Tag Archives: gay movies

The Discussion Of Racial Gay Self-Hate That Is Never Addressed

DTLA

When I write these Op-Eds, I always attempt to present a topic and viewpoint that either is never talked about or approach a subject in a completely different manner as it related to various issues that I see in the LGBT community, and in particular with gay men. When I divulge my own experiences with this formula it is in hopes that I in some way illustrate why I came to that conclusion. But the topic I’m discussing has so many layers that I may be unable to fully quantify the ramifications of what is attributing to this issue.

So when I write about the infrastructure of the gay community I’m hoping to spark some dialogue because I see so many divisive tactics that we have in the community. From internalized homophobia to latent racism I try to shed some of the motivations behind them and how we as a whole can learn from them. And while this issue is about someone’s own personal issues/problems we as a community may also be part of the cause of why this happens.

Sometimes people will do just about anything to feel as though they belong. Because none of us truly want to be alone. We crave some form of validation from the people that we either admire, feel commonality, or that we aspire to be like. And unfortunately race is still an issue within the gay community, despite those that make asinine claims to the contrary with statements like “I’m gay I can’t be racist”. We know that isn’t true. But we hardly see examinations into how this misbelief as well as others affects other gay ethnic/racial minorities. More specifically, we don’t talk about what negative stereotypes and behaviors this group do to themselves and other gay men of color.

I wanted to discuss this specific topic as a result from, believe it or not, a TV sitcom. It all started as a result of my queuing up a show saved up on DVR. There’s a show by LOGO called DTLA that depicts the lives of 30 somethings of all different backgrounds, races and sexual orientation navigating their lives and loves in Los Angeles. The premise of the show is what I always fantasized being gay would be like for me but it wasn’t. Maybe it’s because I have a tendency to romanticize every possible scenario, as we all do. I’m in the south but to be around that many people that are diverse in opinion and get along is hard sought after here.

Anyway, this led into further discussion of shows like Queer As Folk and Noah’s Arc that feature gay male characters as well as the plots, implications and our own desires about the hot cast members. But as my friends and I were discussing the plot along with the eye candy the dramas provide, a friend randomly asked me if I ever felt that race makes me feel as if I actually had to distance myself from other gay African Americans and other gay ethnic minorities. I was at first shocked, insulted that he believed that I would ever limit the human experience by isolating my interactions from people that share a part of my ancestry.

Then a few seconds later I knew exactly what he was referring to. What he meant by that line of questioning was if I felt I needed to distance myself from other ethnic minorities so that I would feel like I fit in with the majority of the gay community. There’s a belief that this happens as a result of tokenism, or when a select few members of a minority are accepted into a community. The minority’s acceptance is supposedly a sign of good faith that they’re not harboring prejudiced ideology. In fact it doesn’t even matter if the group practices this type of initiation as it’s only necessary for the minority that believes this phenomena to be true.

So gay minorities that believe this phenomena to be true and are consciously agreeing to the terms will go out of their way to make themselves stand out. They will show that their behavior is like that of the other Caucasian men in the gay community and not associate with members of other races, especially their own.  They feel that it is a consequence to this perceived tokenism and  feel that this is more pressure for GOC (gays of color) to assimilate into an ideal of what is acceptable mannerisms and customs commonly associated with gay Caucasian men.

Sounds so outlandish when you think about it but this works in the same way as internalized homophobia. where a gay person will openly condemn homosexual practices and cultures assimilate and show allegiance to a favored group. I wish I could say this is all just theory but I’ve witnessed this behavior and even questioned if I was embarking on it when I first came out. But my philosophy has always been to reach out be inclusive.  I’ve never had that reaction where I felt like I couldn’t date my own race or embracing my various racial background as a gay man.

However I do remember a time when I was at a gay club and asked another African American if he wanted to dance and he was so hot. Great smile and laugh to accompany his very muscular physique. He said no thank you and I was fine with that until he leaned over and said “we can’t have the rest of them thinking we’re hoodrats” I was taken back because we weren’t doing anything other than talking. When I asked what he meant he continued by saying that “whites didn’t like it when too much of us are in one place. Then offered to meet me somewhere later if I gave my number and instead of lecturing him, I simply walked away.

Whenever I think of this tokenism happening I refer to my Race and Racism professor discussing this tokenism phenomena that can occur with our innate need to belong. He talked about how on a subconscious level, African American men that journey outside of their native community may do all that they can to stand out and completely isolate themselves from any members.  No matter how compatible they are in ideology and insight a person may avoid all interactions for fear that they will be associated with any negative stereotypes. he will even go so far as to laugh at racially insensitive jokes or even engage in using them himself all in an effort to belong. All the while these men will always have an internal struggle of who he is and what he believes constantly challenging his position in the community he is trying to adopt.

