Tag: Gay Appropriation

The New Gay Film "Firebird" and Gay for Pay, Book Review For "French Braid" by Anne Tyler and When a Straight Woman Writing Gay Characters Works

The New Gay Film Firebird and Gay for Pay

From what I’ve read so far, the premise of this film reminds me of a short story I once edited for an author named Curtis von Dornheim who was in his 70s. You can look him up. He’s still on Amazon. I edited him for around 10 years and he passed away in 2015, and I know he had someone taking care of his copyrights. He was most known for his spiritual awakening books, and I only edited them because I love anything dealing with the spiritual or supernatural. He also became a very good friend. And it wasn’t easy to edit him, but I also enjoyed his stories about being a gay man years ago. He wrote all his work out in long hand in a notebook, in scratchy cursive, as the spiritual guides helped him along, and I would have to type it all up and then edit. Again, it was such good material I couldn’t say no. 

The reason I mention Curt is that he wrote one short story that reminds me of this new gay movie, Firebird. Just from what I’m reading so far. I haven’t seen the film yet so I don’t really know the storyline in detail. Here’s a link, if you are interested in where you can find Curt’s work. 

With all that said, the movie Firebird has a basic storyline focused on two gay men when the love between two men was considered scandalous and dangerous. The first mistake they made for me in promoting the film was comparing it to Brokeback Moutain. At the time BBM was released I didn’t appreciate the fact that it was gay content written by a straight woman. Even back then, at that time, I knew from working in publishing there were thousands of other gay male authors with stories just as good who were overlooked. I also didn’t like those straight actors who played gayface in gay-for-pay roles. I remember arguing about this with an angry lesbian who saw nothing wrong with it at the time because cultural appropriation was not a thing back then. And gay men had no voices. 

But I won’t judge Firebird on a bad PR firm. So far, I know that one of the male stars of Firebird, Tom Prior, is openly gay, but I’m not sure about the other one. Oleg Zagorodnii who is a Ukrainian actor who talks about the attack on Ukraine by Russia. In fact, there is absolutely no information about how he identifies at all, online, which leads me to suspect he’s probably straight playing gayface. But I could be wrong and I’m keeping an open mind. Ukraine is not exactly great in gay rights so maybe he can’t come out officially. I don’t want to assume anything like those people on Twitter. 

The period piece is based on a true story during the Cold War and “follows a handsome, soulful young soldier named Sergey,” played by out actor Tom Prior, “who embarks on a clandestine sexual affair with Roman, a charismatic fighter pilot on an Air Force Base in occupied Estonia; at the height of 1970’s Communist rule.”

Here’s the rest. It’s all publicity, but it goes into more detail. I’m not making any strong comments until I learn more. 

As a side note, the director of the film is Peter Reban who is also an openly gay male activist. It sounds very promising to me. And I’ll make a point of seeing this. It’s a 2021 film that was just released internationally in April 2022. 

Book Review for French Braid by Anne Tyler and When a Straight Woman Writing Gay Characters Works

I read my first Anne Tyler book in college in my sophomore year and from that day on I’ve been hooked. After I read that first book I went out and read every other book she wrote. And over the years, I’ve waited with patience for her next book, which usually takes about 2 years. I think she’s in her 70s now and she’s still dropping books that are as good as anything else she’s ever written. As an author, she’s one of my heroes and she is one of the people who has inspired me to write fiction. And I am fully aware that the content we write is totally different, but I’m talking about her tight writing style and her need for less is more. In my case, I noticed so many romance authors writing this awful flowery narrative, and ridiculous dialogue that almost always contained said bookisms. And I wanted my gay romances to do just the opposite. It works most of the time with my readers who know better, but some readers simply do not understand word economy.   

Well, Ms. Tyler’s latest book title, French Braid, was astounding for me because she wrote about two gay characters, in the most subtle, tasteful way. And it’s fine that she did this. She didn’t culturally appropriate gay men and she didn’t steal gay culture in any way. She simply added two gay men into her book and there’s nothing wrong with that. It works. It’s okay to add gay characters but it’s not okay to appropriate with entirely gay content. Leave that to the gay male authors. 

