liberace

Gay As Blackface in Liberace?

I read an article very late last night that gets into gay as the new blackface and the HBO film Liberace. Before I get into it, I’ve already posted my thoughts on the HBO film Liberace and I even posted about the use of yellowface in the film Cloud Atlas.

I would also like to state that some of the gay men I know seemed to like the way Liberace was handled, and they said they liked the way Matt Damon and Michael Douglas portrayed gay men. Others were insulted and found it patronizing. I still stand by all of my comments I’ve linked to above. I’m not one of those who write blog posts and then take them down to hide something.

The article I’m talking about can be read here. I’m going to take a few small pieces and comment now.

This is what the article said in the beginning:

“Behind the Candelabra” was troubling from the start. First came the wearisome sight of Michael Douglas congratulating his heterosexual costar Matt Damon for having the “courage” to play a gay role.

Although I do admit that I thought both Douglas and Damon did excellent jobs portraying Liberace and his young dysfunctional lover, I also mentioned how annoyed I was with the promotional events I saw both online and on television. I wasn’t annoyed about the “courage” remark because I actually do think it takes courage for a straight actor to play a gay part, and for a gay actor to play a gay part. This is what I said in a previous post:

No, no, my dear. We just had this thing online called the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia because this does actually exist and it’s not cliche. The homophobia is still there, and this is the reason why so many gay actors do NOT come out of the closet. It’s why so many young straight actors hesitate to play roles.

However, one of the offensive post filming promotional pieces I read was where ultra liberal Ben Affleck actually joked that he was jealous of the kissing between Damon and Douglas. For those who don’t know, Damon and Affleck were rumored to be gay, and lovers, which was completely false. But Affleck seemed to find it amusing to joke around with his good old dude-bud about being gay for him. There were other issues with the way the film was handled during the promotion that I found as offensive, and I’m glad someone else agreed with me. I also focused on review train wrecks for the film that were often more insulting (link above).

The article says this:

“Behind the Candelabra” and its reception open up an entire can of worms about the whole notion of straight-created, gay-themed entertainment. Why aren’t we looking upon Douglas’ and Damon’s performances with the same queasiness we now regard the blackface performances of Laurence Olivier in “Othello” or Al Jolson in “The Jazz Singer”? (Like Douglas and Damon, Olivier and Jolson didn’t set out to mock an entire category of people – but they ended up there anyway.)

He has a point, and a very valid point. It’s hard to dispute this from the most basic politically correct POV. And I can’t help but ask why aren’t we (gay people) getting the same kind of respect? Trust me, there are days now when I find myself being insulted, as a gay man, several times in any one given day just on social media alone. And the sad fact is most people don’t even realize they are doing it.

The article goes into more depth about gay cultural consumers where the author mentions the fact that there are, indeed, more openly gay actors than ever before. He also gets into the hetero-normative aspects of how gay stories like Liberace are told from the hetero POV. And we as the public wind up comparing Liberace and Thorson to gay couples of today with marriage and equality, when their relationship was nothing like most gay couples of today.

And then there is the old argument that if straight actors can’t play gay roles because it’s politically incorrect than gay actors can’t play straight roles for the same reason.

At the same time, surely I can’t be the only gay viewer who has felt as if some of the most highly lauded performances of recent years — Christopher Plummer as the just-out-the-closet 80-something in “Beginners”; Sean Penn as the slain gay activist Harvey Milk in “Milk”; Colin Firth as a closeted professor grieving for his lover in “A Single Man” – were impressive, yet fundamentally hollow acts of mimicry. These actors capture the looks, sounds and movements of their gay characters, but barely seem to scratch the surface of the depths of anguish, self-hatred and fear these men must have known in their lifetimes.

