How we cite our quotes:
Jack said his father had been a pretty well-known bullrider years back but kept his secrets to himself, never gave Jack a word of advice, never came once to see Jack ride, though he had put him on the woolies when he was a little kid. (23)
Ah, daddy issues. They usually explain everything. And if not everything, at least something. In this case, Jack's dad taught him the magic of shame and then basically dumped him on the side of the road to fend for himself. That may explain why Jack's kind of eager for attention, recklessly so as some points.
They went at it in silence except for a few sharp intakes of breath and Jack's choked 'gun's goin' off,' then out, down, and asleep. (28)
Yeah, this might have been a moment for these two to, you know, talk about their feelings? But nope, they just keep mum and go to sleep. We can't help but wonder if things might have turned out a bit differently if they hadn't waited 20 years to have The Talk.
They never talked about the sex, let it happen, at first only in the tent at night, then in the full daylight with the hot sun striking down, and at evening in the fire glow, quick, rough, laughing and snorting, no lack of noises, but saying not a goddamn word except once Ennis said, "I'm not no queer," and Jack jumped in with "Me neither. A one-shot thing. Nobody's business but ours." (30)
They swear up and down to each other that they're not gay, even after they've had sex with each other. Sure, they might not identify as such in 1963 Wyoming, but all evidence would seem to point to the contrary. We think their denial and repression of their sexual identities stems from fear.