With no spoilers, French Braid focuses on another Baltimore Family and how it evolved over the years. With a few exceptions, I think almost all her books are set in Baltimore. I think French Braid covers about 60 years. And the magic is that Tyler can turn something as perfectly ordinary as a French braid…even the gay couple…into something fascinating. She handled the disappointment that can happen in marriage very carefully, with her two characters Robin and Mercy. Robin adores Mercy, but Mercy is a bit self-centered, and in many ways, she has every right to be. They have three children, two girls, and a boy, and their lives are examined, too. 

At times it’s complicated; at times it’s not. The writing, as always, is smooth and neat and tight and it’s a pleasure to read. I truly couldn’t find one single thing that offended me. A lot of people have mentioned the cat in the story and that turned them off on Mercy, but I found it to be an honest gesture and a human gesture. And I think Mercy did the right thing. I think she’s a true artist at heart. 

I would recommend this book to anyone. There’s a reason why it has received so many excellent reviews just here on Amazon. Here’s a link to French Braid. 


Don’t Be Afraid of Virginia’s Woolf

Image

Once Upon a Castle by Ryan Field

A Different Kind of Southern Love Story

What readers are saying about “Uncertainty”

Amazon

“A wonderful story that I loved. The characters were well developed and strong. Gus: A sweet young man. Doing something for all the wrong reasons. Craig: his boyfriend, he’ll go along with anything Gus say. Henry: Gus father a no-nonsense man, who’s husband died last year. I enjoyed this story.”

Uncertainty by [Field, Ryan]

What readers said about “Altered Parts”
“Best Gay Novel In Years. This story will stay with you and you will feel you know every character and the beauty of their home in the mountains of North Carolina.”
In paperback or e-book. #gayromance #Wednesday

Altered Parts

Altered Parts by [Field, Ryan]

Brent Corrigan On King Cobra Movie; Real Life Queer Stories; That Gay Single Life

Brent Corrigan On James Franco’s King Cobra Movie

Even though the independent film community has given straight James Franco and his film, King Cobra, “acclaim,” I still think it’s important to hear comments and thoughts from  a gay perspective. Not an LGBT perspective this time. There’s a difference. I’m talking about only the “G” in LGBT. A gay perspective, with respect to gay culture and a gay man’s POV. And sometimes that’s VERY different from LGBT.

But more than that, since the film was allegedly based on the early years of Brent Corrigan’s film career, without his input, his thoughts are even more important.

However, the real Corrigan/Lockhart has lashed out once again at the production, accusing Hollywood of “bastardising my early years in porn”

You can read more of this here, where Corrigan talks about a book he’s writing, from his own experience and perspective.

And this is from an earlier article on the same topic.

In a post to Facebook, Corrigan said: “The internet has been a buzz regarding some recent news that a movie is being filmed right now in New York State chronicling the Bryan Kocis murder and the early days of my adult career.
“I was originally approached to be a part of the film as a consultant and the cast. I was asked to play a small part in the film and declined the role.
He added: “Ultimately, I chose to move forward with my own plans to finally release my book in place of taking part in someone else’s presentation of events that I personally lived as a young adult.

You can read that one here.

I can’t comment because I have no intention of seeing King Cobra. But I will read Corrigan’s book when it’s released.

Real Life Queer Stories

I saw this on Twitter recently and thought I would share. It’s a web site filled with real life LGBT stories coming from real LGBT people.

I very clearly remember being 13 and being a bit concerned that I might not actually be straight as I had expected to be. I also remember thinking, ‘don’t be stupid, of course you’re not,’ and burying it deep inside where I didn’t deal with it for nearly ten years. Ahhhh, adolescence. Of course I…

You can check this one out here. It’s a simple web site that’s smooth to navigate. And you would be amazed at how much Twitter opens the world to all people coming from the LGBT community. It’s not like Facebook.

