Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Met a Gay Cowboy

Just - Haha! Thanks, mate!!! Well, you definitely had a bad example there. :) He's not nice at all. Where in the US do you live?

JC, cheers for the link!! I really appreciate that! :) I will definitely keep you in mind if I need anything or have got any questions.

Ethan! :0 You've never been on a plane before?

Davie
- shuttup you! :P

KS - I'll survive that.

Brett - you watch out! I'm going to post hideous pictures of you! Yes, this is a blackmail! :P

***

I went to a party last night, had 9 beers, and came back with only 1/3 of my hair left on my head.

No, I didn't pass out or anything - I was frustrated with my hair and got my friend to cut it for me. I got a straight girl and a gay guy to supervise, and I thought with those two, it wouldn't be too terrible. I don't think it turned out too badly... Hmm?

***



This post is has turned out to be more difficult to write than I thought it would be. Adam's life has such a significant and huge impact on me, that I don't even know where to start, how to start and I am worried I will not do him enough justice. But his life is so beautiful, he is such an amazing and humble person, I want people to know of his story, because I found a friend and an inspiration in him.

Last week in Sydney, written on the white board were two names that I wasn't familiar with. Two people who will drop by in the afternoon - one, a very talented, highly sought after journalist, and another, a guy plucked from the rough bush of Australia and put under the spotlight. Before you wonder what were they doing there, I was at a media training.

The journalist, Neil, wrote an article about Adam, the cowboy from the bush, and it went on to become the highest selling edition of the newspaper in history. Adam is no ordinary cowboy from the bush, he was a gentle soul, and an everyday all-around nice Aussie bloke. What made him "different" was that he's gay, and he was Heath Ledger's best friend.

Photo credit: Steven Siewert

Link to the article.

Adam is an amazing man with a kind, humble heart - true to the very true blue Aussie spirit. However, as a true blue Aussie, one would know there is an expectation for everyone to be the tough Aussie blokes stereotype, especially as a country boy. Growing up, Adam has always been the mischievous boy who gets into a lot of trouble. He was hyperactive, naughty and unstoppable, but in him was a boy who just wanted to have fun.


As he grew older, he found himself attracted to men, and the battle begins. He struggled to fight those emotions and try to lock those feelings into a dark closet at the deepest part of his heart. He was an attractive young man and would get lots of females attracted to him, but he was never interested in any of them. He was popular, and on the outside, he was a happy man, but deep down, he would cry to sleep and he hated himself for his sexuality, he thought was abnormal.

At 19, after high school ended, he went water skiing with a bunch of friends. After a few drinks, on his way back, at a turning, he did a turn bigger than he intended to, and hit an on-coming car. The young driver was killed on spot, and Adam was left feeling guilty for the rest of his life. In the weeks after the accident, he battled with severe depression and would often isolate himself. One day, he wrote a suicide note, left it on his bed and walked to a cliff where he would kill himself - the only solution he can think of, to heal the guilt and his struggle with his sexuality. A bird came and sat on a branch nearby and started singing. No one knows what went through his mind, but he bawled his eyes out and sat there for ages, before deciding to ditch the plan.

He was sentenced to 6 months jail - a time when he rediscovered himself. When he was out of jail, he traveled across Australia, worked in some of the most extreme and dangerous conditions, got himself into crazy stunts because those were the only ways he can distract himself from his gay thoughts.

A few years later, he found himself in a rodeo and found his own true calling. He went on to work with a few horses and found his passion - horses. He became a horse trainer, and was recruited to train horses and the casts of Ned Kelly, where he met Orlando Bloom, Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger, who became his best friend until Heath died.


After the production of Ned Kelly, Adam moved back home. A few months later, he fell in love with a man, but he was struggling with the emotions. He would lash out at his family and friends - and he would blame himself. But one day, he decided to come out to his best friend, and that was the beginning of a truly amazing story. Both rejection and acceptance, denial and love. Over the next few years, he slowly came out - a story like many of us who slowly come out to our friends. The day Heath read the script of Brokeback Mountain, he called Adam and told him that he just read a script that is a lot like his story.

Adam even flew to Canada to meet Heath and spend a few days on the set of Brokeback Mountain.

