Larry Miller Meets with Gay and Lesbian Students

Larry_miller_2Wow. Now this is great to see. Real dialog between a bigot and those affected by his actions.

Larry Miller, the Utah theater owner who pulled Brokeback Mountain from his theaters last January, met with about 30 gay and lesbian students at the University of Utah who enlightened him about what it’s like to be gay. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, students told Miller about the difficulties of coming out and the fear of being physically harmed. The discussion appeared to change Miller’s previously unwavering stance on his decision to pull the movie.

Said Miller: “Now, I understand how something I said inadvertently made them feel demeaned as individuals. Maybe their well-being trumps my beliefs, my rights to express myself…In 2006, it’s wrong that they have to live in that fear.”

Students were very positive about the meeting. Charles Milne, coordinator of the university’s LGBT Campus Resource Center: “I felt like he cared about what we had to say. I wouldn’t say we changed his mind, but I think he did come away with ideas he had to process.”

Imagine the strides that could be made if this kind of exchange happened more often.


Miller at the U.: Second thoughts about ‘Brokeback’? [salt lake tribune]

Utah Theater Nixes Brokeback [tr]
Bigot Larry Miller Still in the Hot Seat [tr]
Larry Miller Proud He Made Money Off Bigotry


  1. Ethan says

    I agree, Josh and Andy. It really is awesome. Open, honest dialogue can often go a long way to restoring a civil society. In this case, it worked. Larry Miller and the gay and lesbian students at the University of Utah deserve a tremendous amount of credit for sitting down at the table with each other.

  2. Tom says

    That’s great. We should let him know that we admire his willingness to meet with these students and listen to what they had to say. Many people are absolutely unwavering in their wrong-headed beliefs, so it’s heartening to see a bit of open-mindedness out there.

  3. Donald says

    He has a great deal more impact than that. He is a busines and community leader.

    To know us is to love us.

  4. says

    I think that’s great. Even a little progress is great progress. Especially, when it deals with bigots who are just afraid to come out of the dark.

  5. says

    I just want to say “holy shit” to that. Not because the dude’s reaction to such dialogue is amazing, but just because it’s proof positive that, as Chris LeMotherfuckin’Doux said (yes, the man’s man, the cowboy’s cowboy, the man so country Garth Brooks called him out in a song):

    “Well there’s always been groups of people who couldn’t see eye to eye…an’ I always thought if they’d get the chance to sit down and talk face to face they’d see we all have a lot in common….”

    And that’s totally been my experience.

    Thanks for a bit of the good news :)

  6. Dave says

    Congratulations to both Mr. Miller and the gay and lesbian kids. Mr. Miller is the owner of the Utah Jazz NBA team and also owner of a theater — both businesses carry weight in the community. Thanks, Mr. Miller, for being openminded enough to listen. Progress – one more person sees the light. We need more interaction like this.

  7. Mitch says

    Wow…proof positive that friendly engagement can get you so much further than hurling epithets at people. This made my Friday.

    Kudos to the students for their actions.

  8. Chad Hanging says

    I missed the part where he said he was going to put it back on screen for a special showing.

    I was impressed with the change of heart of the homophobe in Welcome To The Neighborhood reality tv show that was never aired.

  9. says

    I’m just not so sure it all isn’t media play on dude’s part. His speaking at the university was being challenged, so he met with the gays. And what did y’all think he was going to say afterward?

  10. says

    >>In 2006, it’s wrong that they have to live in that fear.”

    I’m happy to hear that his eyes have been opened. And I’m very happy that those students stepped forward to set him “straight”.

    Even if we never get complete “acceptance” from people like Miller, a little “tolerance” goes a long way toward making life better.