That Gay Single Life

Here’s a post with more of those memes that have quotes. This time from single gay men. The premise is that it’s okay to be single.

I’m a single gay guy and all I want is a husband…until I take a close look at my friends’ relationships and I’m all like “ew but not like that.” 

I actually think some gay men are happier being single and they function better. At least that’s what I’ve seen from personal experience through more than a few good single friends. I would imagine the same goes for straight people.

Here’s the rest.

Unabated





The Arrangement 

JFK and Alleged Oral Gay Sex; Matt Bomer's Nudity; Ben Whishaw Views on Straight Actors Playing Gay

JFK and Alleged Oral Sex

When I read things like this I just groan. It’s one of the darker sides of publishing. That’s party because I am a published author and I know how authors of “tell-all” books like this think…like scum…and partly because I fail to see why we should be so shocked about it if, in fact, it did happen. Privacy is an interesting word, especially with regard to something that may or may not have happened almost a century ago. 

In his new book Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: RFK Jr. and the Dark Side of the Dream, author Jerry Oppenheimer attributes the oral sex claim to writer Lawrence J. Quirk who worked with Billings on Kennedy’s first congressional campaign in 1946.

The book claims that Quirk confided to Quirk that the two men had ‘a friendship that included oral sex, with Jack always on the receiving end.’

Quirk had said that Billings ‘believed that this arrangement enabled Jack to sustain his self-delusion that straight men who received oral sex from other males were really only straights looking for sexual release.’

As you can see from the quote above there are a few mistakes in the article itself, not to mention the fact that this is all hearsay about hearsay.

You can check the rest out here. 

Matt Bomer’s Nudity

I think one of the things Matt Bomer is a genius at is becoming a character to the point where you don’t always recognize him at first. It takes a moment. When he did the nude scenes in American Horror I had to look twice just to make sure it was him.

‘I think you see more of me in the fist episode than in the entire first two Magic Mikes,’ Bomer told Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime talk show Thursday (8 October).

Bomer explained that while viewers saw a lot of him, they did not see his ‘junk’ because of a flesh-colored sock that he says stays in place with the help of an adjustable plastic band.

There’s more here. Obviously, there’s no full frontal nudity…yet.

Ben Whishaw on Straight Actors Playing Gay

This debate continues in the entertainment industry almost to the point of mimicking what happens in the m/m romance community with straight women writing gay novels, and in some extreme cases posing as gay men in order to sell books.

Ben Whishaw is “baffled” because he doesn’t understand why there is a debate about straight actors playing gay roles.

Here’s what Whishaw thinks:

‘I do not understand what the problem is. Actors play all sorts of things. I’ve played murderers, journalists and kings – I’m not any of them. The whole thing is a fiction, it’s about imagination, it’s play. I am baffled to why it’s such a big thing.

‘And also, I’m baffled because it feels like we’re in a time where there are lots of gay people, not just actors but in all walks of life, and let’s be where we are. We’re human beings and I don’t understand why it’s really a discussion now.’

Whishaw also addressed Matt Damon’s controversial comments on gay actors.

Should we tell him?

First, when you compare gay characters to murderers you’ve lost me from the start. 

As usual I didn’t read the comments before I commented in the post. You can check them out here. 

I’ll tell you what I don’t understand. Right or wrong, I don’t understand why gay people…all LGBT+ people…aren’t taken seriously enough for men like Ben Wishaw to allow us the opportunity to debate the issue. Why is he so eager to just dismiss us and our concerns? I think it will continue as a debate, especially since the Stonewall movie garnered such outrage from the LGBT+ community. I think many of us are just beginning to grow tired of being dismissed, exploited, and appropriated.

Here’s an example of what I think might be a sign of the times. The film Stonewall was a box office disaster.

With terrible reviews, the very community that might have embraced it viewing the picture as the enemy, and a general moviegoing populace either seeing the wide releases (The Intern, Hotel Transylvania 2, Everest) or checking out the more acclaimed platform plays (Sicario, Grandma, etc.), this was a movie made for absolutely no one. Stonewall was never going to be a big hit, but at least a version of the film that didn’t relegate important historical figures to supporting characters in their own story would have earned it a token place in cinematic history.
 
