May 28, 2016

Asim Butt: Gay Pakistani Artist

Asim Butt (1978-2010) was a Pakistani artist who studied in Karachi and San Francisco.  He was interested in graffiti and interactionist pieces,.

Art that protested unfair social conditions, police brutality, and homophobic state policy, set up in public places where it would be soon removed by the authorities.

Gay in real life, he often portrayed naturalistic men in intimate poses, the intimacy substituting for beefcake's emphasis on muscle.

He was a member of the Stuckist Art Movement, which is anti-anti-art, dedicated to returning to representation rather than abstraction.

A New Sensitive Tarzan

Miles O'Keeffe graduated from the University of the South with a degree in psychology, and worked for a year as a prison counselor, before heading for Hollywood, hoping to make it big as an actor.

He did.  The biggest.

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), the first Tarzan movie in over a decade, was an attempt to revitalize the Tarzan myth for the 1980s generation.  It starred the breasts of Bo Derek, a heterosexual sex symbol from 10 (1979).

 The plot was about Jane (Bo Derek) and her breasts traveling to Africa on a scientific expedition, where they meet, civilize, and have sex with the Ape Man (Miles O'Keeffe).  Though superbly muscular, Miles' Tarzan was not a man-mountain; he was a romance novel hero, a New Sensitive Man, desirable more for his tenderness than his muscles.

I don't remember him speaking, not even a "Me Tarzan" grunt.

There was no gay subtext.

Bo won the Golden Raspberry for the Worst Actress of the year, but Tarzan was a box office success, making more money than, Excalibur, The Great Muppet Caper, or An American Werewolf in London.

Miles disliked his Tarzan character, and spent the next decade trying to live him down.  I haven't seen any of his later movies, but apparently he played sword-and-sorcery heroes Ator (1982, 1984, 1987), and the Lone Runner (1986), the Medieval hero Sir Gawain (1984), and some man-mountains rescuing buddies from Southeast Asian warlords (1987, 1988, 1990).

No gay characters, but between 1999 and 2001, he appeared six times on So Graham Norton, a late-night talk show hosted by the gay British comedian.

May 26, 2016

Justin Berfield's Very Special Episode

I hate it when you watch a tv program for countless episodes under the impression that a character is gay, only to find out that he was straight all along -- or, more likely, the producers noticed the gay subtext and retconned the character to "correct" him.

On Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2006), about a dysfunctional family, dimwitted hunk Reese (Justin Berfield) never expressed any interest in girls for five seasons, even though nearly every male teenager in mass media, including his brother Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), is scripted as indefatigably girl-crazy. 

 He was also over-emotional and interested in cooking, two gender-transgressive traits that could easily mark him as gay.  

To make matters worse, the scripts kept dropping unmistakable hints.  
Reese says “Sorry, I’m gay” to dissuade an amorous girl.

He “courts” an attractive male classmate.

He sells "his services” to neighborhood men and then blackmails them in an amazingly blatant parody of male prostitution (he even lounges at poolside in a swimsuit like a kept boy). 

Fans began to speculate that a special “coming out” episode was planned. Then, in the Season 5 finale in May 2004, Reese is distraught over a breakup with a never-before mentioned girlfriend. “You are mistaken!” the producers seemed to squeal. “Reese was straight all along!  There are no gay teenagers!”

Justin Berfield is the subject of gay rumors in real life, too, but he adamantly refuses to make any public statements.

See also: The Top 10 Hunks of Malcolm in the Middle

May 24, 2016

My Top 10 Turn-Offs

You already know the characteristics that I find attractive: religious, short, dark, gifted beneath the belt, and so on.

But some characteristics are immediate turn-offs.  You may be a wonderful person who reads to the elderly and organizes AIDS fundraisers. You may be a world traveler fluent in ten languages.  You may be a short, dark, muscular, gifted-beneath-the-belt Mormon missionary. You're still going to get the "just friends" speech.

The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Will Estes: Teen Idol

Born in 1978, Will Nipper became one of the biggest child stars of the 1990s (no, Nipper wasn't a stage name), with a starring role on The New Lassie, a retread of the 1950s dog-and-boy classic (1989-92), plus guest shots on Highway to Heaven, Murphy's Law, Baywatch, Step by Step, Full House, and Boy Meets World.

Also a few movies, such as Dutch (1991) and How to Make an American Quilt (1995). And several appearances as "himself," on The Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards, Soaptalk, Jeopardy, and ;Circus of the Stars (he was a trapeze artist).    

 As a teenager, he changed his name to Will Estes, buffed up adequately for teen idol status, and starred in several more tv series, including Kirk (1995-96), as the son of future homophobia spokesman Kirk Cameron; ;Meego (1997), as a boy who gets alien Bronson Pinchot as a nanny; and American Dreams (2002-05), as the son of a family in the turbulent 1960s.

Guest roles, some leading to lengthy story arcs, continued, on The Secret World of Alex Mac (1997-98) and Seventh Heaven (1999-2000).

No gay roles, but some buddy-bonding, especially in Blue Ridge Falls (1999), with two country boys (Will and fellow 1990s teen star Jay R. Ferguson) helping a friend who has killed his abusive father.   He is reputedly gay but closeted, which may explain the absence of gay roles or any public statements in support of gay rights.   At least he hasn't said anything opposing gay rights.    

May 23, 2016

Shane Haboucha

 Shane Haboucha got off to a bad start.  In the music video "Stacey's Mom," the 13-year old played a kid obsessed with the breasts of his school friend's mother.

Nothing for gay boys to like in that, except maybe the pubescent beefcake.

His exposure led to guest shots on Bernie Mac, Oliver Beane, That's So Raven, and CSI, plus a recurring role on Everwood (2004-2005).

Mostly girl-crazy characters, even in the gay-friendly Everwood.  Indeed, Bernie Mac was quite homophobic.   (in a promo, Bernie discovers that his nephew likes girls, and shouts "My boy's normal!").

But there were also gay-positive roles.Thee OC episode "The Secret" (2003), about a boy with a gay dad.

On CSI (2005), Shane played a gay-vague boy victimized by a pedophile.

On Without a Trace (2005), he played a gay-vague boy who plans to bomb his school.  The school bullies torture him so he'll reveal its location.

Desperation (2006), based on a Stephen King novel, gave Shane some homoromantic moments.  When his friend Brian (Darren Victoria) is hit by a car and suffers brain damage, David Carver (Shane) prays for his healing, and offers himself to God as a substitute sacrifice. Immediately after, he and his parents are captured by the demonic sheriff of a ghost town.  Brian recovers.  David saves the day.

Today Shane is a student at Loyola Marymount University, where I taught as an adjunct when I first moved to Los Angeles in 1985.


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