Sep 24, 2016

Pat Boone, Gay Icon

It's hard to imagine, but conservative spokesperson Pat Boone was once an icon for gay kids.  In a 1959 version of the Jules Verne classic Journey to the Center of the Earth, one of a series of adaptions of Jules Verne classics which Disney made during the period, Alec (Boone) journeys into the subterranean world with his geologist uncle, Professor Lindenbrook (James Mason), their guide Hans (Peter Ronson), and a love interest for the professor (Arlene Dahl).

While minimizing plausibility (they encounter giant lizards and the ruins of Atlantis), director Henry Levin maximized beefcake. As the explorers descend, Alec doffs his clothes, and the camera forsakes closeups of his prettyboy face to concentrate on his small, firm biceps and lean, tight chest.

Soon Hans doffs his clothes, too; he is blond and beefy, considerably more defined, a veritable Tarzan.

The men spend the rest of the movie falling into pits, fleeing from lizards, almost suffocating in salt pits, and almost drowning in oceans, and consequently rescuing, grabbing, holding, and comforting each other; Alec is especially likely to require rescue, followed by cradling in Hans' strong arms. When they reach a field of giant mushrooms that will replenish their dwindling food supply, they are so delighted that they break out into a dance while the Professor's love interest stands aside, a spectator only.

Hans is not interested in girls, but Alex has a girlfriend back home, whom he marries in the last frames of the movie.  But after two hours of half-naked men grabbing, holding, and comforting each other, we could put up with a fade-out boy-girl kiss.

In real life, Pat Boone is a conservative Christian who frequently makes homophobic statements, although my friend Randall said that he was "straight but open to suggestions back in the 1950s.

See: Dick Sargent's Hookup with Pat Boone

Sep 22, 2016

The 10 Hottest Small Guys

The average size the U.S. is between 5" and 6."  But everyone thinks it's about 8", so average-sized guys often feel insecure, and small guys always try to hide it.  But small ones work just like big ones

Besides, I've never met a small guy who wasn't drop-dead gorgeous.  Especially these guys, who aren't ashamed of their smallness, who highlight it, transform it into undeniable hotness.

Here are 10 of the hottest small guys I could find.

1. Beautiful face, tight hard body.

2. A twin with the classic face and physique of a Von Gloeden photograph, his limbs akimbo, one hand posed to draw our eye to the endowment of an ancient Greek statue.

3.  This Asian muscleman has his pubic hair carefully trimmed, like a window into a darkened universe, with a single light shining.

4. Radiant smile, slim body glowing with vitality, a dress shirt half off.

5. Husky, hairy, enveloped in shadow in a rocky wasteland, inviting you to work your way up.

6. This bodybuilder has a little sunburn on his chest and arms.

7.  This slim guy with the teen-idol cuteness has a nub so small you can't help but stare.  You've never seen one that small before; you want to investigate.  Which is what he intended all along.

8. A black chub who is owning his physique, bright light emphasizing his smooth round belly and the smallness beneath.

9.  Caught unaware at an event, the twink with the pale, firm body wipes off with a towel, not at all self-conscious about his smallness.

10.  An invitation to bed from a guy who has just toweled off from the shower, his arm out, waiting for your touch.

The uncensored list, with the nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Sep 21, 2016

Teenage Millionaire: The Teen Idol Career of Jimmy Clanton

Have you ever heard of Jimmy Clanton?

I thought I was an expert on teen idols, but I missed this one.

Born in 1938 in Louisiana, he burst onto the charts right after high school, eschewing the usual rock for rhythm & blues.  Between 1958 and 1962, he released six albums, and had three hit songs:

"Just a Dream" (1958) isn't heterosexist.  It could apply to a boy or a girl:

Just a dream, just a dream
All our plans and our all schemes
How could I think you'd be mine
The lies I'd tell myself each time

"Go, Jimmy, Go" (1959) is heterosexist, however.  He brags to his girlfriend about his expertise in sweet-talking, dancing, and kissing, and she responds with an open invitation: "Go, Jimmy, Go!"

"Venus in Blue Jeans" (1962), of course, is about a girl.

She's Venus in blue jeans
Mona Lisa with a ponytail
She's a walking, talking work of art
She's the girl who stole my heart

Jimmy got a lot of exposure in the late 1950s, including beefcake (or at least shirtless) shots in teen magazines and two movies designed to showcase his teen idol appeal:

Go, Jimmy, Go (1959), where he is renamed Jimmy Melody.  Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, and Ritchie Valens also perform.

