‘Brokeback Mountain' arrives
Yuba-Sutter's premiere of the movie “Brokeback Mountain” brought an unusual array of entertainment to Plumas Street - gay cowboys, gender-bending “drag kings” and country music.
About 50 people showed up at the Sutter Theatre to watch the movie, plus a cowboy revue featuring the Sacramento Kings of Drag, a gender-bending group of women who dress as men and perform on stage, lip-syncing to songs.
“If a woman wants to dress like a man, and a man likes to dress like a woman, they should be able to do so,” said one of the Kings, Estela Furtado, 35, of Sacramento - aka Manny More.
Furtado, who is gay, wore a black T-shirt; black cowboy hat; dark, Hank Williams Jr.-looking glasses; a glued-on mustache and beard; and real tattoos on her arms.
But Furtado said the act was more of a light-hearted skit than a heavy-duty political statement.
“It's a comic play on the whole thing,” said Furtado. “We're just having fun - it's not something that's taken seriously.
Undoubtedly some of the crowd showed up to see the movie, too. Only about 10 raised their hands when Jeffrey Girard, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community group Yuba-Sutter Pride, asked if they had seen it yet.
“Thank you so much for coming out tonight,” Girard said when he introduced the Sacramento Kings of Drag.
A few more people streamed in to see the movie 45 minutes after the revue. Nikki McAfee, 21, of Chico, wanted to see it again. She brought her mother who had never seen the film about two cowboys who fall in love in 1963.
“I was surprised they even had it here,” said McAfee, who saw the movie in England. “This area is a little more conservative.”
In Salt Lake City, the movie was banned, McAfee said.
There were no protests of the movie or the revue by local conservatives Friday.
The fundraiser to benefit the Yuba-Sutter chapter of Equality California, an LGBT advocacy group, brought some gay activists including Christine Allen, 57, of Grass Valley; and her partner Ann Brown, 61.
Allen, who is Nevada County chapter leader of Equality California, noted the film's historical parallels to earlier times when gay people could not acknowledge their relationships - and still cannot make them legally recognized marriages today.
“We've lived it,” said Brown.
Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey can be reached at 749-4711. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.