Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Basic Truth

Gay Hollywood
"It is astonishing that gay and lesbian Americans are still treated as second-class citizens. I am confident that, very soon, the laws of this nation will reflect the basic truth that gay and lesbian people -- like all human beings -- are born equal in dignity and rights."

George Clooney

Source: George Clooney to Star in Dustin Lance Black's Proposition 8 Play

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Simply Not Enough

Zachary Quinto
Zachary Quinto


when i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself - i felt deeply troubled. but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life - i felt indescribable despair. i also made an it gets better video last year - in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time. but in light of jamey's death - it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality. our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay lesbian bisexual and transgendered citizen of this country. gay kids need to stop killing themselves because they are made to feel worthless by cruel and relentless bullying. parents need to teach their children principles of respect and acceptance. we are witnessing an enormous shift of collective consciousness throughout the world. we are at the precipice of great transformation within our culture and government. i believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society - and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action. jamey rodemeyer's life changed mine. and while his death only makes me wish that i had done this sooner - i am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me. now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world. that - i believe - is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other.



Sunday, 2 October 2011

'Gay closet is eating away at your soul'

Sean Maher
Sean Maher

“I was nervous coming here today because I’ve just never talked about it,” Sean Maher says, while sitting down to chat at Little Dom’s Italian bistro in Los Angeles’ trendy Los Feliz neighborhood, the area where the actor lives with Paul, his partner of nearly nine years, and their two children, Sophia Rose, 4, and Liam Xavier, 14 months. “But, it’s so liberating. It was interesting to be coming to have a conversation that I was always afraid to have.” Despite his trepidation, he adds with a big smile: “This is my coming out ball. I’ve been dying to do this.”

“I’ve never discussed it publicly,” the 36-year-old continues. “I’ve never been asked about it publicly, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t paint a different picture.” Maher says that not coming out wasn’t so much a choice as much as it was a reality of the business when he first came to L.A. fresh out of college back in 1997. Publicists working with him during his first Tinseltown role as the title character on Fox’s short-lived cop drama Ryan Caulfield: Year One assumed he was straight — and he didn’t tell them otherwise, out of fear. “I’m 22, I move to L.A., and it’s such a cliché, but the day I arrive, publicists from the show took me out to The Ivy for lunch,” he remembers. “They’re telling me, ‘You know, gosh, we’d really appreciate it if you could keep your girlfriend on the side because we want to appeal to the female demographic of the show.’”

Granted, Maher could have corrected his handlers, but in that instant, he decided not to. “At that moment, I didn’t think to say, ‘Oh, I’m gay,’ because right before I left New York [where he went to college at NYU], I had my manager tell me: ‘You need to get a girl on your arm or people will start talking.’ I remember telling him: ‘I’m gay.’ He had no idea. And he said: ‘All the more reason to get a girl on your arm.’ My agent was also like, ‘It’s best if you keep your options open. Maybe bisexual?’”

Despite pressure from his manager and agent, both of whom he has since parted ways with, it was ultimately Maher’s decision to stay in the closet, out of concern that he wouldn’t otherwise be able to book leading-man roles. “I kept thinking, This is my first show, I don’t want to get fired,” Maher says. “I’m thinking, What is the potential that if they caught wind that they had cast a gay lead actor that they would fire me? I was young, I was 22. I didn’t know anything. So that sort of started the idea of, okay, well, I’m working a lot, I guess I’ll just keep that gay part of my life on the back burner for now. I went so far as to sleep with women a couple times. It was a very confusing time for me.”

But being in the closet tormented Maher. “It was so exhausting, and I was so miserable,” Maher says. “I didn’t really have any life other than work and this façade I was putting on. So I kept my friends from college [where he was out] separate from my work friends, and that was very confusing. I just kept going on and on painting this picture of somebody I wasn’t. I didn’t have time for a personal relationship anyway. And you just don’t realize that it’s eating away at your soul.”

