74 when I lived in San Diego. 

I have a Ph.D.  and was working in academia.  Then in

[sh*t: my local news on the radio just reported they'll have a story about the beating of 2 gay men]

Then in July of 1995, my back started deteriorating very rapidly and I have lived with chronic, constant, and intractable pain since then.

That threw me into a pretty big depression that took me a couple of years to overcome.  I no longer work and my world has shrunk quite a bit because  activity increases my pain.  I play duplicate bridge at our local club, teach there, and do volunteer work for the club.  I used to be on the bridge tournament circuit, but just a few weeks ago I had to accept the fact that my back no longer allows me to do that, so bridge is becoming a pastime instead of an avocation just now.  I'm currently adjusting to that fact, and it's pretty rough.

That's a summary of my life so far.  I'm planning on copying a few posts I made over at the imdb board that show how BBM has affected me.... or at least, how it has influenced my thinking and viewpoint on my life.



« Last Edit: February 28, 2006, 11:40:48 am by Impish »
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2006, 12:54:49 am »
I'm 50 years old.  I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, but left Chi-town in 1975 and have lived all over the country since then.  I also spent a year living abroad in Paris.

Wow, you've definitely been further away from home than I have.  I have actually lived along the same street, in the same town, for my entire life, just at five different addresses! 

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I now reside in the southwest of the U.S., and have for 13 years now.  When I arrived here I was ready to grow some roots some place after so much (13 times!) moving across country.  I wanted to make friends that I wouldn't have to say goodbye to a year ot two later.

I have never seen a desert in "real life."  It's one of the things that touched me about the film - the different scenery is something I've never actually seen.  Being here in western New York isn't actually dull and boring.  We have lots of hills and a big lake, and driving isn't as monotonous as it might be in some areas of the country.  But I never go anywhere - in fact, I haven't been on a real vacation since 1986.  It's something that needs to change.

I have seen a lot of my own friends move out of this area.  A lot eventually gravitate back, despite our reputation for annoying (but not deadly) weather.  Only I seem to be anchored in place.

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I knew that I was gay (altho' I didn't use that term) when I was 8 years old (nb. I'm gonna post that story elsewhere).  I hit adolesence in the late 60's, lost my virginity in '68 when I was 13 years old, and dived head long into the "sexual freedom" movement of the 70's.  I came out to my parents when I was 17, and was involved in gay political activism in '73 and '74 when I lived in San Diego.  I practiced Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism for 23 years starting in '75.

We can address is in the seriously-needs-a-new-name GLBT forum a bit more.

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Then in July of 1995, my back started deteriorating very rapidly and I have lived with chronic, constant, and intractable pain since then.

That threw me into a pretty big depression that took me a couple of years to overcome.  I no longer work and my world has shrunk quite a bit because  activity increases my pain.  I play duplicate bridge at our local club, teach there, and do volunteer work for the club.  I used to be on the bridge tournament circuit, but just a few weeks ago I had to accept the fact that my back no longer allows me to do that, so bridge is becoming a pastime instead of an avocation just now.  I'm currently adjusting to that fact, and it's pretty rough.

I have become an avid walker to try and deal with my weight and I go absolutely crazy if I can't go outside and do my thing, and when there is some sort of pain, it's extremely aggravating, so I understand a little bit of your frustration, although I can't relate to the pain you've experienced.  It's very upsetting that there isn't some sort of effective treatment for back pain - it seems to me if we can have a half dozen medications for sexual gratification and more than 15 meds for depression, there should be some appropriate pain management tools available that don't leave someone addicted to them and knocked for a loop because of side effects.

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Offline juneaux

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 03:37:27 pm »
I'm a 38 year old Black heterosexual female who grew up in the Southwest.  Politically I consider myself to be middle of the road although my conservative friends see me as a flaming liberal. Although I do attend church regularly I do not consider myself to be religious.  I try to follow the teachings of Christ and for me that is (most importantly) treating others with respect and love.  Also, I've got a lot of major work to do on myself before I can even begin to start judging the minor issues of others.