My story about the guy at the bar illustrates what my professor taught about how this phenomena occurs with gay ethnic minorities. They will not openly get into dialogue with other gay men in clubs and other hangouts for fear they will be grouped as just another minority that exhibits the same undesirable characteristics. They may openly say something like “I don’t do black guys”, much like you would see from a prejudiced Caucasian’s profile on Grindr or other dating apps.  Their need to assimilate and be seen as one of the adoptive community is so strong that they don’t recognize the hatred they’re harboring for a group they belong to and for themselves. This behavior is a clear indication of deficient self-esteem where they may fear association from their race so much that they become prejudiced to it.

Jargon aside, even though this skewed vision that a gay ethnic/racial minority may have is of their own issues and experiences we as a whole community can do more to -prevent this jarring behavior. We can talk about race a bit more. A lot more. Because too often the experiences of what it’s like to be gay and from an ethnic/racial minority is classified as the same experience when that is completely untrue. They are on two different planes of conscious.

Phenomena like this affect all of us because it shows that sometimes we can be our own worst enemies both from members within the community and to ourselves. And that these beliefs, however extreme they are valid come from somewhere. We need to examine that and be willing to give each other a voice so that anyone, no matter the topic, feels like they are being heard and respected. We can all have dialogue because these are things we never talk about.

Let’s Talk Gay Sex With James Franco

james franco

Always one to raise the stakes for the sake of true expression and art, actor James Franco and his new BDSM movie Interior, Leather Bar aims to tell a honest, real portrayal of sex between men in pornography. Here’s more:

There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Interior. Leather Bar., 60-minute film you’ve co-directed, premiering at Sundance. It’s shocking, in a way, for American audiences to see sex, and gay sex, explored bluntly.
JAMES FRANCO: I really liked certain aspects of the old movie Cruising, with Al Pacino. I know there was controversy when it was made. Friedkin, by putting a serial killer in the gay community, he sort of implied that sort of lifestyle led to murder and other horrible scenes. It was at a time the gay rights movement was just getting on its feet. There were a lot of protests. Years later, decades later, it transformed, because none of the leather bars where it was shot exist anymore. It was a portrait of a time now gone, before AIDS. The movie, in later years, was accepted, and they did a special presentation of it at Cannes recently. I was interested in a lot of things with that original movie and didn’t want to remake the movie.

What else prompted you to jump into doing a movie about this community, the gay S&M scene? Travis Mathews’ own movies focus on gay men.
I felt it was really hard to find people engaging with this material in an exciting way. … There was a lot there that was still kind of censored. Not [just] censored by a ratings board, and it has been, but also by economics, that no one is going to make these movies and distribute them in certain places. I wanted to engage in that without holding back, and find a way in. It was a gradual process to find what the way in would be. Along the way I was introduced to Travis and Travis’ work, and very quickly realized that the project would be served by having an equal collaborator, someone who had more experience than me in this sort of material. In some ways, he was my guide.

At least the concept sounds interesting? I don’t know how authentic this movie will be. But we’ll have to wait and see.

MWHAHAHA!!! – The Rise Of The Gay Villain

If, like me, you have a profuse fascination with all things comicbook, movies, or videogame storytelling and have always wanted to see more gay characters in these stories. I mean I can clearly remember how I loved the not so subtle hints from Final Fantasy’s Kuja and how his elusive sexuality was an accent of his persona rather than the contributing reason of his villainous ways. But seeing a well developed gay characters like that are rare in general and even more so as a villain.

But are we beginning to see more diverse characters in our geek world? well we may be seeing changes in that department. With characters like Dexter and Skyfall show rich development as their sexuality is just that. We have to reiterate that often because when we look back as an examination into how gay villains were once perceived it was quite different:

“In the early days of LGBT characters on screen, it was often the case that a character’s sexual orientation or gender identity was directly tied to their villainous nature as things like lecherous prison guards, blackmailers, or even psychotic killers. Though that’s almost never the case now, it’s still something writers and directors should be conscious of. What this also highlights, however, is that there are still too few LGBT protagonists and leads in popular media, particularly in genre film and television. Where is the gay equivalent to James Bond?”

No there is still no character that has been made a true lead, either protagonist or antagonist that can be compared to the level of Bond. But characters like Fring from Sons Of Anarchy are seen as progress. And it can be argued that immaculately written character Omar from HBO’s The Wire is a sign of changing times:

As played by Michael K. Williams, Omar holds up drug dealers for a living, sometimes with a pretty younger man by his side. Like Sirko and perhaps Fring, he longs to avenge a lover’s death, which makes him more sympathetic than the usual bad guy motivated by greed.

Omar’s homosexuality, in other words, brings out the best in him. And it does nothing to make him less of a man. Even as his enemies denounce him as a “cocksucker,” they fear him as much as they fear anyone.

