Over the last few days, I noticed a lot of the gay blogs were completely reeling over the news of Heath Ledger's death. I was not going to write about it, everything has already been said and to be honest I felt a little anger at the thought he took his own life. That may not be true now and if anything comes from this sad news, I at least hope we find out that this was not the case, I think it would come a little easier if we find that this event was just part of life taking a sudden sad turn.
Still I could not help wonder why I and a lot of other gay blog writers feel this loss. I for one, am a person who does not follow movie or music stars of any sort. I actually could not name most of the people we see in movies now. I never watch award shows because really I don't care, cure cancer, AIDS or stop child hunger and I am going to watch you get the award. I did not really follow this man's career and to tell you the truth I have not watch Broke Back Mountain yet. This makes me wonder why I feel the loss and I think I understand now.
I want to say thank you Heath, thank you for being one of the many people who bravely took part in the Broke Back project. Thank you for possibly putting your career on the line, just to say that 'I' count as a person, that my relationships are valid, that shoving me into the closet will only cause everyone around me harm. Thank you for showing the world that we love, just like them, that what they do to us is hateful and for causing thousands of open minded people, to begin supporting us. I am sure it would have been easier not to have taken that role, maybe it was even a little scary in how the public would react to you after, it shows you were a person of courage and acting was more of an art to you, the way it should be. I think Broke Back was a turning point, society still has a long way to go for gay people but we will probably all agree there was a positive shift after this movie. Life can be hard enough for us and the more allies we have the better, I think that is one of the reasons we feel this loss. By being in this movie, it is as if he was saying, I have no problem with gay people, with gay relationships, by being in this movie he was standing up for the world to see he supports us. Now that support is gone, that allie is gone, a friend to us is gone. In your brief time on this earth Heath you have touched thousands in a positive way that maybe even you, did not fully understand, for that I want to say, thank you.