Anyway, I am not sure what it was about this moving that totally devastated me when I saw it initially.   Luckily, when this movie was first released in my area I was on a leave of absence from work and was able to investigate my obsession~ gotta love the Internet.   It has been almost 3 months and I must say that the movie no longer consumes my thoughts all of the time.  The haunting *does* subside! (Of course I did purchase the short story and have read it innumerable times in addition to seeing the movie repeatedly.)   

Someone on IMDB mentioned this site ~ subside does not mean completely go away so I still read message boards~ and I liked the idea of using this wonderful movie as a start to future self improvements. 
Truth never damages a cause that is just.
~Mohandas Gandhi

Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2006, 03:49:24 pm »
Welcome Juneaux!

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Anyway, I am not sure what it was about this moving that totally devastated me when I saw it initially.   Luckily, when this movie was first released in my area I was on a leave of absence from work and was able to investigate my obsession~ gotta love the Internet.   It has been almost 3 months and I must say that the movie no longer consumes my thoughts all of the time.  The haunting *does* subside! (Of course I did purchase the short story and have read it innumerable times in addition to seeing the movie repeatedly.)

I have had lots of thought time to spend on Brokeback as well, and maybe that correlates to the impact.  I suppose if we're very busy with work or some other responsibilities more pressing, perhaps the impact isn't as great?

Yes, I agree that as each day goes by, I am able to step back a little more from the movie, but still not lose sight of what it was saying.  I am trying hard myself not to lose the sting of the slap in the face... the motivating power... I don't know what to call it exactly, of the film's impact.

Ang Lee told us (gosh, I am starting to quote him like he's a prophet now...   :o) in his Brokeback Book of Revelations  ;) that he often listened to the soundtrack to stay inspired and focused while making the movie.  I keep bringing the music out myself whenever I feel like something is pulling me away from the mission at hand.

I really appreciate the post, because when you guys write, it also helps me a lot in staying focused and building some momentum.

I was debating buying the screenplay book with extra comments about the film at Barnes & Noble the other week, but they wanted $14 for it + outrageous NY sales tax, so I'll probably order it online.  There were only about two dozen pages of new content total.

As far as self-improvements go, feel free to post a list of anything you want to accomplish.  I want to build some sort of tool that lets us enter our goals into it and have reminders appear so we keep going back to them and report (privately to yourself or publicly to everyone) how much progress is getting made.  We can also try and pool resources with links to good info, encouragement, and whatever other support we can offer back and forth.

Thanks again for spending time here and I hope we can both get things out of this.
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Offline CoyotePiper

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2006, 10:12:15 pm »
Gay guy living here in southern New England. I'm an "Ennis" type, am a conservative Republican, and go for Jack or Randall types. I'm fairly athletic and am a hardcore snowboarder, free-style ice skater, and bicyclist.

Yes you read that right, a conservative Republican snowboarder.

I discovered BBM  back in mid December when I casually picked up a copy of Details which was floating around the office. The issue which had Jake G. on the cover and which interviewed him. I had never heard of him before, nor of Donnie Darko or really any of his films. I was vaguely aware of Jarhead and seem to recall Day After Tommorrow perhaps. He looked kind of cute on the cover so I read his story.

The interview referenced BBM so I made a mental note and jumped on IMDb to research the film. The last time I had been on IMDb was when Return of the King was in theatrical release. (hence my balrog handle)

I downloaded the Proulx short story which was linked there in PDF and was hooked.

Have seen the film 18 times now beginning with week 2 of theatrical release. Sometimes 3 times in a week at first.  It consumes my online life, as well as my waking hours. Some days more intensely than others. BTW, you do stop crying after seeing it 18 times, and you don't always sit through the credits listening to Willie Neslon. I see it alone 100% of the time and have seen it in 5 separate theatre venues now, in Boston, Providence,RI, and suburbs of each of those cities.

THe music/soundtrack deeply affects me and I spend lots of time practicing the guitar instrumentals - The Wings, The Opening, Snow, Riding Horses, and The Brokeback Theme. I'm ordering a harmonica online shortly with the intention of learning how to play one.

