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 27, 2016

Yuri Steals My Boyfriend at a Hurricane Party

Readers have been asking me about the custom of "sharing" one's boyfriends with friends, especially roommates, which was common in Florida and West Hollywood.  Didn't it provoke hurt feelings, if the boyfriend was more into you?  Wasn't there a danger of breaking up the relationship?

Not very often.  There were unspoken protocols in place.

1. You never "shared" your roommate's casual dates, only committed, trusting partners.

2. You never met with the boyfriend without the roommate present.  Ever.

3. If it was obvious that the boyfriend liked you a little "too much," then you never asked or offered to share again.

4. After a breakup, you could only date the ex-boyfriend with explicit consent of the roommate.

It was mostly foolproof. I can only recall once, in 20 years in West Hollywood, New York, and Florida, when it backfired.

The rest of the story, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Robert Goulet: 1950s Gay Icon

You may not recognize the name Robert Goulet, but he was an icon to the gay generation who survived the pre-Stonewall Dark Ages (1950-1969).

During those years, he was a fixture on Broadway, starring in such gay favorites as Dream Girl (1959), Meet Me in St. Louis (1960), and Camelot (1962), befriending such gay favorites as Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and Cher.

As a singer, he charted frequently during the 1960s, with the easy-listening pop tunes that the older generation liked as a remedy to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones: "My Love, Forgive ME" (1964), "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" (1965), "Once I Had a Heart" (1966).

He starred in eight movies, often with gay subtexts:

1. Gay Pur-ee (1962).  Animated cat Mewsette (Judy Garland) leaves her quiet country life for the wicked city of Paris, and her male friends Jaune-Tom (Robert Goulet) Robespierre (Red Buttons) try to rescue her.  There's also a sophisticated male cat shipped to America as a "mail order bride."

2. Honeymoon Hotel (1964) had an interesting gay connection: he and Robert Morse (the one in the dress) check into the "honeymoon hotel" along with all of the other couples.  Heterosexual hijinks follow, but there are a sizeable number of double-takes at the "honeymoon couple," as well as the rule "you've got to have a girl in your room" to eliminate any rumors.

Here's a semi-nude photo of the boyfriend.

3. I'd Rather Be Rich (1964).  Young heiress Sandra Dee has to decide between her fiance (Andy Williams) and the man she's hired to impersonate him (Robert Goulet).

Goulet appeared on tv nearly 100 times, in specials devoted to his music, in his own series, Blue Light (1966-67), about an American journalist going undercover to spy on the Nazis during World War II, and in many guest roles: a hunky science teacher on The Patty Duke Show, a con artist faith healer on The Big Valley. a murderous doctor on The Name of the Game.

The 1950s was the era of the face, not the physique, but Goulet was not shy about displaying his tight, hard muscles for the camera.

Of course, Goulet continued to perform for thirty years after Stonewall, but he aimed his work at that same body of fans who had loved him in the 1950s, appealing to Boomers only in an occasional spoof, or when a melodious voice was needed: he provided the voice for Wheezy the Penguin in Toy Story 2 (1999), and for sensitive third grader Mikey on the Disney Channel's Recess (1998-2001).

In 2005, two years before his death, Goulet took over the role of Georges, owner of the nightclub and Albin's partner in the Broadway revivial of  La Cage aux Folles.  It was like a final shout-out to the gay fans who had followed him for half a century.

May 26, 2016

Shawn's First Time, with his Best Friend and his Uncle

London, June 2015

Yuri has broken up with Michael, and is no longer living in Soho, the West Hollywood of London.  Instead, he's in Vauxhall, the South of Market of London, a funky neighborhood of leather bars, tattoo parlors, and dive restaurants.  Fun.

Tonight he invites a bear couple in their 50s and two single guys in their 20s over for dinner, conversation, entertainment, and, hopefully sharing.  The conversation begins with tales of gigantic penises and celebrity hookups (Prince Harry appears  in both categories).

Then, oddly, Yuri suggests coming out stories.

I tell about going to see the movie Grease in the summer of 1978: "We stop the fight right now, we got to be who we are."