He’s not the only one. I’ve felt this way, too. And not as deeply as other gay men I know. I tend to be more forgiving, but that’s because I focus in on the specifics in detail, like the way Michael Douglas and Matt Damon portrayed their characters in Liberace. And to be perfectly honest, there were (and still are) gay men like them in real life, not just in Hollywood or Vegas. But for me the big question is always why don’t we see more gay stories that represent other aspects of gay life…like the gay republican living in a small town with his husband? Or the gay corporate executive who lives in middle America with  his husband?  In other words, we only get to see what they want us to see, and it winds up becoming a massively broad misrepresentation of the entire gay community…and what usually winds up being a sideshow at the circus.

There are so many excellent, smart quotes in this article I’m not linking anymore. I highly suggest you read it in full to get the impact of what the author is trying to say. I don’t say this often enough, but this time I think someone finally got it right. But more than that, someone, blessedly, addressed this issue and now we can all talk about it openly. I will continue to link to this article in the future, because I know that sooner or later I’m going to be insulted again by Hollywood…or publishing. And now I have back up that actually makes sense.

The only thing I would like to add is that I wouldn’t have been as harsh on the film Liberace, but for me it was more about the way the film was handled in reviews and in promotional pieces. And for those of you who are wondering what I’m talking about, I’ll make it simple. The next time you want to discuss or say something about gay people think about people of other minorities and wonder if you’d say the same thing, or make the same joke. The odds are you probably wouldn’t. And I don’t think that’s too much to ask for. And remember, when it comes to gay content, even though it’s still a fight to the finish, the gay guy or woman always gets the final word. I think that’s what I want engraved on my headstone when I’m gone.

photo attribution

My Problem with Behind the Candelabra Is With the Reviews

My Problem with Behind the Candelabra is with the reviews I’ve read, not the film…and that’s why I waited a few days to write this post. After I watched it on HBO on Sunday night I wanted to think about it for a while and see how it related to my own experiences as a gay man. I also wanted to see how others reacted to it in reviews and comment threads. What I found is interesting.

First, I thought Behind the Candelabra was well executed from a gay historical POV, and because it focused on what happened between Liberace and Scott Thorson according to the memoir Thorson wrote. In other words, if a memoir about this time period in Liberace’s life had been written by Liberace I’m certain we would have had a completely different POV and film. But the fact remains this film came from Thorson’s POV.

I also thought Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, and everyone else in the cast did excellent jobs. The sets were accurate, the time period was depicted well, and the costumes were amazing. I think they even handled certain issues with accuracy, especially when they mentioned near the end of the film that if Thorson had been able to legally marry Liberace he would have walked away with a much higher settlement than he did. Because he wasn’t allowed to legally marry Liberace he got basically nothing…which is not the case with straight couples like this when they divorce. Just look at the divorces Johnny Carson went through. Same time period; similar situations. Only Scott Thorson wound up with pennies compared to what Carson’s ex-wives walked away with. The fact that this was mentioned in the film was important, but in a small way only gay people would detect. Gay divorce happens; many gay men (and women) get screwed over because they don’t have the same legal protection straight couples have. But that’s another post.

In the film, it’s also mentioned how Liberace wanted to adopt Thorson. That was NOT unusual during that time period. That was a great loophole many gay couples used back then to protect each other. I know two older couples who actually did this in the 1980’s after both couples were put in medical situations where they didn’t have control…or even visitation rights. So the only recourse, at the time, was for one to adopt the other. I don’t think that’s legal anymore…but I could be wrong. However, it did happen and in the gay community there was nothing unusual about it.

To sum things up with out rambling on, I found Behind the Candelabra to be one of the better films depicting gay men of that time period. The only flaw I found with respect to the film was when I started to read the reviews, and how some of these unlikely reviewers received a film about gay men who lived during that time period. And not one single reviewer mentioned either of the two things I just mentioned above.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

 It seems cliché to call Michael Douglas and Matt Damon brave for playing Liberace and his one-time lover, Scott Thorson, in “Behind the Candelabra,” airing at 9 tonight on HBO.

