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In the movie American Beauty, we see Colonel Frank Fitts tried to kiss Lester Burnham just before the latter was killed. Why did he try to do so? At first, I thought Frank himself was a gay too. But later the fact that he was trying to check whether Lester was gay or not started making more sense to me. However I am not still sure. So can it be said definitely whether Frank was a gay or not?

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2 Answers 2

Frank Fitts is a closet/repressed homosexual. There are a few pointers for this:

  • He had a Southern upbringing, one which is very Christian and anti-gay
  • He has a failed marriage and barely touches his wife
  • He was in the army, a society of men, possibly with a lot of man-on-man action going on
  • He is also vehemently anti-gay which could be interpreted to be a form of Freudian projection, a defence mechanism for self-denial.

Frank kissed Lester because:

  • He was under the mistaken impression that Lester was gay
  • Lester informed him that his wife was probably out cheating on him
  • His own relationship with his wife was virtually non-existent; this led him to believe that Lester and he were in similar situations
  • He finally caved in to his desires, in many ways encouraged by Ricky's open (false) confession of his sexuality
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That would make his reason for killing Lester that he felt rejected, rather than to protect his son from "the evil of homosexuality"? I always assumed he tested Lester by attempting the kiss, never saw the underlying theme. – Flater Oct 27 at 9:13

No, he was not gay or in the closet, he loved his son so much he was willing to try to kiss a man in a desperate attempt to accept homosexuality therefore being able to accept his son

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Wow, I sure don't know where you got these conclusions. There was never an ounce of love shown between Col Fitts and either his wife or son. He was very much a closeted conservative latent homosexual. He spent a lifetime hiding his tendencies, being retired military. – CGCampbell Nov 23 '14 at 4:44

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