Is this enough? Of course not. We need to be cognizant of how LGBT characters are portrayed even more than ever as we are at  the precipice of change, It’s necessary to question today because of past misconceptions of gay being weaker or less than in the past just as racial and ethnic minorities must do as well.  We want to see representation everywhere.

Zac Efron Talks Gay Rights, Potential Gay Movie Roles, And Addresses His Gay Fans!

Rather than bore you with my own additional commentary on the matter, here are some sound bites from Zac’s first interview with The Advocate where he addresses his popularity among gay fans, marriage equality, and more. Enjoy!

When did gay fans first come to your attention?
I really felt that support after High School Musical. I think the gay audience related to my character Troy, because it really was a story of embracing who you are, no matter how different you might be, and not being afraid to show it. That’s a universal theme for everyone, but it specifically resonated with the gay community, and I felt very proud of that.

In a 2008 Details profile, the writer brought up the subject of gay rumors, particularly as they related to blogger Perez Hilton’s online speculation about you. You replied, “Honestly, if the worst he can say about me is that I’m gay, then I think I’ll be fine. I can handle it.” That was a pretty cool and classy response.
Thank you. I don’t like to live in fear about things like rumors and backlash to begin with — that’s the way I was raised — but I just can’t see what’s so wrong about being gay.

The Paperboy also marks McConaughey’s first gay role. Are you interested in tackling a gay character?
I’d never take a role just for the sake of playing gay, but I’m always looking for a role that’s challenging, different, and entails some risk, so there’s no doubt in my mind that one of those characters will be gay at some point in the future. It’s always interesting to delve into unexplored territory, and that would be a new avenue for me. I definitely wouldn’t be afraid.

 

So what are your thoughts on marriage equality — and dudes marrying dudes?
It’s an issue that affects so many people in my life — a lot of my close friends and some of the most influential people around me. I just want them all to be happy. It would make me so happy to see them able to live their lives and do what they want to do.

Sounds like a great advocate. Thanks for the support Zac! Again, check out the full interview in The Advocate!

Bollywood Gay Themed Film "Dunno Y… Na Jaane Kyun" Faces Censors as Family of Actor Yuvraaj Parasher Disowns Him – Watch The Teaser Trailer For ""Dunno Y… Na Jaane Kyun" (Video)

Indian authorities are deciding weather or not to censor “Dunno Y… Na Jaane Kyun”, an Indian gay romance movie directed by Sanjay Sharma and compared by critics to Brokeback Mountain,  because of two gay kisses and a gay sex scene between stars Kapil Sharma and Yuvraaj Parasher.

“Why should the censors be scandalised if two men are kissing and making love? Said Sanjay Sharma.  “The ones in my film are very aesthetic. And so what if it’s two men making love? Love is love regardless of gender.”

Bollywood has rarely mentioned homosexuality in the past and even heterosexual kisses are still unusual.  But since the Indian capital Delhi legalised homosexuality last year, homosexuality is very slowly becoming more accepted in culture.

One of “Dunno Y… Na Jaane Kyun”‘s stars, Yuvraaj Parasher has been disowned by his family and thrown of of the family home in Agra because of his role in the film. His father Satish Parasher told the newspaper:

“I feel what he has done is against the culture and tradition of our country and it challenges the purity of the relationship between a man and a woman. He kept us in the dark right from when he signed the film and told us that he is acting with a girl. When we heard about the poster and the things he has done in the film, we were shocked, hurt and humiliated. People will make fun of us and we won’t be able to live peacefully ever again.” and added.   All the dreams and hopes we had built around him are over. For just a film role, he has lost out on his blood ties. We don’t want to see his face ever… not even when we are dying.” The family claim that no woman will consider marrying him after playing a gay man on-screen.

A recent film, Dostana, showed two men pretending to be gay in order to win over a female love interest, but Dunno Y . . . Na Jaane Kyun is the first big release to tackle the issue of homosexuality seriously.  And is having a serious impact within the Bollywood film industry.

Back2Stonewall’s Saturday Night Short Movie – Will & Right: Religion, Politics and Gay Marriage (2008)

On February 24th, 2004 President George W. Bush announced his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Three days later in response to the President’s words and inspired by events in Massachusetts, Village of New Paltz Mayor, Jason West, began solemnizing same-sex marriages in Upstate NY. Will & Right takes a deeper look into those fighting for equality and the effects it has on individuals, family values and the nation

Back2Stonewall’s Friday Night Movie: "EQUALITY U" (2008) – LGBT Documentary

EQUALITY U is a feature-length documentary following 34 young activists on the Soulforce Equality Ride. At some stops they’re welcomed with open arms, at others they’re arrested for trespassing or for simply attempting to open up a dialog. At every stop though, they’re connecting with young people who’ve often never met an openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person who is comfortable with who they are

Watch more free documentaries

What’s "Too Gay" Today? – Neil Patrick Harris, Steven Slater and Barry Manilow TOGETHER!, Zac Efron’s All Male Revue?, Kevin Richberg’s 30 dates In 30 Days, Mad Men Goes Sappho, and Focus on the Family Calls "Scott Pilgim Saves The World" Sexually Perverse!