Although there have been famous cases of homophobia in Hollywood (ex. when Isaiah Washington called fellow actor T.R. Knight a gay slur on the set of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and was subsequently fired), Maher says he never encountered much hostility — mostly because he was never out and was very adept at acting straight. “Because I was never out, I was never addressed in a negative way to my face,” Maher says. “Although I witnessed a lot of it, whether it be making fun of gays or gay jokes. I just bit my tongue or looked the other way. That was part of the reason that I didn’t come out earlier — because there was an energy on set, and I felt like my being gay would have offset that, especially with the crew.”

Does Maher regret spending 14 years in the closet professionally? “I don’t think I have regrets,” he responds. “I do believe that sort of this journey took me to the place where I got and I don’t think I would feel so strongly about doing what I’m doing now had I not suffered for the years that I did.”

Having a family is what ultimately what made Maher want to be honest about his sexuality. “I have these beautiful children and this extraordinary family,” Maher says, “and to think in any way shape or form that that’s wrong or that there’s shame in that or that there’s something to hide actually turns my stomach.” Maher kept thinking about what daughter Sophia would say when she realized he was closeted professionally. “What would she think if I said, ‘Oh honey, you can’t come with me to work because they don’t know I have an adopted daughter and they don’t know that I’m gay.’ My children and our family, I’ve really never been as proud of anything in my life. I couldn’t be happier at this point in my life, and I feel like we’ve created this pretty extraordinary family.”

In the end, coming out publicly is what Maher feels he needed to do to tie his life together, personally and professionally. “Creatively, I feel so much more open and free, and I am so happy on The Playboy Club,” he says. “I think it’s because I’ve never been so open on set. All of the relationships that I have off-camera, I never would have allowed five years ago. It feels so liberating.”

Source: 'Playboy Club' star Sean Maher opens up about his sexuality: 'This is my coming out ball'

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Can Hollywood "cure" gayness?

Luke Evans
Luke Evans

The Advocate, September 3, 2002

The Advocate: How did you decide you were going to be open about your sexuality?

Luke Evans: Well it was something I'd spoken to a lot of people about, including my boyfriend at the time - we've broken up now - but at the time when I just got Taboo, I knew that even though my part was a straight character, everybody knew me as a gay man and, in my life in London, I never tried to hide it. I knew I was going to have to do interviews with gay magazines, so I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to have to be open’. It’s who I am. And if people don’t like it, then I don’t want their jobs. I've never been a very good liar, which is another thing...

The Advocate: Aren't actors all good liars?

Luke Evans: Well, it's not nice. Look at George Michael, let's say. I mean, he hid it for so many years, and then he gets found out in a really awful way... Y'know, you start a slippery slope downward, and I don't want to start that at 22. If that means I'm going to be a poor man at 60, then at least I've lived a happy, open, gay life and not had to hide from anybody.

The Advocate: Do you think it might be different in the UK than in America?

Luke Evans: Well, it depends on how big you are. It's not a big issue, and it's never going to be a big issue for me; whether I'm successful or if I weren't successful, at least I'll never have that skeleton in the closet they can rattle out. Y'know what I mean?

Eight years later...

Wales On Sunday, September 19 2010

RISING actor Luke Evans is rapidly gaining star status after landing yet another major Hollywood role and romancing Charlotte Church’s ex – ex-PA, that is.

Fresh from playing breastplate-baring Zeus in Immortals and Apollo in Clash Of The Titans, 31-year-old Evans is sword fighting once again in a re-make of The Three Musketeers.

And Evans, from Aberbargoed, is described as “top farmer totty” for his role in Brit-com Tamara Drewe, has a special reason to be careful with his blade now he is dating stunning fashion industry marketing expert Holly Goodchild.

Miss Goodchild, 27, former personal assistant to Welsh singing superstar Church, said at the Tamara Drewe movie premiere: “Luke’s lovely – we’re really old friends and it just sort of happened.”

She added: “We are nowhere near engaged but things are really good.”

