Oct 3, 2015

Spring 2009: The Stonewall Veteran and the Bodybuilder in the Park

When I moved to Upstate New York in the fall of 2008, my social calendar was soon crowded with invitations from members of the Gang of Twelve, guys who had known each other for years, and who shared everything, from gossip to boyfriends.
1-2. The Rich Kid and the Crying Truck Driver.
3-4. The Rapper, and the Grabby Nurse.
5. The Satyr and his roommate Chad, who I dated through the fall and winter.
6-7. The Klingon and the Sword Swallower.
8. The Pitcher with a Secret Move.

Date #9: The Stonewall Veteran

One day in the spring of 2009, the Rich Kid told me "There's a guy you have to meet."  I thought he was setting me up on another date, but instead, we drove to an assisted living facility in Oneonta.  There was an elderly man in a wheelchair sitting by a window in the dayroom, reading a large-print version of Tales of the City.  The Rich Kid hugged him affectionately.

"Is this your lover?" the Stonewall Veteran asked.

"No, no.  We went out a couple of times, but it didn't work out."

The uncensored version of this story is on Tales of West Holywood.

Brandon DeWilde

Speaking of Westerns, Brandon De Wilde became famous as the ten-year old kid who shouts "Come back, Shane!" in the iconic scene from Shane (1953), but he was a busy child star before that.


And he worked steadily through the 1960s, playing wounded, disturbed, and outsider teens and young adults who often enjoy homoromantic bonds.

With bad boy high schooler Warren Berlinger in Blue Denim (1959).

With muscular sideshow performer Larry Kert on an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1961).

With dissolute cowboy Paul Newman in Hud (1963).

With hunky soldier Rich Jason on an episode of Combat (1966).

He never took off his shirt on camera, but there was plenty for gay boys look at, even without nudity.

Unfortunately, Brandon didn't get much play in teen magazines: he was small, slim, and pretty enough to rate attention, but he was married, then divorced, then remarried, and teen idols must be -- or pretend to be -- available.

He died tragically in an auto accident in 1972.

Oct 2, 2015

10 Gay Facts about "Psycho"

If you haven't seen Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), get it now.  It's a suspense classic, a precursor of the psycho-slasher genre, and over-loaded with gay texts and subtexts. (Spoilers below.)

1.It isn't really about Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), who is murdered in the shower at the creepy Bates Motel.  It's about boyfriend Sam (John Gavin) and Marion's sister Lila (Vera Miles) investigating her disappearance. John Gavin played "straight" men who confront "queer" villains several times during his career.

2. With Marion out of the picture, one expects the requisite "fade out kiss" to be between Sam and Lila, but in fact they don't get involved.  Lila expresses no romantic interest in any man, and can be interpreted as a lesbian.

3. When Vera Miles was getting her start as a contract player for RKO, a chauffeur named Bob Miles drove her to acting class every morning.  Eventually she married him, which enraged Howard Hughes so much that he insisted that all future chauffeurs be gay.

4. Psycho Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins)  in the original novel was fat, middle-aged, and lecherous, obviously heterosexual, but the Hitchcock script made him young, slim, and gay, with the smothering mother supposed to be the origin of gay identity in those days. He has no interest in Marion, sexual or otherwise; his "mother" gets the wrong idea, and does the murdering.

5. Anthony Perkins was gay in real life, and had affairs with many of the top stars in Hollywood, including Paul Newman, Rock Hudson, Troy Donohue, and Tab Hunter.

6. He avoided gay roles, but he did play a gay-vague character in How Awful About Allen (1970).

7. The Hayes Code forbade open depictions of gay characters, even as villains, but the notoriously homophobic Hitchcock usually found some way to signal that his villains were gay.

8. The unique explanation of transvestism, as a type of multiple personality with male and female "sides" struggling for control, was seized upon, and appears often in movies and tv series during the next twenty years, notably in The Streets of San Francisco (with John Davidson as the conflicted drag queen).

9. Robert Bloch wrote a sequel to the original novel, Psycho II, about a movie crew working on a film version of the events. Paul Morgan, the actor playing Norman Bates, researches his character by going to a gay brothel, where the prostitutes dress like Robert Redford, John Travolta, and Clint Eastwood.

10. The various movie sequels, Psycho II, III, and IV, and the prequel Bates Motel, generally heterosexualize Norman Bates by giving him a girlfriend.

Sep 27, 2015

The 10 Ultimate Hunks of the Ultimate Spider-Man

I was never a big superhero fan to begin with, and Spider-Man was at the bottom of my list.  He's got a crush on a girl, his name has a stupid hyphen, and the 1970s tv series had an awful theme song:

Is he strong?  Listen, bud...he's got radioactive blood.

And I walked out of the 2003 Spiderman during the first scene, when Peter Parker, narrating, insists that "Like all stories, this story is about [a boy and] a girl."  Horrifying heterosexism!

But I may have to rethink my anti-Spidey sentiments.

The Ultimate Spiderman (2012-), an animated series on Disney XD, has a teenage Peter Parker being trained by the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (I don't know what they are, either).

During his adventures, Peter encounters teenage versions of just about every superhero in the Marvel Universe, mostly being voiced by uber-muscular actor/models. The 10 Ultimate Hunks are:

1. Drake Bell (top photo), formerly of the gay-subtext heavy Drake and Josh, as Peter Parker.

2.Ogie Banks as Luke Cage (the African-American Hero for Hire of 1970s comics).

3. Greg Cipes as Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist.

4. Matt Lanter (left) of 90210 as Harry Osborn, Peter's best friend, destined to become his nemesis, the Green Goblin

5. Logan Miller (left) as Sam Alexander, aka Nova.

6. Travis Willingham as the blond god Thor.

7. Roger Craig Smith as 1940s Superhero Captain America

8. Oded Fehr as some sort of mummy superhero.

9. Bodybuilder Terry Crews, formerly of Everybody Hates Chris, as Blade.

10. Disney teen hunk Ross Lynch as my favorite Marvel comics character, gay-coded werewolf Jack Russell, Werewolf by Night.

See also: Bring on the Spider-Men.

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