One of the bears tells about finding a stash of straight porn magazines, around 1975, and zeroing in on the men.

The other bear tells about listening to David Cassidy sing "I Think I Love You" on The Partridge Family in 1971.

We're about to move on to other topics, when Shawn, age 28, says "I can top that.  I had no idea until I was gay until just after my seventeenth birthday, when I had a three-way with my best mate and my uncle."

The rest of the story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood

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

The World's Weirdest Place to Pick Up a Twink

Upstate, June 2011

There's a moderately invasive medical procedure recommended for everyone over 50, to make sure everything in your colon is copacetic.  I turned 50 last November, so I'm up.

I'm in the small, cramped waiting room of the endoscopy clinic.

It's packed -- everybody wants to get the procdure done as early in the morning as possible, and you're not allowed to drive afterwards, so most patients have drivers with them.

You can instantly tell the difference: the patients tend to be elderly, dazed from hunger, and apprehensive, while the drivers tend to be young, bored, and knee-deep in their laptops and ipads.

As I'm sitting there, too tired to read the book I brought, an elderly woman and her driver come in.  She goes to the reception desk to fill out paperwork, and the driver glances around the room.

College age, very fair skin, dark blond hair, blue eyes, a little swishy.  Wearing a pink hoodie.  Carrying a laptop.

Our eyes meet.

He stares for a moment, open-mouthed, as if he has come face-to-face with the Man of His Dreams.  He smiles, looks away, and then smiles again.

I'm a little annoyed.  The boy is extraordinarily cute, but like most gay men over 40, I get cruised by teenagers and twinks all the time.  He can take a number.  And who cruises in a doctor's office waiting room?  Your target is nervous, not feeling well, and probably contagious.

Especially this waiting room, cramped, crowded with elderly people waiting for an invasive medical procedure?  When your target is loopy from 30 hours without solid food, tired from no sleep the night before, apprehensive, cranky, and miserable?

The rest of the story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

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.

Yuri and I Share the Boy Toy and His Daddy

Wilton Manors, February 2004

The main rule about sharing boyfriends and hookups was: a couple brought in a third person.

During the 1980s, it was always romantic partners bringing in a close friend or roommate.

By the 1990s, the couple could also be a pair of close friends, and the third person a stranger, as long as there was a date first.

But you never shared with four.  I can remember only a few times when that happened.  It was always a little weird, and made me feel uncomfortable afterwards.

1. The multiracial four way with Lane.
2. The live sex show that we put on for Alan.
3. Victor and his Sleazoid Daddy

During the winter, hundreds of wealthy snowbirds from New York invade Wilton Manors, clogging the streets, crowding the bars and restaurants, throwing money around -- and prowling for beach boys.  Suddenly Daddies have some Sugar Daddy competition, so if you're over 40, and you don't have a boyfriend by Thanksgiving, you're likely to go dateless through Valentine's Day.

It was Valentine's Day 2004, I was 43 years old, and I hadn't had a date since Thanksgiving.  An occasional hookup, some afternoons at the Club, and not much else.

So when Victor at Barney's Gym stopped me in the locker room and asked me for a date, I consented, even though he wasn't exactly my type.  He was in his 20s, muscular, with a smooth chest and a nice uncut Bratwurst, but his long, narrow face, tattooed biceps, and rings were a turnoff.

Over dinner at a Thai place in Oakland Park, Victor told me that he was Cuban-American, from Miami.  He moved to Wilton Manors two years ago, had a job as some kind of juice distributor -- and had a boyfriend, Jauvier.

"He's a snowbird.  He lives in New York, and only flies down to Florida in the winter.  So we're allowed to date other guys, but when he's in town, we have to share."

Ok -- Lane and I engaged in that sort of dating quite often back in West Hollywood.  What does this Jauvier look like?

"Oh, he's very hot.  An older guy -- a Daddy, like you.  Shorter than me, very muscular, blond, a short beard, super hung."

Blond?  "Isn't he Hispanic?"

"Well, more of a redhead.   In Spanish, rubio could mean either."

The rest of the story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood