Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 35, Ed. 1 Friday, January 13, 2006 Page: 14 of 60
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Ferguson said. "I haven't heard a word about it
Ferguson said she is unsure what the conserva-
tive residents of Childress, which has a popula-
tion of 6,874 residents, will think about a gay
cowboy love story bringing attention to them.
Childress is an agricultural town, and the largest
employer is a prison on the outskirts of the city.
"That's a good question," Ferguson said.
Christopher Blackburn, editor of the Childress
Index, said he had heard about Childress being
featured in the movie, but he doubts many other
residents are aware of it.
Blackburn said he doubts Childress residents
would be offended about their city being used as
a setting in movie about a gay cowboy love story,
unless the town is placed in a negative light.
When told the movie implies that a gay man was
brutally murdered on a rural road in Childress
County, Blackburn said, "Oh, wonderful. People
will probably be a little more negative toward
Ferguson said a few gay and lesbian people
live in Childress today, and they seem to live
there without any difficulties.
"I don't think there are many, but there are
some," Ferguson said. "I don't think they have
Ferguson said she suspects most residents of
Childress would not obsess about the subject of
"Some of them might, of course," she said.
Blackburn said he also is aware of a few gay
Jack Twist leaves Brokeback Mountain and while riding on the rodeo circuit winds up in Childress, Texas, where he meets
a barrel racer named Lureen. Twist marries Lureen, the wealthy daughter of a farm machinery dealer, and settles down in
Childress. But four years after he last saw Ennis Del Mar, Twist rekindles their relationship with a postcard asking Del
Mar if he wants to go fishing. The two carry on a long-distance relationship spanning two decades.
and lesbian people living in Childress.
"You could probably count them on one hand
per gender," Blackburn said. "I've known a cou-
ple. They didn't seem to have any problem living
Blackburn said some people in town might be
homophobic, but he is unaware of any overt hos-
tility. He describes himself as a "very tolerant
"From a tolerance aspect, who knows what
goes on behind their backs, or maybe even in
front of them, in regard to name calling and
things like that," Blackburn said. "I'm sure the
younger population is probably more accepting.
It's the older population that is probably a little
short about it."
Perry Davidson, a gay Arkansas resident who
was born in Childress, said his first reaction to
hearing his hometown was a setting in the movie
was to wonder if it was based on a true story.
"I thought, I wonder who they were and did we
know them?" Davidson said.
Annie Proulx, the author of the short story
"Brokeback Mountain," indicates on her Web
site that she traveled extensively in Texas and
Wyoming before writing the work of fiction. The
short story was published in The New Yorker in
Davidson said when he was growing up there
were several large ranches around Childress
Davidson noted that he never experienced any
difficulties about his sexual orientation in
Childress when he returned to the town to visit
family members, but he doubts the town's resi-
dents would be very accepting of the movie.
Davidson said "Brokeback Mountain" has not
yet reached the Fayetteville, Ark., area where he
now lives, but he plans to see the movie as soon
as it does.
"I can't wait to see it," Davidson said.
Ferguson said she expects the fictional movie
to draw attention to Childress. The 'Texas
Chainsaw Massacre" movie, which was released
in 1974, mentioned Childress and many people
think it was a true story that actually occurred
near the town.
"People will call me and ask me about it, and I
tell them it didn't really happen here," Ferguson
Dallas Voice staff writer Da\nd Webb was bom
and raised in Childress, Texas.
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 35, Ed. 1 Friday, January 13, 2006, newspaper, January 13, 2006; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238891/m1/14/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.