I hang out some on EnnisJack and although I like IMDb it is overwhelming over there and it seems some of the old timers have moved on. I'm over here for a little more intimacy in a posting envoirment. Funny how one's online friends are basicly disembodied electrons and yet they become good friends?




Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2006, 10:44:28 pm »
Gay guy living here in southern New England. I'm an "Ennis" type, am a conservative Republican, and go for Jack or Randall types.

Welcome aboard.  A gay conservative Republican in New England?   ;D

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I discovered BBM  back in mid December when I casually picked up a copy of Details which was floating around the office. The issue which had Jake G. on the cover and which interviewed him. I had never heard of him before, nor of Donnie Darko or really any of his films. I was vaguely aware of Jarhead and seem to recall Day After Tommorrow perhaps. He looked kind of cute on the cover so I read his story.

I think those of us who recall Day After Tomorrow, which they are showing repeatedly (again) on the pay cable networks, don't bring a lot of fond memories from it.  If you haven't seen Donnie Darko, it's an amazing film and I'd advise renting it.  It definitely falls outside of mainstream Hollywood movies, that's for sure.  It also has another one of those soundtracks that grabs you, especially if you were growing up during the 1980s.  Day After Tomorrow for Jake was equivalent to Ang Lee doing The Hulk.  Bad idea gone horribly wrong.  I had seen promos for Jarhead but it looked like one of those movies you'd expect Vin Diesel to be in, and with movies here at $8 a ticket, I'll pass.  My cousin saw it and said it was deeper than the trailer let on.  I'll wait to see it on HBO, I guess.

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The interview referenced BBM so I made a mental note and jumped on IMDb to research the film. The last time I had been on IMDb was when Return of the King was in theatrical release. (hence my balrog handle)

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of those must-see things for me at a time when I am seeing fewer and fewer movies.  Another epic story very well done.  But I sensed from it that the entire thing was definitely a "guy movie."  The director didn't seem what to do with his female characters and the sweeping themes of heroism and such made for a good film, but it carried zero emotional investment for me.  Meanwhile, a shirt hanging in a closet causes people to burst into tears and wander around like zombies for days after.  I'm not ready to call Brokeback a "chick flick," but there was an amazing difference for me between these movies.  Both were excellent.  The only other movies I largely consider must-see are the Harry Potter films, which are great adventure and also make you wonder why going to school in your area was never as exciting as Hogwarts.   :)

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Have seen the film 18 times now beginning with week 2 of theatrical release. Sometimes 3 times in a week at first.

In scene 17 when they are riding on horseback and they encounter a prairie, how many flowers are on screen.  :-)  Someone who has seen in 18 times could tell me.  I haven't come close to that.  In fact, on subsequent viewings, I spend most of my time and attention on the opening summer at Brokeback scenes.  When I saw it the first time, it seemed a slower part of the film, but not annoyingly so, but you later come to regret not having even more time spent there because that seems to be the only truly peaceful and happy prolonged section of the film, except for the kiss outside Ennis' place.

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It consumes my online life, as well as my waking hours. Some days more intensely than others. BTW, you do stop crying after seeing it 18 times, and you don't always sit through the credits listening to Willie Neslon. I see it alone 100% of the time and have seen it in 5 separate theatre venues now, in Boston, Providence,RI, and suburbs of each of those cities.

The Wings probably touches me more than any other song on the soundtrack.  I'm still annoyed how short of a song it is and I've been looking around for music similar to it to broaden out my aural wallpaper when typing away on the computer here.  I'll have to start a thread so we can all build some playlists.  The second big song for me is Emmylou Harris' A Love That Will Never Grow Old.  That one hits me more than any of the other songs, and of course in context in the film, it's destined to get you.

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I hang out some on EnnisJack and although I like IMDb it is overwhelming over there and it seems some of the old timers have moved on. I'm over here for a little more intimacy in a posting envoirment. Funny how one's online friends are basicly disembodied electrons and yet they become good friends?