* Neil Patrick Harris may want the Press to “respect” his and boyfriend David Burtka’s privacy now that they ahve twins on the way but Neil seems to have no problem keeping talking to the press…..every day.  And now OMG he might be giving up acting to be a stay-at-home Dad?  GASP!

* Okay now this REALLY  IS “Too Gay“. Steven Slater, the now famous (for at least 7 more minutes), Jet Blue Sky Queen attended Barry Manilow’s “Symphony” concert with the New York Pops at Caesars Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City where Slater got the VIP treatment — meeting Manilow backstage for a photo op. Slater is a “faniloe” of Manilow. (UGH….6 Minutes and counting…..)

*  Was this my Zachie?  A item listed at Blind Gossip states that “This tween heartthrob actor enjoys being in the limelight, but in order to stay there, he has been advised to “man up” his image. To this end, he made an appearance at a New York club, and it was reported in all the papers. Another adventure that went unreported, however, was his trip to a New York male strip club with a couple of other guys. One of the guys is his frequent co-star. The other is the heartthrob’s boyfriend, also an actor. The trio spent more money there than they did at the other club. In fact, they enjoyed themselves so much that they stayed past closing time”   Hmmmmmmmm?  Well Zac Efron and  HSM co-star Corbin Bleu made did make  rounds to the NYC strip clubs a few weeks back.  Could this be them?

*  30 Dates in 30 Days?  MIT Grad, Kevin Richberg, 32, is on a 30-day 30-city tour to find 30 dates and, hopefully, his soul mate.  In the 70’s and early 80’s we’d call that a month full “tricking“.

*After AMC’s “Mad Men” horribly handeled, bumbled, and fumbled the “Big Gay Sal” storyline which resulted in them writing the character off show because they didn’t know what to do.  This weekend “Mad Men” gave a nod to the Isle of Sappho when Peggy Olson meets a lesbian in the elevator, and takes a wild ride into a stoner loft party another universe outside the straight-laced hierarchy she works in, and finds that ahe may be more comfortable there.  (Not being a lesbian…..persea) or maybe she’s just found a cool bohemian lesbian friend.  Either way it was a great scene and Mad Men proves that in the mid-60’s and “thatt the times they are a changing.”

*  Focus on the Family is now doing movie reviews oon the Christian Broardcastinbg Network.  This week they spread the word that “Scott Pilgim saves The World” is sexually perverse and that Julia Roberts is the Anti-Christ in “Eat, Pray, Love.”  It;s a scray, funny watch.  But good to get the skinny on what movie theatres won;t be full of bible-thumping idiots to annoy you..

Bruce LaBruce’s Gay Zombie Flick "L.A. Zombie" Pulled From Melbourne International Film Festival (Video)

Filmmaker, writer, photographer, and underground gay porn Bruce LaBruce’s latest film L.A. Zombie has been pulled from the line-up of Australia’s biggest film festival after being rejected by censors.  “L.A. Zombie”, which also features gay sex and full-frontal male nudity, is the first film in seven years to be banned from screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival, which starts on July 22.

“L.A. Zombie” describe3d as a “video art zombie film”, stars French porn actor Francois Sagat (pictured left) as a man convinced he is an alien zombie sent to Earth to roam the streets of Los Angeles in search of dead bodies and gay sex.

Documentary "Stonewall Uprising" To Hit The Festival Circut This Spring/Summer (Trailer)

This is a movie that ALL must see to remember what its like to stand up and say enough is enough!

“It was the Rosa Parks moment,” says one man. June 28, 1969: NYC police raid a Greenwich Village Mafia-run gay bar, The Stonewall Inn. For the first time, patrons refuse to be led into paddy wagons, setting off a 3-day riot that launches the Gay Rights Movement. Told by Stonewall patrons, Village Voice reporters and the cop who led the raid, Stonewall Uprising compellingly recalls the bad old days when psychoanalysts equated homosexuality with mental illness and advised aversion therapy, and even lobotomies; public service announcements warned youngsters against predatory homosexuals; and police entrapment was rampant. A treasure-trove of archival footage gives life to this all-too-recent reality, a time when Mike Wallace announced on a 1966 CBS Reports: “The average homosexual, if there be such, is promiscuous. He is not interested in, nor capable of, a lasting relationship like that of a heterosexual marriage.” At the height of this oppression, the cops raid Stonewall, triggering nights of pandemonium with tear gas, billy clubs and a small army of tactical police. The rest is history.

You can see the playdates and venues by CLICKING HERE.