brokebackmountain.jpgThe Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Anti-Defamation has come out in full-force support of Ang Lee's stunning gay cowboy drama, Brokeback Mountain. On the face of it, this is no surprise: Brokeback is a resolutely classy depiction of a complex, richly shaded romance. Even better, that romance percolates along for twenty years under the paranoiac cloud of an unsympathetic society, and meets its inevitable conclusion in that society's homophobic bloodlust. In short, it's a two hour promo for the GLAAD cause.

So it's no shock that the org has stepped up to stroke Mountain's (broke)back in kind. Calling the picture "a historic moment in film history" (which wouldn't seem to set it apart from any other moment in film history, but whatever), GLAAD has announced plans to distribute packets full of gay learnin' to film critics. These "resource kits" are said to include information on "real life gay cowboys" and other stories from the front lines of the rural gay experience. I didn't get one of these packets when I saw the film in New York this week, so I can only imagine that GLAAD is targeting critics based in less cosmopolitan areas, who I guess they assume are too ignorant to appreciate the film otherwise.

It's hard for me to complain about anything that might help this film, because I do think it's pretty wonderful. But I also think it's completely capable of speaking for itself, and I worry that such attempts to contextualize such a self-consciously romantic piece of work within real-life politics is bound to backfire.