Dec 7, 2019
How about a teenagers vs. zombies comedy-horror-musical mashup?
Set in Scotland.
With a lesbian character.
Ok, we have one: Anna and the Apocalypse.
Anna (Ella Hunt) already feels like her world has already come to an end when she's transplanted from the city to small town Scotland. She hangs out with a group of teens who have insecurities of their own, and break into song at the drop of a zombie:
But maybe in the zombie apocalypse, when choices are limited,he'll have a chance. It worked for Elliott on The Walking Dead.
3. Computer nerd Chris (Christopher Leveau), who spends a lot of time swallowing the tongue of his girlriend, drama club queen Lisa (Marli Siu). His problem is, no matter how much tongue-swallowing he engages in, he'll never be able to please the libido-enhanced Lisa.
4. And what does Lisa, the walking embodiment of female desire as seen through the hetero male gaze, want with Chris, when she's busy choreographing a double-entendre laden version of "Santa Baby" with semi-nude hunks as backup dancers?
The zombie virus spreads very quickly, overnight, trapping Anna and the Goofball in a bowling alley, the Computer Nerd and the Kick-Ass Lesbian in a homeless shelter, the Bad Boy on the military base, and the others in the school. Their main goal is to reunite with their loved ones and await rescue, and when the rescue team is zombified, to get the hell out of town. There are some fun gags, like a zombified Santa and candy canes as weapons, but way too many deaths. When the smoke clears, the survivors are Anna, the Bad Boy, and the Kick-Ass Lesbian.
At least they're not Burying their Gays.
Gay Characters: Other than Steph, it's all subtext and innuendo.
Beefcake: Only in the erotic "Santa Baby" number. I couldn't even find shirtless shots of the male cast members.
Heterosexism: Not really. Hetero-romance is minimal. Even the common cliche of the Last Couple surviving the Apocalypse is disrupted by the presence of a third person in the escape car.
My grade: B.
Dec 6, 2019
But he aspired to become a serious actor, so he studied at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts and began appearing on stage, notably in the gay-themed Boys in the Band in 1969 (presumably as the hustler hired to become a "birthday present").
But nothing else. After a two-parter on Space: 1999 in 1978, he retired from acting and became a furniture refinisher.
You can see the nude photos on Tales of West Hollywood.
Dec 5, 2019
It's the most heterosexist time of the year.
Here are 15 reasons to just skip it and spend December hiding out in yurt in Mongolia.
1. The Animated Specials: Unrelenting in their zeal in pairing up Santa Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty the Snowman with their female counterparts, while Burl Ives sings "Somebody waits for you -- kiss her once for me."
2. The TV Movies. Christmas Magic, A Christmas Kiss, A Bride for Christmas, Undercover Christmas. A lonely woman finds love with an unexpected man in a "Holiday Miracle." Over and over and over again.
3. The Nutcracker Ballet. Ok, so there are ample bulges and biceps to be seen, but it's a hetero-romance composed by a gay man.
5. The Songs. Men and women endlessly meeting each other under the mistletoe. Kids getting gender-polarized presents. And "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," the most depressing song ever written, part of the repertoire of Judy Garland, who believed -- with many gay people of her era -- that to be gay was to be constantly sad.
Did you know that the song was originally much more depressing? I'm not sure how that's possible, but the maven of depressing songs refused to sing it until it was cheered up from "throw yourself in front of a bus" to a mere "sob uncontrollably."
6. "Don we now our gay apparel." A reminder that the word "gay" previously meant something like "happy, giddy." Except today it's regularly censored, lest anyone's holiday celebrations be ruined by the recognition that gay people exist.
7. The Visit. You are required to wait at a crowded airport, sit in a packed airplane made even more cramped by bulky coats and packages, and go "home" to visit your birth family in the Straight World. But your heterosexual brother and sister are excused. The message is clear: they have their own home, but you don't. No matter how long they have lived in a place, no matter what social and emotional connections they have made, gay people have no "home."
8. The Dinner. Christmas Dinner back "home" involves endless discussions of heterosexual husbands and wives, boyfriend and girlfriends, but you are cautioned not to tell Aunt June about your boyfriend, lest her holiday be ruined.
9. The Breakup. There are an extraordinary number of breakups just after Christmas. People who don't like their boyfriends or girlfriends always think things like "I can't ruin their Christmas by dumping them. But the day after..."
My problem has always been going "home" for 10 days and leaving the boyfriend back in West Hollywood or New York or Florida. The vultures start circling immediately, bulging and flexing and cruising, and when I get back, I'm welcomed by "I didn't plan on it -- it just happened."
10. The Parties. They never end. Various offices, departments, schools, organizations, miscellaneous groups of friends. 10 or more before the season is over -- if you're lucky.
