Jan 22, 2016

Robert Clark: From Zack Files to Gay Teen

Robert Clark has been very busy since he buddy-bonded with Michael Seater on The Zack Files (2000-2002) and Strange Days at Blake Holsey High (2002-2006).

For one thing, he bulked up, transforming from a teen hunk into a bodybuilder with a stunning physique. (His brother Daniel is also a bodybuilder.)

For another, he's guest starred in some of Michael Seater's projects, and starred in some gay-friendly projects of his own.

On Veronica Mars (2005), he played a gay high schooler who is recruited by the lawyer to humiliate the homophobic ex-boyfriend of one of her friends.

Nonsense Revolution (2008) is about six best friends in Nova Scotia: a gay couple, a straight couple, a single lesbian, and a single heterosexual man.  One of the gay men is killed, and comes back as a horny ghost, who seduces the lesbian until she can get all five friends together to send him to into the light.  I'm not making this up.

On the paranormal series Warehouse 13 (2010), Robert plays a hunky high school wrestler with a penchant for catching on fire just when he grabs one of his hunky opponents.

Did I mention that most of his roles require underwear, shirtless, or otherwise semi-nude scenes?

Or that he's gay in real life?

He is also a singer, recording songs under RWC (Ready When Called) Productions.

Jan 21, 2016

Raviv Ullman

Speaking of Raviv Ullman, the Israeli-American actor got his start on Phil of the Future (2004-2006), one of the few Disney channel teencoms that offered little beefcake and virtually no homoromantic subtexts.  It was a "my secret" comedy about a family of the future trapped in the present.  Phil gets a girlfriend immediately.

But he's done a lot of gay-positive roles since.

In Driftwood (2006), as a juvenile detention center inmate who befriends a gay kid (Jeremy Lelliott).

In The Big Bad Swim (2006), as a teenager who, along with his best friend (Avi Setton), films the exploits of a beginning swim class for adults.

In Normal Adolescent Behavior (2007), as part of a group of high school friends, including a gay couple (Edward Tournier, Stephen Colletti).

On stage in Dead End (2005), a revival of the original which not only upped the beefcake but, but intensified the homoerotic bonds between the boys (while eliminating the older-younger subtext).

In The Russian Transport on Broadway (2012), as the nephew of a Russian mobster who has qualms about his involvement.

Rumor has it that Raviv is gay or bisexual in real life, but he hasn't made any public statements.  Do people make "coming out" statements anymore?

Jan 17, 2016

The Judy Garland Mystery

I am asked, more frequently than you'd imagine, "Why are all gay men such big fans of Judy Garland?"

Depending on my mood, I answer:

1.I don't know, I haven't finished reading the Gay Handbook yet. 

2. Who's Judy Garland?

3. It's more about her hunky costars, Jackie Cooper and Mickey Rooney.  Watching them takes our minds off Hitler and Mussolini.  You're pretending that it's 1942, right?

What caused the firmly-entrenched Judy-gay men connection?

1. Her movies?  37 of them between 1936 and 1963. I've seen a lot, searching for gay subtexts.  But by now they're mostly obscure.  Chances are the average gay man under age 70 has seen only The Wizard of Oz.

2. Her music?  She released 75 singles and 22 albums between 1936 and 1965.  Mostly about falling in love with men or losing her man: "But Not For Me," "Meet Me in St. Louis"; "The Trolley Song."  I doubt the average gay man under age 70 is downloading them from itunes regularly.

3. Her tv series, The Judy Garland Show?  It was apparently a train wreck, ruined by the weird decision to make fun of the star.  I've only seen the Christmas episode, which pretends to take place in her home, with guest stars "dropping by."  Daughter Liza pretends that she's been practicing a dance number with her boyfriend (actually choreographer Tracy Everitt).  And it hasn't aired since 1963.

4. Her relationship with gay fans?  She did marry two gay men, Vicente Minelli and Mark Heron, but her attitude toward gay people was mixed at best.  There were much stronger allies, even in the 1960s.

5. Stonewall?  Legend has it that Judy's death, on June 22, 1969, sparked the Stonewall Riots and the beginning of gay liberation -- the patrons of the Stonewall Inn  were so upset that they refused to take the police harassment anymore.  But they were college students and hippies, more interested in Boomererson Airplane than Judy Garland.  It's just a legend.

I'm going back to her hunky costars Mickey Rooney and Jackie Cooper.  You're pretending that it's 1942, right?

See also: 10 Things I Hate about the Wizard of Oz
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