Cliché, and perhaps homophobic, given the implication that playing gay represents a huge risk for straight actors. Playing a gay man isn’t brave. It’s acting.

No, no, my dear. We just had this thing online called the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia because this does actually exist and it’s not cliche. The homophobia is still there, and this is the reason why so many gay actors do NOT come out of the closet. It’s why so many young straight actors hesitate to play roles. So don’t be so naive, and don’t naturally assume that the you’re living in a world of hope, love, and change and that little birds are flying over the heads of all gay people in the US. And if you don’t believe me, check out this post I wrote recently about reactions to Matt Bomer playing straight in Fifty Shades of Grey. The comments I’m talking about were left by people on social media. I still face this kind of discrimination/homophobia all the time as a gay writer in the publishing industry.

Playing gay is still BRAVE…especially for those real gay actors who have not come out of the closet yet. Of course it’s acting, but it’s still acting with risk. And it took two seasoned actors like Douglas and Damon to actually pull it off in Behind the Candelabra…and to actually be secure enough with themselves to do it.

This same review continues to devolve:

Damon subtly shows how Scott talks himself into an attraction. Liberace is so welcoming – and Douglas so ingratiating and reasonable-sounding as his character urges a young man he just met to move in – that Scott almost forgets seeing Liberace’s last boy toy escorted out as Scott arrived.

Once again, my dear, you’re wrong. And that’s because you don’t know how these things work in real life. This is about a very young man with very limited means who sees someone who can change his life. It’s about a very young man with a confused background who has no money who sees someone who can give him things no one else could possibly ever give him…or that he could ever get on his own. I’ve seen this myself in my own circles many, many times. A sixty year old attorney takes in a twenty year old shop clerk, or a sixty year old trust fund baby takes in a twenty year old mechanic. Remember Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil? Thorson was not moving in with Liberace to live happily ever after.

And I can tell you one thing for certain: you do see hot eighteen year old gay men with sixty year olds who have money, but you NEVER see hot eighteen year old gay men with sixty year olds who are poor. Liberace was not trying ingratiate Thorson by sounding reasonable. Liberace was showing Thorson how he could change his life with his power and his money. Plain and simple. And I think both Douglas and Damon handled this very well, right down to the scene where Liberace takes off his hair.

This next review written by Gail Shister misses a few fundamental points about the reality of gay life in the time period in which Liberace lived. She’s local to me and her columns have been annoying me for many years…since the days she wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The sad irony is that Wladziu Valentino Liberace—”Lee” to his friends—fought to the very end to present a heterosexual public persona. (As if.) He claimed it was for the sake of his audience, comprised mostly of older straight females.

Nope, Gail. The sad irony is that you *assume* Liberace didn’t want to come out of the closet. The reality is that he couldn’t come out because if he had he wouldn’t have had a career at all no matter how talented he was. It isn’t that he wouldnt’ come out. He couldn’t come out. There’s a difference. We’re talking about the days before gay was even used in reference to homosexuality. Interestingly enough, Gail Shister is clearly old enough to know this and yet still chooses to ignore it.

This review also devolves into more nonsense.

Now here’s a real gem of a comment in another review for Behind the Candelabra, written by someone named Chris Baggiano.

Their relationship, again, felt more initiation than actuality, never seeming as natural as a relationship that close should feel – never reaching the heights of James Franco and Sean Penn in Milk. Because the chemistry wasn’t quite right, the relationship between Liberace and Scott was called into question. Instead of Liberace having a magnetic, almost sooth-saying, quality to his personality, the viewer had to figure out why Scott was so madly in love with him in the first place. And with Soderbergh not shining the spotlight too heavily on one particular aspect of Scott or their relationship in the movie, it shows that Soderbergh was very reliant on the chemistry between Scott and Liberace.

