The whole Brokeback High story has been confusing to everyone. Did high schooler Brandon Flyte lie about being expelled? Or is West Linn-Wilsonville superintendent Roger Woehl the one who has shifted into dishonest damage control. Queerty’s Steve Pep spoke to Brandon about the saga.
What prompted you to create a video about a love story between two gay men?
Homosexuality, or more specifically people’s lack of acceptance of homosexuality, is a real issue that real people deal with. If you were to ask Ang Lee the same question, I don’t think he’d say he was trying to make a strong film to advocate the gay community. My film isn’t a love story between two gay men– it’s a love story between two people struggling to accept themselves and be accepted by others.
What to you want to say to Superintendent Woehl?
What I’d like to say to Super Intendent Woehl at this point is nothing. The Oregonian twisted my words and meanings and published libellous comments about me. It’s only fair to assume that they did the same to Dr. Woehl.
More Brandon Flyte after the jump.
Is there anything you wish to clarify to the public that you didn’t say in your updated remarks on your own web site?
I’ve been accused of lying about my expulsion, but that has never been the case. The school never actually called it an expulsion and I acknowledged that from the beginning (see the introduction on my site). I just believe in calling things what they are, and whether you call it a transfer or an expulsion, I haven’t been permitted to attend classes at West Linn High for almost three weeks.
I was asked to edit out the ‘snuggle scene’ as part of the assignment for my English class, and although I don’t and didn’t feel that what I had made violated the no sex/no nudity rule, when I showed it in English I complied with that request. It was in a different class — which had ASKED for me to show my film — where I showed the complete film and got in trouble. Also, due to the poorly written nature of the Oregonian article, it is structured to appear as though I was responsible for the threatening e-mails written to the school. Those e-mails were not written by me, nor at my request. I would never encourage threats or violence toward someone you disagree with. That’s the whole point of the film I tried to make, after all.
What media outlets did you initially contact your story? Why did contact them?
I contacted no media outlets with my story. I posted my story and a link to my website on a couple of forums I visit, but I did not contact any of the news stations/publications. Nor did I contact the ACLU- they’ve come to me.
Do you think you’re being judged fairly?
I don’t believe that my side of the story is being given fair consideration by some people. And I don’t think it’s fair for people who have never met or spoken to me to make assumptions about my motivations in this situation.
What about your family and friends? How do they feel about everything?
My friends and family have been incredibly supportive. I don’t think I’d be able to make it through days like yesterday without them. They feel that an injustice has happened and are behind me 100%.
Some people think that you’re using this opportunity to further your career as a filmmaker. Is it your passion to become a filmmaker?
With a story that gets this kind of publicity, there are always going to be accusations of self beneficial motives. Actually, the sad fact is that those will be there no matter what you do. I initially posted the story on my website as kind of a newsletter for friends and family, so that I wouldn’t have to tell everyone individually whenever something happened. It started getting linked around and posted on people’s blogs and soon I was getting comments of support from all over the world.
I already work as a visual FX artist/advisor on a Portland film called Lie Detector. While it is a passion of mine to be a filmmaker, I don’t think I need a scandal to get me there. For the reason of not wanting to be seen as opportunistic, I’ve decided to not post my film in its entirety online for a while. When I do, it will be free and on my site. This isn’t about making money off my film.