Aug 15, 2014

Gavin Fox: Not Enough Nudity

Gavin Fox, the son of Canadian tv star David Fox, has not given his spectacular physique the exposure it deserves.

He got his start as a production assistant, working for such programs as The Adventures of Sam and Max, Bob and Margaret, and Ned's Newt.

 His first acting role was a two-episode story arc on the gay-themed Queer as Folk (2003) that didn't require him to take his shirt off.

Then he played a cop on Tarzan, a fireman on Code Breakers, and a bouncer on Naturally, plus Sadie,  "Guard," "Muscular Boyfriend," and "Trainer."  All macho roles, not requiring substantial nudity.

He does get naked as Rahm the Baptist in A Beginner's Guide to Endings (2010).

To date, Gavin's most substantial role has been in Connor Undercover (2010-2011), an adventure series about a teenager(Max Morrow) drawn into the world of political espionage.  Gavin plays secret agent Eduardo Garcia, who trains Connor in the spy biz, and sometimes requires rescue himself.  There may be some gay subtexts there, but no nudity.

Somebody give this guy a job playing Tarzan or Conan.

Aug 14, 2014

Devon Ke Dev: Queer India Comes to Television

Like many former British colonial possessions, India has a rather homophobic climate.  Sodomy laws were just re-instated, gay-themed movies are regularly censored, and pundits continually howl "We don't have that here!  It is foreign to our culture!"

Some writers and scholars have dared to reveal the rich history of queer Indian mythology, from gender-changing gods to kings who fall in kings, but usually they're part of the Indian Diaspora, living in North America or Europe.

Devdutt Pattanaik lives in Mumbai, where he is an expert on economics and business management.  And in his spare time, he writes about Hindu mythology.

With a recognition of gender-atypical and gay-positive Hindu mythology:

The Man Who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore
Shikhandi, and Other Tales They Don't Tell You
The Pregnant King

His popular introduction to the god Shiva has been adapted into a television series, Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev (Lord of Lords, Mahadev), with 140 episodes so far.  The main cast includes:

1. Mohit Raina as Shiva

2. Saurabh Raj Jain as Vishnu, Krishna, and Rama
3. Alpesh Dhakan as Ganesha

4. Vishal Kotian as Hanuman

Plus gods, sages, kings, queens, demons, and monsters.

You can see some episodes on youtube.  It's in Hindi, but there's substantial beefcake and some soulful looks.  No doubt gay subtexts.

Or even texts.

See also: The Top 10 Public Penises of Hinduism

Aug 12, 2014

What's Gay About Chess?

When I was in junior high, chess was a big deal. When Bobby Fischer beat Boris Spassky to win the World Chess Championship, he became a national hero.  Lest anyone think that chess was "for sissies," magazine and newspaper articles emphasized his muscular physique and "regular guy" interests.

I remember one article with a description, in loving detail, of a lunch where Bobby Fischer orders a steak, eats a piece, and grunts "Good!", like one of those cave men in the Campbell's Manhandler commercials ("how do you handle a hungry ma..aa...aan?").

This was before he started subscribing to white supremacist literature, praising Hitler, and making shocking racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic comments.

In junior high, we played chess all the time, before class, at lunch, on the bus, in the swimming pool.

It was as homoerotic as wrestling.  You sit across from your opponent, stare at him, memorize his face, learn every detail of his physique, the heft of his chest, the curve of his biceps.

Where else can you get away with staring at a cute guy for 10-15 minutes?

One of my fondest memories of my boyfriend Dan is a game of chess.  He was a very fast player, rushing to move his piece before I had a chance to take my hand away from mine.  So sometimes our hands touched.  I still remember its warmth.

Chess tournaments were as well-attended as wrestling tournaments, and with bigger trophies.  In 1975 I met the Estonian wrestling brothers when George trounced me at a tournament at Washington Junior High.

The fad eventually faded away, like all fads do. I knew only a few people in high school who played, and none in college.

But for a few  years, chess offered a homoerotic idyll nearly as good as wrestling.

(By the way, today's reigning chess champion, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, is equally athletic, and not racist, homophobic, or anti-Semitic.)

See also: One Night in Bangkok

Cory Haim's Bubble Bath

The Lost Boys (1987) was directed by Joel Schumacher, who is gay, and starred teen idol Corey Haim, who was widely rumored to be gay at the time. The plot, about high schooler Sam Emerson (Corey) discovering that his older brother  Michael (Jason Patric) has been seduced by androgynous vampire David (Kiefer Sutherland), is overloaded with homoromantic same-sex bonds: Sam and and Michael, Michael and David, Sam and the vampire-hunting teen Frog (played by Corey's real-life best friend, Corey Feldman).

There are endless beefcake scenes and vows of same-sex commitment, but only one act of heterosexual intercourse, with Michael's body on display and the woman's hidden from view, instead of the usual scenes of a nude woman atop a fully-clothed man. Surely even the most oblivious heterosexual can find such blatant slippages and subtexts!

But not one of the nearly 200 user reviews on the Internet Movie Database or nearly 500 fans who posted to a Lost Boys message board noticed the beefcake, the lack of attention to girls, or the many homoromantic bonds.

 One fan did ask “Is Sam gay?” and as evidence, pointed out that:
1. He has a poster of contemporary heartthrob Rob Lowe on his bedroom wall
2. He wears a “Born to Shop” T-shirt
3. He takes bubble baths
4. He has a pet dog.
5. He sings an old novelty song with the line “I’m a lonely girl, ain’t got a man.”
That is, he uses gender-transgressive behavior (like owning a dog?) as proof.

But even those broadly-drawn gender-transgressions are lost on most fans. One stated, “I’ve seen that movie probably somewhere around fifty times, and never once stopped to think that [Sam] was supposed to be gay.”  They never stop to think that any fictional character is gay, unless he is Wearing a Sign.

 Fans commenting on the "Is Sam gay?" post enthusiastically pointed out that Sam was not Wearing a Sign, so he must necessarily be taken as heterosexual.

About the beefcake poster: “It was his grandfather’s idea, to give him a manly role model! It has nothing to do with being gay!” (Would Grandpa really consider androgynous prettyboy Rob Lowe a better candidate for displaying machismo than contemporary man-mountains like Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Sylvester Stallone or Chuck Norris?)

 About the “Born to Shop” t-shirt: “It was the fashion in 1987! It has nothing to do with being gay!”

Or they bring up the  myth that only adults are gay: "He’s fifteen years old, too young to be gay!”

Or the myth of the Discovery of Girls: “He hasn’t begun to notice girls yet, it doesn’t mean he’s gay!”

Anything they can think of that helps them keep on believing that the world of fiction belongs to heterosexuals only.

See also: Tad Hilgenbrink, Corey Haim for the 2000s.; and Clarence: Gay Characters on Kids' TV.
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