Are you joking? Seriously. You can’t compare this to James Franco and Sean Penn in Milk because the two are completely different relationships. I didn’t have to figure out why Thorson was with Liberace. It had nothing to do with a magnetic “sooth-saying” quality. The lack of chemistry between Liberace and Thorson, which is something I’ve also read in other reviews, doesn’t really make sense at all. Because there isn’t supposed to be a strong romantic chemistry between two people who are in a relationship like this. And the chemistry they did have in the film seemed perfectly normal to me. Again, I’ve seen these relationships before in real life and the way Liberace and Thorson were depicted was absolutely on target.

I could give more examples of how reviewers missed the point of Behind the Candelabra because they simply don’t know how these types of relationships work, but this post would wind up way too long. What Soderbergh did with this film was allow viewers in the mainstream to actually see how a segment of gay life really was during that time period. And, to some extent, what it’s like today. There are some gay men and women who are victims of their circumstances. And both Liberace and Thorson were victims of their individual circumstances. They needed each other for different reasons in order to survive. I do think there was some emotional connection between them, but not the same kind of emotional connection you would find in Milk.

There are a lot of people in the mainstream commenting on Behind the Candelabra who should tread with care, because they don’t seem to know all that much about gay culture or how some gay people live. This is why I tread with care when it comes to writing book reviews on historicals. I don’t know enough about them to comment on them. You can’t put all gay people into a box and expect them all to be the characters on Glee or Modern Family. We are very diverse. And just like older straight men who wind up with much younger straight women, the same thing happens in the gay community. Only the younger gay men can’t marry the older gay men and get settlements or an inheritance.

Soderbergh and everyone else associated with Behind the Candelabra did a great job by turning this story of Liberace’s complicated relationship with Scott Thorson into something I have no doubts actually happened in real life. There wasn’t one single scene I could NOT imagine happening. I’ve seen it all a before, up close and in person. And the way this film has been reviewed so poorly by people like those I’ve linked to above is really the only thing I can find wrong with it.

Men Wearing Nail Polish; Behind the Candelabra; FREE Excerpt Cowboy Bad Boy

For the past few weeks the topic of men wearing nail polish has been following me around for some reason and I decided to look for some viable links and post about it.

I’m not sure this would be considered gender bending. From what I gather the men who wear men’s nail polish are straight, have no inclination to be cross dressers or transgenders, and it’s nothing more than a fashion statement from them.

A few years ago, Josh Espley, a former marketing exec for a sex toy company called Fleshlight, noticed that his kickboxing friends were wearing polish to cover their banged-up nails. The practice was becoming popular, he noted, with the mixed martial arts crowd: Former Ultimate Fighting Championship star Chuck Liddell famously sported dainty pink fingernail polish in fights. Espley occasionally reads Us Weekly—to help him chat up women, he says—and saw polish on male celebrities such as Zac Efron, Jared Leto, Dave Navarro, and Johnny Depp. So in 2009, as a way to supplement his income, he created Blakk Cosmetics. Its first product was Alpha Nail paint, which the company sold in $12 pens in colors like “cocaine” (creamy white), “burnin’ rubber” (dark navy), and “gasoline” (charcoal gray).

I’ve seen the trend first hand. I have a few straight friends with teenage sons who are basically your typical high school jocks and they’re painting their toenails in multi-colors. And frankly I’m thrilled to see this. I have to admit I’m usually very conservative with colors, in fashion and in design. My house is about twenty shades of taupe. My clothes run from black to white, with shades of gray in between. But I’ve often wondered why men in our society are so regulated to the same business suit they’ve been wearing for over a century now. It changes in little ways. But it’s still the same old business suit. Maybe this nail polish trend will kick off a few more interesting ideas for men’s fashion, because it’s pretty damn dull as it stands right now.

What I also find interesting is that I wrote a few blog posts a few years ago about men painting their toenails. No need to pat me on the back 🙂  I even wrote a short story about it in a Christmas anthology titled, “Tipsy Pink,” way before this became a new trend. It will be interesting to see if this catches on with the mainstream. So far, it’s an isolated trend from what I can see.