Roomsful of people who don't know you're gay, forcing you to come out endlessly and get surprised reactions, or else endure heterosexist small talk and flirting from every heterosexual Cougar in sight.
And endless supplies of cookies, candy, cakes, bars, and whatever other high-fat, high-sugar horrors that can be decorated in gaudy colors.
12. Santa Claus. Fat, elderly, married, and wearing red. The antithesis of a gay icon.
13. The Salvation Army, which teaches that gay people should be stoned to death, is out in numbers ringing those little bells, and people are tossing money in gladly, emphasizing how thin the veneer of tolerance is -- at any moment, "I don't have any problem with you people" could change to screaming.
14. "A Perfect Holiday Gift." TV commercials and ads call it "the holidays," but they mean Christmas only, showing only Christmas traditions and ending summarily on December 26th, even though there is still New Year's Eve, Kwanzaa, and sometimes Ramadan and Hanukah left.
Gay people hear quite enough of this "universal" means "only us" claptrap:
She's every man's fantasy.
Every woman wants him; every man wants to be him.
There's not a man alive who wouldn't want to get with her.
Every boy "discovers" girls during adolescence.
15. "Cheer up, it's Christmas." You are required to feel ecstatic all the time. Even the most upbeat person can't be up all day, every day, but if you experience even a moment of melancholy, there are 3000 people waiting to tell you that there's something wrong with you, you're a Scrooge or a Grinch.
Gay people hear quite enough of this "You must feel a certain way" claptrap:
You're not really gay. You just haven't met the right person yet.
How do you know you're gay if you haven't tried it with a woman?
Ok, so you're gay, but don't tell me you would kick her out of bed!
But at least there are Pantomimes in England, and the Santa Speedo Run in Boston.
See also: Are the Pantos Gay; and My 12 Christmas Boyfriends
He wanted the lead in the school play, but Chuck got it.
He has a crush on it-girl Janine (Sue Ramirez), but Chuck is railroading her. (The two actors are dating in real life.)
Plus Chuck has 50,000 Instagram followers, fancy clothes, and a car.
And he's an entitled, snobbish, bullying asshole.
Somebody has to take him down a few notches.
Enter three other dead kids:
1.Flamboyant schemer Blanco (Vance Larena)
Vance Larena starred in the gay film Bakwit Boys, and is apparently gay in real life. According to the Filipino press, he has a boyfriend named Mark.
2-3. The bff gay-vague couple Paolo (Khalil Ramos, left) and Uy (Jan Silverio). Khalil Ramos starred in the gay film 2 Cool 2 B Forgotten. When asked about his "gender identity," he stated that he was "straight," but supported "gender equality."
Do they think gay is a gender in the Philippines?
Back to the story: the four Dead Kids (along with Paolo's girlfriend sometimes) get the idea of kidnapping Chuck and holding him for ransom. They'll make some money, and the arrogant asshole will get his comeuppance. So they put on pig masks, burst into the brothel where Chuck is awaiting his 18th birthday blow job, put a bag over his head, tie him up, and sequester him in Mark's apartment.
You know what's going to happen next, right? Complication, complication, dead guy (an adult), drug lord, arguments, harrowing something or other, the end. We've seen it before 20,000 times. Feel free to fast forward to the good parts.
Except there really aren't any good parts.
Gay characters: Maybe Blanco, but he's underdeveloped.
Filipino culture: No interesting shots of the Manila cityscape. The characters speak mostly in English, with some Tagalog thrown in here and there. I guess speaking English is cool for Pinoy youth.
Heterosexism: Surprisingly little. A couple of the boys have girlfriends, but there's no Girl of His Dreams rhetoric, no girl to be rescued, no fade-out boy-girl kiss.
Homophobia: None. The characters have foul mouths, but never use homophobic slurs. They all apparently support gay equality (or rather, gender equality). Notice the LGBT hate-free zone sign on the wall behind them.
My grade: D. Watch some of the actors' gay movies instead.
Dec 4, 2019
It does offer some significant gay subtexts, as rich kid Bobby (Billy Gray of Father Knows Best, right) moons over basketball star Dan (the muscular Lee Kinsolving, left), and invites him to a wild party at his parents' beach house.
They dance, drink beer, and Bobby tries to talk Dan into having sex with his girlfriend Janet (Patty McCormack, center, best known as the murderous little girl in The Bad Seed).
That's why this poster shows the two of them dragging her toward a three-way triangulation.
Janet is reluctant -- how far should a girl go to prove her love to a boy?
Gifford decides to conduct a survey about students' attitudes toward sex. Parents find out, and become apoplectic with outrage. The principal starts screaming. The cops get involved. Gifford is asked to apologize (that's all?)
Bobby leads a student protest -- but not one of those loud protests of the hippie generation. They give the teachers the silent treatment. And the principal backs down. Problem solved.
