Is Big Daddy Gay?

Leading Actor
Leading Actor
Is Big Daddy Gay?#24
Posted: 1/4/13 at 2:38am
NO, Big Daddy isn't gay.
Brick? YES. Big Daddy GETS that Brick is a homo. Ergo the problem.

GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Is Big Daddy Gay?#25
Posted: 1/4/13 at 5:38pm
As a Southerner all my life, I don't understand this. It's a different culture, and the language is sometimes used differently, but the heart of it is the same.

Also from the South, I was joking. I believe "Big Daddy" and "Big Mama" are terms for grandparents, to distinguish them from Brick's brother and his wife who are "Daddy" and "Mama" to their own children. (But I haven't reread the play in 10 years.) "Big Daddy" also serves to symbolize how the man is seen by everyone.


If Brick is gay, then Maggie is just a fool in her final speech and the play is pointless. IMO, obviously.

Brick's problem is that his wife and his best friend have betrayed him by not living up to his ideals. Maggie's point is that we don't stop living just because we experience disillusion. Yet surely we all know by now that sexuality isn't a duality but a spectrum, so, yes, in that sense, Brick may have glimpsed the homoeroticism inherent to close male friendships and may be troubled by it. That's not the same thing as being in the closet.

All of this would be quite clear if I could just use the Warhol Factory group as an extended analogy. But I have eschewed that behavior at Namo's request. (Thanks again, ghostlight2.)

Updated On: 1/4/13 at 05:38 PM
EricMontreal22 Profile PhotoEricMontreal22 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Is Big Daddy Gay?#26
Posted: 1/5/13 at 10:09pm
I think Brick's sexuality should be left somewhat ambiguous--but I really don't agree at all that if he is gay that makes Maggie's final speech (and I'm not sure which version of her speech you mean, so maybe that plays a part), foolish.
Is Big Daddy Gay?#27
Posted: 1/6/13 at 5:19pm
I always thought it was a given that Brick was a closeted or repressed gay man, perhaps even in the closet to himself. It's even implied in the film version.
henrikegerman Profile Photohenrikegerman Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Is Big Daddy Gay?#28
Posted: 1/7/13 at 9:18am

Brick compartmentalizes. His sexual attraction for Maggie, now dissipated by guilt, never completely fulfilled him. The question at the end - could it if he'd allow himself to fully love her? Mistrust of Maggie , feeling misunderstood by her, and poor role modeling in his parental relationship come in to play in defining the limits of his marriage, and underscore his disgust with himself and life.

His love for Skipper, now corrupted by guilt, wasn't, for him, sexual. Either because he just wouldn't allow it to be, or because he wasn't sexually interested. I tend to think the latter.

Like Stella, he's the dualistic battlefield on which eroticism and the spirit play out, and the big battle was when the two people he's torn between end up in bed. Of course in Cat, this is backstory, and unconsummated. In Streetcar, it's climactic and rape. Just as Stanley and Blanche wage war over Stella, Maggie and Skipper wage war over Brick. The ultimate battle is when the two sides meet in bed.

Big Daddy may be just as compartmentalized as Brick but it doesn't disgust him. He accepts himself and life's complexities.

Like many heterosexual men, Big Daddy may have had sex with men in his life. Brick didn't. Brick wouldn't. Perhaps Big Daddy did (but it was not defining of his sexuality). Big Daddy's relative open-mindedness and ability to work for gay men don't answer the question whether he ever had gay sex (and how would it matter if he had?). In any event, both characters are heterosexual.

Updated On: 1/7/13 at 09:18 AM