 Behind the Candelabra

The new HBO film about the life of musician Liberace is airing this Sunday, and I wanted to post about it one more time in case someone missed it. I did post about it here.

And it has bravura performances from film stars Matt Damon as a hunky, often bewildered Thorson and Michael Douglas as Liberace himself, letting his middle-aged paunch show in an explicit depiction of a sex and drug-laced relationship that puts a new, jarring vision of the easy listening pop culture icon onscreen.

I’ll be watching for several reasons. One, I remember Liberace as a kid and always wondered about him…he lived a basically closeted life in public in spite of his flamboyance. Two, I want to see how they handle the topic. I wasn’t too thrilled in the previous post I wrote…link above.

It’s interesting. So they couldn’t find one single gay actor to play the part of Liberace’s lover? I know. I’m supposed to be open about that and all actors should play be able to play any role regardless of their sexual orientation. It’s just that I don’t see anyone breaking any doors down to offer Jeffery Self…or other openly gay actors…any lead roles in feature films. That idiot Brett Easton Ellis didn’t think Matt Bomer could play Christian in 50 Shades.
I hate to harp on something. And I love Matt Damon. I really do. But I recently posted about Matt Bomer playing the lead the Fifty Shades film adaptation and how people thought he was too gay to play Christian. Evidently, no one thinks Michael Douglas or Matt Damon are TOO STRAIGHT to play these gay roles in Behind the Candelabra.

I’ll be posting about this again early next week. The problem is no one does talk about these things, and Hollywood gets a away with things no one else can get away with.

Free Excerpt from Cowboy Bad Boy

The title of my upcoming novel in the Bad Boy Billionaire series is “A Cowboy in Love.” I pulled out a lot of emotion with this book, and I set it in Texas on a ranch just outside Dallas. I wanted a main character this time who was grieving for his husband, and I wanted to show the stages of grief he goes through, which includes meeting someone new and starting all over again. In this particular scene below, the main character goes horseback riding with someone his sister is trying to fix him up with…someone he doesn’t want to be fixed up with. It also shows how Bailey can be a little mean sometimes.

This is the unedited version.

Bailey patted Cyclone’s neck and smiled. “He has a little more energy than most horses, but he’s perfectly harmless. Would you like to ride him?” He figured Devlin would try to climb into the saddle and Cyclone would start jumping around the way he usually did. He also figured when Devlin realized how unpredictable Cyclone could be, he would climb down before they started and he would ask to ride the other horse. Bailey wasn’t sure he could ever break Cyclone, but he had a feeling he could break Devlin.

            But that’s not what happened. The instant Devlin slipped his olive green shoe into the stirrup and threw his long leg over the saddle, Cyclone started jumping around and Devlin pulled the reins and said, “Knock it off.” Then he glanced down at Bailey and asked, “What are you waiting for, an invitation to the prom?”
            So Bailey climbed up on the other horse and didn’t say a word. When they were ready to leave, Bailey’s head jerked sideways and his eyes popped open as Cyclone went up on his two hind legs, screamed, and took off in a fast gallop. Bailey followed Devlin and Cyclone with the same wide eyes, amazed at the way Devlin knew how to control the unpredictable horse. Devlin showed no signs of fear; he didn’t complain or glance back once. He continued at the same incredible pace toward the back pasture, and Bailey had trouble keeping up with him. Though Bailey knew how to control Cyclone, no one other than Christopher had been brave enough to ride him for any length of time.

            It was amazing to watch in the distance. Cyclone jumped over fences, rocks, and even a tree that had come down in the last storm. Devlin held him steady and never wavered. By the time they reached the farthest stretch of the ranch, near the creek where Bailey had embarrassed himself with Garrett, Devlin slowed down and came to complete halt. He glanced back at Bailey in the distance and said, “If you’re having trouble keeping up with me, I can go slower for you.”