The Explosive Generation is not very explosive, but it provides an interesting view of how histrionic parents got -- and still get -- over the idea of their teenagers having sex.
Dec 2, 2019
Here's a guy who goes to Gay Pride Parades, records songs without "girl! girl! girl!" lyrics, and is the bff of queer singer Bilal Hassani, "an icon to queer youth." There must be a gay subtext! Or maybe even a canonical gay couple!
It's worth a shot.
Sofiane (Carl Malapa), a student at a run-down high school in a working-class arondissement of Paris, has been a wreck since his older brother Reba (Sami Outalbali) disappeared four months ago. He even tries to commit suicide. He starts getting visions of a supernatural being with dreadlocks and fiery glasses (Corentin Fila), who explains that he is Obé, the Voodoo god in charge of transporting murdered souls to the other world. Reba is trapped in limbo, but Sofiane can release him by murdering someone else.
Sofiane chooses Victor (Nemo Schiffman), the outcast weird kid who's been in and out of mental hospitals. He lures him onto a roof, and, with Obé egging him on, tries to strangle him. But Sofiane can't do it. Maybe Obé would accept his brother's murderer instead?
The god agrees.
Sofiane receives the power of physically moving people (handy for getting bad guys to punch themselves), and Victor receives the power of reading minds, and they get to sleuthing. They seek out the help of classmate Luisa (Manon Bresch), whose grandmother is a Voodoo priestess (I didn't know there was a large Afro-Caribbean community in France). She suggests that it might not be a good idea to trust a being who claims to be a Voodoo god.
Uh-oh. The Girl. Will one of the two boys demolish the gay subtext by falling in love?
"When we met, it was friendship at first sight," Sofiane explains.
The family is delighted, and implicitly assumes that they are a gay couple.
But I'm concerned about The Girl, so before I commit to watching the whole series, I'd better skip to the last episode to see if the two walk off into the sunset together.
Bad things went down last night, and Victor is incoherent, drawing monsters in his underwear and screaming at his family. Sofiane sends them all away and grabs and hugs Victor as he cries.
So far so gay.
They decide to storm the building where Luisa is interviewing the Bad Guy. Sofiane has to use his powers to fight off several armed guards. It's difficult and very painful. Victor hugs him.
Great, but what about the very last scene:
Victor and Sofiane sitting on a bench. It's all over, so now they can get on with their lives, walking side by side into the future, right? Victor says that he still has issues to work on, so he's going back to the mental hospital. Sofiane starts to cry.
Wait -- they're breaking up? But it's not permanent -- he'll be out in a few months. And besides, mental hospitals allow visitors. Why....
And now Victor has to say goodbye to Luisa.
Uh-oh, they're hugging. Luisa tells him how much she cares for him.
In a Platonic, brotherly way, right?
Wrong. Their foreheads press together. Victor says "I want to show you the life we can have together."
That's two hours of my life that I'll never get back.
Like Being 17, starring Corentin Fila (Obe) as a teenager who is gay and falls in love with his mother's houseguest, who is also gay.
Dec 1, 2019
Born in 1956, the former medical student started his acting career in 1979, as the teenage son on the short-lived sitcom Shirley! Only 13 episodes were filmed, but that was enough for the teen magazines to adulate Peter as the Next Big Thing. He was handsome, muscular but not a bodybuilder, and just androgynous enough to meet the gender-bending expectations of the era of Culture Club and ABBA.
Hell Night (1981) with Vincent Van Patten, in Leadfoot with Philip Mckeon, and in a movie-of-the-week, The First Time (1982). Peter also appeared in a tight swimsuit in an episode of Battle of the Network Stars. Many gay boys found in him a kindred spirit, gazing at his movies or swimsuit spreads and thinking "He's one of us."
Voyagers!, The Greatest American Hero, and Knight Rider). Strangely, it aired just before the drag queen-friendly Madame's Place.
The plot was similar to Shazam!, which aired on Saturday mornings a few years before: teenager with superpowers lives with an older man. In this case, Matthew, or E'Hawke (Peter Barton) was a prince from a planet orbiting Tau Ceti, hiding out on Earth from enemies who wanted him dead. He went to Crestridge High School and lived with his guardian, Walter, or D'hai (Louis Gossett Jr.), who was working undercover as a science teacher.
I watched occasionally, but it was a little too "Saturday morning tv" to draw a big audience. Besides, Matthew had a girlfriend, there was no homoerotic buddy-bonding, and there was not enough beefcake. Most gay kids quickly changed the channel to The Dukes of Hazzard on CBS. Powers was cancelled after only 22 episodes.
Peter's teen idol fame ended shortly thereafter, as more muscular actors like Willie Aames and Scott Baio rose to the limelight.
Today Peter lives in upstate New York with his daughter. He has never married.
See also: My Celebrity Dates, Hookups, and Sausage Sightings