Bad Gay Romance

Gay High School Couple Will Attend Prom; Nancy Reagan and Gays; Downton Abbey Gay Romance Fail

Gay High School Couple Will Attend Prom

This time a potential life ruining moment was adverted thanks to a local TV news team.

A gay high school couple from Livingston Parish, La., who were initially forbidden to attend their prom, were allowed to show up at the event together Saturday, after Baton Rouge TV station WBRZ intervened.

The station called the district superintendent looking for answers after being contacted by the mother of one of the gay teens who was told he couldn’t bring a same-sex date.

The rest is here. There’s also a photo of the guys.

I remember what it was like around prom time, and THAT wasn’t fun. Up until recently no one took a same sex date to the prom. It wasn’t even on the radar. So we either faked it and took a girl, or we didn’t bother to go. I took this girl named Sue, a nice girl, but it was one of the most awkward nights of my life.

Nancy Reagan and Gays

I’ve read a lot of Nancy Reagan bios and what I read in this commentary supports everything else I’ve read. I think it’s an honest account of how Nancy Reagan related to the gay men of her time that she knew, and how the majority of gay men of her time that she didn’t know weren’t even considered relevant. In other words, the gay men who didn’t design rooms, or gowns, or hair, who were working as attorneys, doctors, and various other professions that aren’t associated with the gay stereotypes. And that’s because those gay men couldn’t afford to admit they were gay. The word gay didn’t even exist until the 1970s.

And I’m not slamming any of those gay men who were the stereotypes, because they did what they had to do to survive during that time, too. I just think it’s interesting to note that Nancy Reagan was always surrounded by the gay men who made her life and her image a lot better than it would have been if they hadn’t been around.

Nancy’s role model and idol was Betsy Bloomingdale. Nancy began using Betsy’s hairdressers, and most importantly her gay fashion designer Jimmy Galanosl the first big member of Team Nancy. Betsy was also in with the gays and soon, Nancy was being seen around town on the arm of Jerry Zipkin, the man most trusted with the wives of the rich and powerful. She was fiercely anti-communist, and so it followed that she took up with Roy Cohn as well.

If you don’t know anything about Nancy Reagan, you can read more about her here. I don’t think it’s a negative piece and I’m not slamming Reagan. I’m only showing what it was like during those times for gay men and for Reagan. I also find these bio pieces fascinating, and as I said earlier this one supports almost everything else I’ve read about Nancy Reagan. And she really wasn’t the monster the gay press paints her to be. She was just a good example of the times in which she lived.

Downton Abbey Gay Romance Fail

I use the word “gay” in this context for clarity. The word gay wasn’t around until much later. 

A few months ago I posted something about the gay character in Downton Abbey, Thomas Barrow. I think he’s probably one of the gay characters I’ve liked most in anything on TV, and I thought there was such promise for his character. At the time I posted about Barrow I was curious to see how they would tie up his story line with all the rest. Unfortunately, I got what I thought I would get. Nothing of any substance. And his story line was nothing more than one dismal event after another.

From a pure romance POV, I liked Downton Abbey, and I followed it through every single season. When I saw them using a gay character and gay story line, I liked it even more…because there’s so little about gay people back then. Thomas Barrow broke the stereotypes and I have no doubt there were many gay men just like him living during that time period. There was so much promise.

In any event, last night was the series finale of Downton Abbey and all the straight people lived happily-ever-after. Even the older straight characters got married and lived happily-ever-after. The footman became a school teacher. The old guy and his wife had a baby. So much of it was unbelievable. One was even cured of some kind of deadly disease. But Thomas Barrow, the gay guy, got a new job and went back to his pitiful life. That’s it. Not even a hint that he was getting gay action somewhere behind the scenes.

Now if this had been a realistic finale I would have understood. However, if they could cure the older guy of his deadly disease, and they could let him get married and live happily-ever-after, why the hell couldn’t they at least have given Thomas Barrow a hint of promise for future romance with a man. It could have been done, and it could have fit in with the rest of the ending.

And for me, it was a huge fail as far as gay romance goes. Huge. And I have to wonder about the original intention and why they used the gay story line in the first place.

This is also a good example of why I decided to parody some really well known romance story lines with gay characters and a lot of eroticism in several of my books. Books like Pretty Man and An Officer and His Gentleman. No one else ever did it, an they’re still not doing it, so I decided to do it myself.

Here’s one example of what I did with Pretty Man…it’s available in print, too, and I have absolutely no idea why those books are selling for so much money. The e-book is a lot less expensive.

Pretty Man
by Ryan Field