            Cyclone didn’t stop jerking and fidgeting once, even though they stopped. This didn’t seem to bother Devlin. He remained in the saddle and moved with each jerk and move as if he’d anticipated them. But more than that, he showed no sign of fear whatsoever. His voice didn’t even go up when Cyclone went all the way up on his hind legs and spun around.

            When Bailey caught up with them, he asked, “Are you sure Cyclone’s not too rough for you? Maybe this was a mistake. I should probably be riding him. I’m used to his quirks.” He started to feel a little guilty about setting Devlin up this way. The guy wore bad shoes, but Bailey didn’t want to see him get hurt.

            Cyclone went up on his back legs again and he made that loud bray sound. Devlin remained steady and said, “It’s cool. I like a horse with a little life in him.”

            Bailey shrugged. “Maybe we should rest here a little.” He pointed to the trees. “There’s a creek over there.”

            Devlin hopped out of the saddle without waiting for Bailey. He patted Cyclone’s head, looked into his eyes, and said, “You’re not so bad.” Then he smiled at Bailey and said, “Would you like any help getting down.”

            Bailey frowned and said, “No thank you. I can manage.” Then he hopped off his horse and guided him to a tree.

            While they tied the horses to separate trees, Bailey noticed how casual and restrained Devlin behaved with Cyclone. When Cyclone tried to jerk away and pull back, Devlin looked into his eyes and spoke with a clear even tone. And he spoke as if he were speaking to a human being who could actually understand him. “Whoa, boy. You’re not the one in charge. I’m in charge.”

            Bailey flung him a look and said, “I have to admit that for a guy who rides in Chatsworth you sure do know what you’re doing.” He’d said Chatsworth as if it had left a bad taste in his mouth.

            Devlin shrugged and said, “I live in LA, cowboy. But I grew up on a ranch in Montana.” He patted Cyclone’s neck again and laughed. “Hell, I’ve ridden stronger horses than this one bareback.”

            His smug attitude made Bailey’s skin crawl. He’d been so worried about him getting hurt it hadn’t occurred to him Devlin might actually know what he was doing. Bailey felt a little foolish, and he didn’t like feeling that way. He preferred to be the one in control. So he decided to turn things around and test him in another way. Only this time he was certain about whether or not he wouldn’t wind up embarrassed or vindicated.

            “I think I’m going for a swim in the creek,” Bailey said.

            “In the creek?” Devlin made a face.

            “Sure. It’s great.”

            “But there’s a fantastic swimming pool back at the house,” Devlin said.

            “If you’re not interested, I’ll go alone,” Bailey said. “I hope you don’t mind that I swim in the nude.” He turned and headed to the creek, leaving Devlin standing next to the horses with a confused expression.

Matt Damon’s Gay Sex Scenes in "Liberace"; Bill Clinton Calls DOMA Discriminatory

There’s a film coming out about the life and times of “Liberace,” Matt Damon and Michael Douglas are going to star in it, and there are a few gay sex scenes.

I’ve posted about how one of the biggest taboos in Hollywood has always been related to anything gay, and recently interviewed a young gay actor, Jeffery Self, about his new novel that talks about closeted gay actors. But they never seem to shy away from putting straight actors like Matt Damon in lead gay roles with gay sex scenes. And we never stop listening to the pithy little interviews these straight actors give afterward about doing the gay sex scenes.

It’s interesting. So they couldn’t find one single gay actor to play the part of Liberace’s lover? I know. I’m supposed to be open about that and all actors should play be able to play any role regardless of their sexual orientation. It’s just that I don’t see anyone breaking any doors down to offer Jeffery Self…or other openly gay actors…any lead roles in feature films. That idiot Brett Easton Ellis didn’t think Matt Bomer could play Christian in 50 Shades.