Teenage Millionaire (1961) is about the millionaire son of a radio station owner, who goes undercover and woos a girl.  Zazu Pitts, the 1930s movie legend who was a lesbian in real life, plays Aunt Theodora.

At least there are poolside scenes.

But Jimmy was a little "un-hip," even for the Kennedy Era, and his star soon faded.

He continued to perform through the 1960s, and later became a disc jockey.  He is still in demand for nostalgia concerts.

He looks rather Liberace-like in this recent photo, but there's little evidence that he is gay.  He's been married since 1962, and has three daughters, two adopted, one biological.

Or a gay ally: he''s a member of the Lakewood Church in Houston, pastored by "homosexuality is a sin" Joel Osteen.

See also: Paul Anka; Beach Movies 

The Boys of Flipper

Flipper (1964-67),  was like Lassie or Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, except set n the Florida Everglades, with a dolphin instead of a collie or a kangaroo, and no women in sight. It seemed designed explicitly for the viewing pleasure of gay kids (your other choices on Saturday night were Jackie Gleason, for the grownups, and Shindig, for the teens).

It was about Ranger Porter Ricks (Brian Kelly), who lived in the Everglades National Park with his two sons, used boats more than cars, and didn't seem to own a shirt.

Nor dd his lithe, androgynous son Sandy Ricks (seventeen-year old Luke Halpin), who seemed to go to school once in a while, but otherwise was swimming, diving, boating, and getting into trouble.  He wore cut-off jeans that were way too tight for adequate modesty, and shrank even more whenever he got wet (which was all the time).

And can someone explain Bud Ricks (twelve-year old Tommy Norden)?  He's a kid with the pecs and abs of an adult bodybuilder.  Did they graft a 12-year old's head onto a grown-up's body, or what? (The same muscle spurt, incidentally, happened in comics to Richie Rich.)

Not that any gay kids were complaining.  Saturday night, summer or winter, was beefcake time.

 There was not a lot of buddy-bonding; Sandy and/or Bud needed rescuing a lot, but it was always Flipper who chirped to the rescue.  But -- and this was a big "but" for 1960s tv - none of the boys exhibited much heterosexual interest.  Porter and Bud, never.

Sandy had already grinned and flirted with a girl in the movie Flipper’s New Adventure (1964), yet he expressed an interest in girls during the tv series only twice. In “Love and Sandy” (1965), he has an unrequited crush on  a college girl (Cheryl Miller), and in “Cupid Flipper” (1966) he mistakenly believes that his girlfriend (Susan Abbot) is in love with his father. It was like a weekly vacation from the tedium of incessant "what girl do you like"?

There were lots of book tie-ins and toys available for the off-hours.

After a few 1970s tv appearances, such as The Mighty IsisTommy Norden retired from acting, and Brian Kelly was forced to retire in 1970 after a motorcycle accident paralyzed his right arm and leg -- he continued to produce movies like The Blade Runner (1982).  But Luke Halpin had a long career on television and in movies like Island of the Lost (1967) and  If It's Tuesday, This Must be Belgium (1969).  

See also: Flipper Toys

Sep 18, 2016

Chris Dickerson: The First Gay Black Bodbuilder

During the 1960s, bodybuilding was primarily the domain of white working-class men.  Female, black, and Asian bodybuilders were rare.  Segregation was still in place throughout the American South, making the logistics of competition difficult, and even in the more "liberal" North, racism was rampant, coloring competition judging.

But Chris Dickerson overcame the culture of racism and began breaking records.

Born in 1939, he began competing in the 1960s, and became the first African-American to win Junior Mr. USA (1966), Mr. California (1967),  and Mr. America (1967, 1970), and one of the first to win Mr. Olympia (1979, 1980, 1982).

He was also the first openly gay professional bodybuilder, coming out during the 1970s.

And in 1982, he was 43, the oldest Mr. Olympia in history.

That's a lot of barriers to break.

Sadly, he found little mainstream fame -- no advertising contracts, only a few tv appearances.

But the gay community loved him.

Chris worked as a physique model beginning in the 1960s,  and in the 1970s and 1980s made the rounds of all the physique magazines, including Muscle and Fitness.  Here he is posing on the cover of an Arabic bodybuilding magazine.

There are many nude photos, of course, including some for Colt Studios.

Today Chris is retired, living in Florida, and writing his memoirs.
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