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HBO’s “HUNG” Star Thomas Jane: “I Turned Tricks With Guys, But Chose To Be Straight”

Thomas Jane, the star of HBO’s  fast sinking ratings series “HUNG” in an interview with with the L.A. Times admitted that he turned tricks with men as a male hustler when he first hit L.A. to make ends meet.

Hey, you grow up as an artist in a big city, as James Dean said, you’re going to have one arm tied behind your back if you don’t accept people’s sexual flavors. You know, when I was a kid out here in L.A., I was homeless, I didn’t have any money and I was living in my car. I was 18. I wasn’t averse to going down to Santa Monica Boulevard and letting a guy buy me a sandwich. Know what I mean?

You’re a lot more open to experimentation as a young man. And for me, being a young artist and broke in Los Angeles, I was exploring my sexual identity. And probably because of my middle-class, white blue-collar upbringing, I would have never had the opportunity to confront some of my own fears and prejudices had I not been hungry enough to be forced to challenge myself in that way.”

Jane, who’s not hard on the eyes , but who I have never pegged to be the brightest bulb in the box goes on to claim that he “chose to be straight”:

“And then you actually have a choice, and I chose to be a heterosexual guy because that’s what my DNA dictates and my nurture dictates that I am…I don’t know. I think up to a point it’s a choice. But I’ll tell you what — it’s not a choice until you’re open enough to experience both male and female sexuality. Until you’ve tasted the food, you don’t know whether you’ll like it or not, as my mom always said.”

Newsflash Jane.  You chose to be “gay for pay” to survive.  And all the waxing poetic and making it sound enlightening doesn’t change that. And make it any more noble. You sucked dick to survive..  PERIOD.  It wasn’t a “choice” it was a necessity.  (Oh and you are NO James Dean btw)

The only real choice ou made was to come out with this story now that “HUNG” is having a bad ratings season.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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8 thoughts on “HBO’s “HUNG” Star Thomas Jane: “I Turned Tricks With Guys, But Chose To Be Straight””

  1. This is an interesting story. But I’m not sure if I agree with your viewpoint. I think this actor sharing that he has experimented sexually is great. It’s honest. I think that there are many people in society for which sexuality is sliding scale and you pulling him to pieces with accusations that he simply “sucked dick to survive” doesn’t do anyone any favours. You are just further pigeon holing and separating us. It’s offensive, and we as a community should aim to be better.

    If there are a few people out there that read his story about experimentation, which does come from a hetero-viewpoint, and then think “hey, maybe it’s not all that crazy, maybe it’s not such a taboo”, then that’s a great thing! He chose to share this bit of his story, we should be grateful (or at least neutral!) and certainly not tear him down.

    PS – and as if a PR company would release a story like this to save an ailing sitcom. Seriously!

    PPS – I agree that there is a need for reporting and discussion that is free of “politically correct bullshit”. However there is a clear difference between that and negative-for-the-sake-of-being-negative reporting.

    1. Hey Youngmatt

      As always you are are more than entitled to your opinion on this as I am I.

      Am I reporting “negatively-for-the-sake-of-being-negative” I think not.

      I reported this story negatively because I was truly offened by the fact that 1. He made it seem that being gay is a “choice”. Which it is not. He did what he had to do to surive and noweher in the piece did he say he enjoyed it. Thats a huge difference between choosing to be gay or straight, because there is no choice. You are born a certain way and thats that. And for jane to foolishly say things like that is the spreading of false information. And would a PR company do something like this to save an ailing sitcom? Who knows. They have done worse.

      Oh and point 2. HOW DARE he compare himself to James Dean!

  2. Not an uncommon experience. The only thing uncommon is that Thomas talked about it publicly. Times are bad, man, in case you didn’t notice. To survive many of us do get down on our knees and sometimes on our hands too. Often said, it is survival of the fittest. Nowadays it is survival of the willing. And, it is not confined to out-of-work actors only.

  3. The author of this article comes off as really bitchy and petty. What should be an article about Thomas opening up about his sexuality and sharing it with the world, is turned into a nasty slam.

    Kind of a shi**y thing to do as far as I’m concerned. The man makes a statement that helps gays find more acceptance and invoke a mind of openess and you use it as a chance to put him down. Let’s insult more people and see how much farther we can set the movement back.

    1. It makes a statement all right. He says that being gay is a choice “up to a point,” which does nothing to help gays find acceptance. It does the opposite by inviting more straight people to ask the questions “what made you decide to be gay?” or “when did you turn gay?” as if to say all homosexuals either make this choice or catch it like a communicable disease. If this was just a story about him opening up about his sexuality and sharing it with the world, I would agree with you. Instead, he romanticizes his stint as a prostitute using the words opportunity and experimentation. He says that after having sex with men for money, he knows what it’s like to be gay and he chose not to be. Openness is important, but so is discretion. He white-washed a background of gay-for-pay and homelessness and tried to make a statement about having the choice of homosexuality. The author of the article merely tried to clear some of the BS from the surface of the story.

      1. That’s not what I got from Jane’s disclosure. To me, he’s openly bi and decided he wanted to stick with women. I was openly gay, got involved in the church and then decided that maybe I was straight afterall. I married and had 2 kids. Four and a half disastrous years later, (for many reasons beyond my sexuality), I divorced.

        Now married with a husband, I’m finally happy. It took a lot of searching and making mistakes to get to where I am now. I’ve slept with as many women as men. Since I have a husband, I obviously made the choice to stick with men. To insinuate sexuality is cut and dry, is a mistake. It most certainly isn’t. If Jane decided to stick with women, so be it. He was honest enough to come clean about his past. He wasn’t obligated to and could have denied accusations had they come forth. Look at John Travolta. I don’t see his disclosure as glamorous by any means. Just “here’s the facts do what you want with them”.

        Lance Bass and many others have said it was the gay community that they were threatened and bullied by. What gives? Let people be them selves and stop the bitching about it.

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