That’s all I’m going to comment on this one. I’m sure Matt Damon did a good job and I’m sure the film’s going to be more than interesting. I’ve always been a fan of both Damon and Douglas. And, at best, I like when “they” throw us a bone and do a film like this. We don’t get much and Liberace was one of the most notorious closeted gays in the entertainment business. But this is also one of the reasons why I’d like to see an actor like Matt Bomer play Christian Grey in the upcoming 50 Shades film.

In any event, this is what Damon had to say about playing gay:

Damon explained that the numerous gay sex scenes were not exactly comforting for him. “The scene where I’m behind him and going at him, we did that in one take. We do it. Cut. There’s a long pause. And then you just hear Steven [director Steven Soderbergh] go, ‘Well… I have no notes.’”

I hope he’s not scarred for life. But I think he’ll survive the trauma. It didn’t hurt Rock Hudson or any of the other gay actors who *couldn’t* come out back in the day.

He also said this:

The “Promised Land” actor is proud of the role and the boundary-pushing film. “It’s the kind of movie that if it were a man and a woman, it would feel a little too intimate and you’d feel like, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t be watching this,'” Damon told PopSugar. “But it’s a man and a man. And I’ve never seen that movie before. So hopefully people will dig it.”

He has a point there. However, if it were a man and a woman, Matt, you wouldn’t have commented on it one way or the other. It wouldn’t be significant enough to comment about. Just saying. Sometimes the most liberal thing an actor can do is keep his or her mouth shut.

This article went on to mention a few more interesting things.

Here are two generations of Hollywood heartthrobs as you’ve never seen them before.

Sounds like the circus is coming to town.

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon pose for the current cover of Entertainment Weekly camped out as the late, flamboyant pianist Liberace and his much younger live-in lover, Scott Thorson. Douglas is nearly unrecognizeable as Liberace while Damon’s usual aw, shucks grin remains.

Maybe I’m being too sensitive here, but am I the only one who thinks this looks like they’re doing black face? (Here’s a post I wrote about Jim Sturgess doing yellowface.) Or is the mainstream media just making it look that way? We won’t know until the film is released. I’m keeping an open mind about this one. But I’m also prepared for all the fresh hells we’ll be seeing in future articles about what it’s like to be gay and what it’s like for these “hearthrobs” to do gay sex scenes.

As a side note, I would like to add that Liberace wasn’t the only one who looked that way in the 1970’s. I was a kid and I still remember how ridiculous some of the styles were. Liberace just exaggerated a look that many straight men adopted during that time period. So the look isn’t all that “gay.”

Bill Clinton Calls DOMA Discriminatory:

The Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 are headed to the Supreme Court soon and it seems as if a lot of people are now coming out in support of same sex marriage, including well-known Republicans like Clint Eastwood, which I posted about last week.

Although the fact that Republicans in support of same sex marriage often shocks people, it’s not something new and it’s not something we hear about all too often. I even posted about Patricia Heaton, a Republican in Hollywood heaven forbid, who has always maintained support of same sex marriage. I’ve posted so many times about openly gay Fred Karger who ran on the Republican ticket last year for President supporting same sex marriage so many times I’ll just link to this and you can shuffle through it if you’re so inclined.

And now former president Bill Clinton has decided to speak openly about his support of same sex marriage, even though he signed the DOMA bill while he was President. However, I remember this, too. Clinton was a victim of his times, and at the time I do remember this wasn’t a bill he was thrilled about and he didn’t believe in it. He only did it to keep things from getting worse. 1996 doesn’t seem like that long ago, but trust me, it was.

This is what Clinton has to say now:

When I signed the bill, I included a statement with the admonition that “enactment of this legislation should not, despite the fierce and at times divisive rhetoric surrounding it, be understood to provide an excuse for discrimination.” Reading those words today, I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should be overturned.

Although things haven’t changed all that much on the Hollywood end, at least we’re still moving forward in Washington. And great deal has changed since 1996.

Photo above found here.