Source: That Time Luke Evans Talked About Being Gay

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Some people are gay. Get over it!

Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen explained to The Times why he never came out to his father (his mother died when he was just 12): “I first accepted I was gay when I was about 16 and I wasn’t attracted to girls in the way that my friends were. I had this secret and there was nothing I could do about it because, as far as I knew, I was the only person.” In reality, Sir Ian’s two best friends were also hiding that they were gay and it wasn’t until 20 years later that they discovered the truth.

Sir Ian’s widower father, Denis, an engineer and lay preacher died when Sir Ian was 24.

“He was a good, good man — a Christian, but not the sort of Christianity that would have condemned it. Well, I was living with a man at the time, so he couldn’t have been surprised. I hope he’d have given me a hug and said ‘That’s fine by me’. But who knows? We didn’t always talk about important emotional matters in my family.

“There was nothing positive about homosexuality in the newspapers and it was against the law to make love. I knew people my age who’d been sent to prison for doing it! When I tell schoolchildren that, they can’t believe it.

“So there was a lot of bewilderment inside me. Why did I feel like this when society said what I was doing was illegal?”

Sir Ian explained how despite being in a gay relationship while a relatively young actor, he wasn’t asked about his sexuality: ” I wasn’t one of those closeted actors who lied about it, but I avoided talking about it. It was easy. Nobody ever asked me. If I had told someone I was gay in an interview, the lawyer would have taken it out anyway because it was considered a terrible thing to say about anyone. Simon Callow would talk about being gay in interviews but it would never be reported. In the end he had to write a book to come out!”

Sir Ian eventually came out to his stepmother and sister and outed himself aged 49, during a radio debate with a right-wing commentator over the introduction of the hated Section 28 legislation that prohibited the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality by local authorities or schools. “It was a very nasty bit of legislation. I joined the campaign against it and realised that I couldn’t talk about it without explaining why I was involved.”

Source: Sir Ian McKellen on why he never came out to parents as he fronts gay homelessness campaign, PinkNews

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Quick PR lesson

Quick PR lesson for closeted celebrities!

FAKE photo GOOD for your public image:

FAKE photo BAD for your public image - Call a lawyer as soon as possible!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Brokeback Mountain: Personal Impact

By Nathan Donarum

In high school, I always loved movies; yet, I always looked at them passively. Only rarely did I become involved in the events or with the characters I saw on screen. In fact, prior to Brokeback Mountain I can't think of a single instance when I felt a profound emotional reaction to a film. I remember getting a little choked up while watching the end of Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia, but that's as close as it ever got to my becoming emotionally invested in situations taking place in a movie.

I watched Brokeback Mountain with my father on opening weekend back in late 2005 — though we had actually gone to see Capote instead. When we tried to buy tickets, we realized there was only one showing of Capote four or five hours later. Brokeback Mountain, however, was playing in just an hour; so, we bought two tickets and went to Borders to wait.

Since at the store they had a display with E. Annie Proulx's short story, my father and I each grabbed a copy and read it while we waited to see the movie, which had been getting phenomenal reviews. Curiously, I remember feeling underwhelmed by the short story. I thought to myself, "I don't even know if I'm excited to see this movie anymore." But since we had already bought the tickets, there wasn't really any turning back.

Jack and Ennis
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain"

After the hour passed, we went in. As I sat there watching Brokeback Mountain unfold, something changed within me. I don't know what caused it exactly, but I remember that I started crying when Gustavo Santaolalla's "The Wings" began playing while Jack and Ennis are at the campfire. I had never, ever cried because of a movie. And frankly, I did not understand how or why anyone would. Still, as I sat there in the theater, I could not contain my tears.

Eventually, I stopped crying, but the tears began streaming down once again when Ennis collects Jack's shirt and hugs it, fighting to hold on to the man he loved. I shed more tears at the end of the film, when Ennis opens his closet door, looks at the shirt, and the credits slowly start to roll.

