Jan 1, 2015

Jason Priestley: Every Gay Teen's Big Brother

    Like Rob Lowe, Jason Priestley became famous for a wardrobe malfunction; while frolicking naked on the beach with Jerry O'Connell and Gabriel Olds in Calendar Girl (1993), he turned suddenly, and everyone in the world got a glimpse of a frontal.            Not that you really needed a nude shot to notice his superheroic endowment.  Born in 1969, Jason had guest spots on MacGyver, Danger Bay, Teen Angel, and 21 Jump Street, plus a year-long story arc on Sister Kate, before hitting it big on the teen soap Beverly Hills 90210 (1990-2000).         He played Brandon Walsh, a cleancut Minnesota boy who moves to Beverly Hills and experiences culture shock among the rich kids.  For ten years, he provided the stable center to the teen and post-teen angst of Luke Perry and Brian Austin Green.  After graduation, he got to big-brother several gay teens as they faced issues involving coming out, homophobic harassment, and even dating.  Meanwhile his movie career took off, starting with the teen sex comedy Calendar Girl (1993) and the Western Tombstone (1993).   Plus many gay and gay-friendly roles:  Love and Death on Long Island (1997); a teen idol who becomes the object of an older writer's obsession (a sort of updated version of Death in Venice).       Common Ground (2000): a gay guy in the closeted 1950s (it also starred Jonathan Taylor Thomas).  Die, Mommie, Die (2003): a gay hustler.  Love Monkey (2006): friend of a gay sportscaster.              Currently Jason is starring in Call Me Fitz (2010-), a Canadian sitcom about the racist, sexist, homophobic  used-car salesman Fitz (Jason, right) and his "conscience," Larry (Ernie Grunwald, left).  Not surprisingly, Jason is a real-life gay ally. 

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