The John Deere tractor company refused to have anything to do with the film. This was not so much to do with the fact that the character of Roy is sexually conflicted; instead they took exception to a scene in which Roy gets roughed up at work. The company didn't want to be associated in any way with worker-related violence.
One of the films that Jane Anderson screened before working on "Normal" was Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage". She also screened "Tender Mercies" and "Country", one of star Jessica Lange's films.