A few days after Heath was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Brokeback Mountain, Neil wrote and published the story of Adam. It became the highest selling edition of the paper in history.

After the news article, The Australian Story on ABC ran a 30 mins documentary of Adam's life. We were shown the documentary. Two very short clips of the documentary can be found here and the full transcript here. I was sitting with another 20 people in the room, most of them don't know that I'm at least gay. One of them have questioned me before, and I just laughed and said, "why did u ask?" and he said, "just wondered" but he never found out. Another guy who might know is the guy who cuddled me the night before. When the documentary ended, a number of them were in tears and I was sitting there with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. My heart was warm and we heard footsteps. We all turned around, and there he was, tanned, masculine and tall, Adam. We all clapped, and some of the girls, still wiping their tears, struggled to stand up and clap. I must say that he's a lot cuter and hotter than he looks in picture and on screen. (I admit I had a crush!) He said hi and apologised for being late because he had to feed the horses before he can come to meet us.

He had a chat with us and after the very long group chat, we broke for afternoon tea. I went up to him and he introduced himself, we had a handshake and I asked him a few questions about the media. (After the documentary went on air, other media requests came flooding in to the point where they had to hire an agent.) And then I asked him a question I've been keeping for a while, "How did you made the decision to come out in a major newspaper? What went through your mind, and did you think of the consequences?"

He laughed and replied, "Good question, and I probably should have but I didn't think of the consequences too much. I thought I'll just do it and whatever happens next, I have to deal with it sooner or later. This is me, and I need it to happen."


He brought his book with him as well - the retail price is $35. I finished reading the book on Saturday and its just so surreal. It's a very honest book - he even wrote about his first wet dream at 15, his sexual encounters and his first love. I smiled, I cried and I spent all week reflecting upon my own life. I felt that like he was so near to me and that his life is a reflection of my own - yet I am no match to his bravery and courage. He's just such a genuine and nice person, and it is very obvious the young man, also named Adam, he killed stayed with him all through his life. He talks about Adam all through the book - how he still talk to Adam, how he made peace with Adam's family, and even until today, he still talk to Adam whenever he can. He once wished so hard that he could exchange position with Adam, but now, he's accepted that he can't turn back time.

Adam is now in his mid 30s, and he only came out about 4-5 years ago. He still lives and works in the bush running his own horse training business.

10 comments:

torchy! said...

beautiful post Aaron. thanks for sharing all that. i know if i'd been in that seminar i'd have been blubbing my eyes out.

torchy!

Kayess said...

this is just the most lovely post ever <3 it seems you gained a lot from that seminar both emotionally and factually and its nice that you're sharing the emotional side with us :)

sleep well ;)

Ryan said...

Wonderful Post.... i am following all links and learning all I can. Thank you so much for sharing!

Lots of love,
Ryan

Just said...

Hey Fuck Nutts ... love this post .. actually going to try to watch the movie in a few... Have a date set up , and he wanted to watch that movie ... so was really glad you wrote about it ... I do miss Ledger , any way .... got to go ... almost time..... Oh and I live in New Mexico. There nearest real cities is four hours away either way ... it's either El Paso or Albuquerque. So hope I am kidnapp for awhile ... Love Just

Ethan said...

No I have never flown


I've never been good with words. I never have been and I never will be so I will not try and just say I liked this post more then you can ever know Aaron

MartininBroda said...

Thanks for sharing this deeply touching post.

Ron said...

oh wow, great post.. thanks for the share! :)
bird was a lifesaver

Ron said...

edit/add: YOU DONT BLACKMAIL BRETT YOU HEAR ME

:)

Ale said...

Thank you very much, Aaron. Your post made me uncover the events of Adam Sutter, and the correlation between his life and Heath Ledger. Now I understand better what Brokeback Mountain is, and the strength that this movie has, and why it can change and improve the lives of many people. The vibe of Adam's story was in Heath Ledger's heart when he played Ennis. You've been very lucky to attend that seminar, and we're lucky too, because you've generously shared with us your experience. Ale from Italy

Brett said...

Wow, this is a really nice post Aaron. After following the links you provided and doing a little of my own research, well, I'm so preoccupied with Adam's story that I'm willing to overlook your blackmail.

Oh, and I can totally understand your crush.

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