Last week Hornet attended the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, which — as always — was a night of honoring LGBTQ celebrities and queer allies who have worked to push for our culture’s visibility in the mainstream. While on the red carpet before the big ceremony, Hornet correspondent Drew Droege spoke with dozens of film and TV stars about the media that inspired them in their formative years, and one story in particular — a Gus Kenworthy Brokeback Mountain story — stands out as both sad and super sweet.
The Olympic skier, who recently placed 12th in slopestyle skiing at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, attended the GLAAD Media Awards with his longtime boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas. (You might remember Wilkas’s amazing performance in the 2012 queer film festival darling Gayby, written by Jonathan Lisecki.)
While Droege was discussing “impactful media” on the red carpet with Wilkas — who named the 1998 indie queer film Edge of Seventeen as one that made an impact on him — Kenworthy sauntered up to join the conversation.
The first film Kenworthy mentions as being impactful on him in his formative years was that same film starring his boyfriend, Gayby, which he calls “one of the first gay movies I ever saw.”
The other film he mentions is that gay cowboy classic, and like we said, this Gus Kenworthy Brokeback Mountain story is both sad and sweet.
“I remember being too embarrassed to go see Brokeback Mountain with my mom when it was in theaters,” he says. “She wanted to take me — maybe because she knew I was gay — but I wouldn’t go. And then I literally remember, like a year later, I had a gas station copy and a portable DVD player, and I watched it in my room alone.”
Now, it’s sad when any queer person feels they need to hide away their true identity, but how sweet that his mom might have had an inkling as to Kenworthy being gay and wanted to take him to see Brokeback Mountain in the theater? He’s lucky to have such a supportive family, as not everyone is so lucky.