I don't know why, but ever since that first time I saw Brokeback Mountain, my entire movie-watching experience has been radically different. After that, I have revisited movies I had seen before; suddenly, I was looking at them in a new light; at times, I was able to connect with them where before I had been emotionally and/or intellectually detached.

In addition, whether or not I'm watching a movie for the first time, I have been able to find layers to characters and settings that would have been out of my reach before. In essence, Brokeback Mountain made me realize how much I truly love the art of film. It also inspired me to start writing about it.

I mustered the courage to start posting my film commentaries online only in 2008 or whereabouts, but I had never considered writing about movies prior to Brokeback Mountain. In a profound way, that same-sex love story set in the American West made me realize there were tangible differences between bad cinema, good cinema, and great cinema. Needless to say, I'm fully aware that my Brokeback Mountain experience was exceptional, for having such a visceral response to any film is something quite unique.

Even though I cannot fully explain my personal reaction to the film, I must credit the filmmakers for it. Had Brokeback Mountain not been crafted the way it was, I find it impossible to believe that I would have been so deeply affected by it. After all, I had felt quite unenthusiastic after reading E. Annie Proulx's short story.

I have watched Brokeback Mountain many times since that first viewing. My experience has been different each time, but the film's power has never been lost. As we grow, our experiences change; our hope is that they will change not for the worse, but for the better. Thanks to Brokeback Mountain, I can happily say that mine have been forever changed for the better.

Source: Meditations on BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: Multilayered Love Story

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Music + Soul + Sex

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Last year, I made a big deal about Ricky Martin’s coming out.

Revisiting the blog piece today, I realize I was somehow evoking the spirit of the It Gets Better Project. And while I continue extremely critical of this campaign (for many reasons, not the least are its ageist and classist narratives), I do believe the visualization of imagined possibility is important. For the young boy who, like myself in my early teen years, finds himself living in rural México, seeing a public figure with pop culture prominence spanning a few decades might help in the process of imagining and/or visualizing what being a Brown man who loves other men might look like.

Later in the year, I wrote a piece titled “How Ricky Martin is Changing the Face of Latino Fatherhood,” based on Ricky and his two sons' (Valentino and Matteo) appearance on the cover of People En Español’s father’s day issue. Given People En Español’s circulation, the image of an openly gay Latino father and his children, would be in countless Latina/o supermarkets and living rooms. Yet again, the image of Ricky’s queer Latinidad was helping us imagine a more expansive Latinidad that includes more of us.

Musica+Alma+Sexo cover
With Ricky’s reemergence into the public light, we had the opportunity to see a queer Latino strike down racist stereotypes about inherent homophobia in our communities. Perhaps the best example was on The View when Ricky responded to Joy Behar’s suggestion that his culture kept him from coming out. In a moment that made him even more beautiful in my eyes, Ricky refuses to take the bait and simply states that people all over the world are struggling with their sexuality. (Thank you!)

This morning, Ricky's new album "Música + Alma + Sexo" hit stores and I typed faster than my queer fingers could to download it on iTunes. Refusing to shy away from the "sex" in sexuality by daring to have the word "Sexo" in the title of the album, I am excited to see where Ricky takes us as an openly queer historically sensual performer.

Watching two brown men in an affectionate embrace in the “Lo Mejor De Mi Vida Eres Tú” video, I’m pretty darn sure Ricky will continue to matter to me… and maybe a few other boys.

Source: Today, Ricky Martin matters more than ever by Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano

Saturday, 22 January 2011

When The World Was Young

Heath Ledger 1988Heath Ledger and unknown boy, 1988

Ah, the apple trees,
Blossoms in the breeze,
That we walked among,
Lying in the hay,
Games we used to play,
While the rounds were sung,
Only yesterday, when the world was young.

Angele Vannier and Johnny Mercer

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Silly Showmance is Over

January 4, 2011

"Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal are starting 2011 single. "They're over," a source tells PEOPLE about the short-lived relationship."

Source: People magazine, Taylor Swift & Jake Gyllenhaal Break Up