Absolutely.  I want this to be a place where we connect with each other on what I hope will be a longer term basis.  There will be some group projects in the coming weeks.  One I want to do is for us to grab those digital cameras and go out into our own locales and snap some pictures and put them online.  For me, never being a big traveller anyway, I'd like to armchair travel at least.  One of the things I am contemplating doing is actually doing a vacation this year, perhaps even to Alberta to see a certain mountain.  It is one of the things I want on my goals list for 2006.  If I do go, I'm taking video camera, digital cameras and whatever else I can grab and take as much footage as I can and put it up here.  If I'm real lucky, I'll find an Albertan on BetterMost to perhaps shoot some video for us before then.

I'm also open to other ideas from folks here about stuff we can do on the site over the coming year.  I'm being pushed in the direction of doing a BetterMost podcast of some kind, but I have no idea what the content of that would be, but who knows.
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Offline emjayen

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2006, 08:41:33 pm »
Hi there.  Iím a 46 year old gay male living in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.  Grew up in northwest Minnesota, lived in Grand Forks, ND for a few years, and thought that the Twin Cities would be the place to find myself, a partner, and an exciting life.  Well, it sucks, but things didnít turn out the way I thought they would.  I had an easy time making friends in school and in Grand Forks, but have found it extremely difficult to make and keep friends here in the big city.  Although I tried like heck to meet new people and form relationships, for one reason or another, relationships never took off.  After years of trying, I decided it was futile, and stopped trying. 

I started out a lot like Jack, a dreamer, an adventurer, goal oriented.  But now, Iím basically living the life of EnnisÖ closed off from the rest of the world, pretty much unable to express emotions, and sadly still in the closet. 

After seeing Brokeback Mountain for the first time, I spent weeks crying about it.  It was stunning and very scary how closely I connected with Ennis.  I know exactly how the man feels and what heís going through!  I talked with my one good friend who knows Iím gay about how this film affected me.  I told her how scary it was to see my feelings portrayed by such a mal-adjusted character as Ennis.  I also told her I dreamed about taking these depressive feelings and channeling them into something positive.  I told her how I discovered, through many discussion boards, that there are so many other people out there who feel the same way as I do, and how great it would be if there was some way that we could all come together to work out our problems.  Well Phillip, I gotta thank you for taking the bull by the horns and starting this site.  Iím hopeful that good things will come of it for me and lots of others out there.

Mike.
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Offline BBMGrandma

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2006, 03:04:50 am »
Hi Mike and welcome.....it's nice to know you and your feelings.  YES.....we've all had very VERY  emotional upheavals while engrossed in this story.  I can see how you would relate to Ennis....but I truly don't think he was all that 'mal-adjusted' in his life....at least not in his ability to LOVE...and love deeply!!  He just didn't know how to handle that love when it came into his life.  He was fearful and I TRULY believe he was fearful NOT just for himself...but also for JACK.  When Ennis broke down in Jack's arms...inside the arms of the person he loved...he was a child...aching to stay.  I think what we all need to learn is how to open up....to let those fears be known....and stand up and slay those 'dragons' that we all keep hidden so deeply inside.

I, for one, have never been able to take ahold of MY needs and let anyone know about them.  I've always been the "rock" and helped others.  I've discovered that NOW it's time to start taking care of ME....and quit being such a chicken chit....about facing life. 

Come on Mike....let's get out there in the world and give it another try.  There ARE good people out there....!!   If "I" can do it....anyone can!!    ;)

Hey PHILIP....can we ALL go to Alberta with ya?   What a TRIP that would be...huh?  We can all go to 'our' mountain!!   

"If we never dream....we'll never have a dream come true"   (me...myself...and I)

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2006, 12:09:20 pm »
Gay man living in Massachusetts.   I'm 44...ugh.  Professional singer...classical.  Let's see...I guess I've lived a hell of an interesting life.  Seen a lot, and done a lot...so much in fact that I'm rather astonished that I'm still here!  Since I'm anethema to overly long posts, I'll just say that BBM literally alltered the course of my life, because it forced me to accept responsability for what I don't like about it...my life that is.  Fix it and move on, or realize that it's not fixable, and forget it.