 

The Rainbow Detective Agency
The Wedding

JFK and Alleged Oral Gay Sex; Matt Bomer’s Nudity; Ben Whishaw Views on Straight Actors Playing Gay

JFK and Alleged Oral Sex

When I read things like this I just groan. It’s one of the darker sides of publishing. That’s party because I am a published author and I know how authors of “tell-all” books like this think…like scum…and partly because I fail to see why we should be so shocked about it if, in fact, it did happen. Privacy is an interesting word, especially with regard to something that may or may not have happened almost a century ago. 

In his new book Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: RFK Jr. and the Dark Side of the Dream, author Jerry Oppenheimer attributes the oral sex claim to writer Lawrence J. Quirk who worked with Billings on Kennedy’s first congressional campaign in 1946.

The book claims that Quirk confided to Quirk that the two men had ‘a friendship that included oral sex, with Jack always on the receiving end.’

Quirk had said that Billings ‘believed that this arrangement enabled Jack to sustain his self-delusion that straight men who received oral sex from other males were really only straights looking for sexual release.’

As you can see from the quote above there are a few mistakes in the article itself, not to mention the fact that this is all hearsay about hearsay.

You can check the rest out here. 

Matt Bomer’s Nudity

I think one of the things Matt Bomer is a genius at is becoming a character to the point where you don’t always recognize him at first. It takes a moment. When he did the nude scenes in American Horror I had to look twice just to make sure it was him.

‘I think you see more of me in the fist episode than in the entire first two Magic Mikes,’ Bomer told Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime talk show Thursday (8 October).

Bomer explained that while viewers saw a lot of him, they did not see his ‘junk’ because of a flesh-colored sock that he says stays in place with the help of an adjustable plastic band.

There’s more here. Obviously, there’s no full frontal nudity…yet.

Ben Whishaw on Straight Actors Playing Gay

This debate continues in the entertainment industry almost to the point of mimicking what happens in the m/m romance community with straight women writing gay novels, and in some extreme cases posing as gay men in order to sell books.

Ben Whishaw is “baffled” because he doesn’t understand why there is a debate about straight actors playing gay roles.

Here’s what Whishaw thinks:

‘I do not understand what the problem is. Actors play all sorts of things. I’ve played murderers, journalists and kings – I’m not any of them. The whole thing is a fiction, it’s about imagination, it’s play. I am baffled to why it’s such a big thing.

‘And also, I’m baffled because it feels like we’re in a time where there are lots of gay people, not just actors but in all walks of life, and let’s be where we are. We’re human beings and I don’t understand why it’s really a discussion now.’

Whishaw also addressed Matt Damon’s controversial comments on gay actors.

Should we tell him?

First, when you compare gay characters to murderers you’ve lost me from the start. 

As usual I didn’t read the comments before I commented in the post. You can check them out here. 

I’ll tell you what I don’t understand. Right or wrong, I don’t understand why gay people…all LGBT+ people…aren’t taken seriously enough for men like Ben Wishaw to allow us the opportunity to debate the issue. Why is he so eager to just dismiss us and our concerns? I think it will continue as a debate, especially since the Stonewall movie garnered such outrage from the LGBT+ community. I think many of us are just beginning to grow tired of being dismissed, exploited, and appropriated.

Here’s an example of what I think might be a sign of the times. The film Stonewall was a box office disaster.

With terrible reviews, the very community that might have embraced it viewing the picture as the enemy, and a general moviegoing populace either seeing the wide releases (The Intern, Hotel Transylvania 2, Everest) or checking out the more acclaimed platform plays (Sicario, Grandma, etc.), this was a movie made for absolutely no one. Stonewall was never going to be a big hit, but at least a version of the film that didn’t relegate important historical figures to supporting characters in their own story would have earned it a token place in cinematic history.
 
 

The Rainbow Detective Agency
The Wedding