Tag: michael douglas

21 Gaycist Ways; Queerbaiting on TV; Gay Patronizing; Gay Wedding, Anti-Gay Marriage Dad

21 Gaycist Ways

If you don’t know the definition of gaycist, here’s a link that will explain it. And this next link explains 21 interesting ways to tell if someone is gaycist. It only gets into 21.

Here’s one I see all the time:

1. You’ve asked a same-sex couple which one is the guy and the girl.

This one is common, too:

8. You think Macklemore and Lady Gaga are the voices of the gay rights movement.

This one gets me all the time.

16. As a straight person, you feel you can adequately define what discrimination is.

But I’d like to add that some of these things are overlooked and not all gay people take them as seriously as others. I think intent is important and I never hold innocent mistakes against anyone. I don’t think that’s fair. The only thing about gaycism that really bothers me is when people try to exploit and profit on gays for either attention or monetary gain.

You can read the rest here. I highly suggest checking out the link and the author. Number 21 is probably the most offensive.

Queerbaiting on TV

This is becoming increasingly more common on television all the time. Queerbaiting is when a TV show hints around that a character or situation might be LGBTI, but it never actually follows through with an LGBTI storyline. Sometimes they will drag it out for weeks, a lot of this they’ve been doing on True Blood this season. The intent is to get gay people to watch, keep them hanging, and hope that something LGBTI might happen. I also think it attracts a curious heteronormative crowd, often for the sake of sheer curiosity. The worst offenders never actually follow through because they don’t want to alienate the homophobic crowd.

In case you’re confused, here’s an article that describes it in more detail.

It is never acknowledged on camera and you are left wondering if you made it all up. I’ve been trying to decide if some recent comments from Jeff Davis, the creator of Teen Wolf, are likely queer baiting or not. And if it is, I don’t even know if I can handle another show pulling a dick move like that.

Gay Patronizing

This next link is from Salon. I’ve always found them to be reputable. If I were to discuss things like this on my own without linking to something reputable some might think I’m making this all up, or that I’m overly sensitive. But the general theme of this post today is how gays often suffer passive aggressive homophobia and many don’t even realize it’s happening. For example, this article about Michael Douglas and Jared Leto insulting gays is something that most people, gay or straight, wouldn’t even realize at surface level. I remember feeling this way when these things happened. I didn’t post about it because so many out there seemed so defensive about the issue…and so willing to protect. I saw gay people shot down on social media too many times for trying to make this point. I decided it wasn’t worth the effort…at the time.

This was all in good fun, but Leto’s playing for laughs the process by which he prepared for the role of a person who felt uncomfortable in her body was not, really: “It was a very transformative role. I had to do a lot of things to prepare. One of the things I did was wax my entire body, including my eyebrows,” Leto said to the audience’s laughter.

Once again, laughing at LGBTI people. The most recent posts and updates by James Franco got me interested in all this, and I think this particular article brings up a few excellent points. As I said, I wouldn’t dare post my own thoughts on this, at least not at this time. I feel more comfortable linking to someone else who seems to nail it much better than I can right now. I highly suggest reading this.

Gay Wedding, Anti-Gay Marriage Dad

I think this next link sums this post up in an interesting way. A mayor in France who has always been anti-gay marriage went to his gay son’s wedding (and performed the ceremony) and made a few interesting comments.

Keep in mind this mayor has always been openly vocal about his stand on gay marriage.

‘When my son asked me if I’d do it, I immediately told him “yes”, because I did the same for his sister and because we get on well. I didn’t want to give the wrong impression of relations with my family,’ Bardet reportedly told his local newspaper Le Dauphiné Libéré.

He said he had never discussed same-sex marriage with his son prior to his union and has only known for two and a half months that his son is gay.

I bring up this point a lot here on the blog: highly conservative public figures against gay marriage who have gay family members and close friends.

This mayor claims he will NOT perform another gay marriage in his lifetime. He only did this because it’s his son.

Evidently, we all still have a very long way to go.

You can read the rest here.

Four Gay Weddings and a Funeral
by Ryan Field

Matt Damon Emmy; Unethical Authors Zon Alert; Gay Russian Sex

Matt Damon Emmy

No, Matt Damon didn’t win an Emmy Award for Behind the Candelabra this year, but Michael Douglas, his co-star, did win one for his portrayal of Liberace.

“This is a two hander,” Douglas said, in reference to his co-star Matt Damon. “And Matt, you’re only as good as your other hand. You’re magnificent, and the only reason I’m standing here is because of you. You really deserve half of this. So … you want the bottom or the top?”

I thought that was both generous and honest. Damon was equally as good, and he had to play the part of someone twenty years younger, which was amazing to watch. I’m still not thrilled that straight white men who rule the world get all the important parts in Hollywood, including the parts where they portray gay men. Especially since Matt Bomer was overlooked for the part of Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. But the fact is both Douglas and Damon were good in the film. It just would have been even nicer if they’d managed to leave out the funny-ha-ha gay jokes and innuendos during promotion and after the film.

They kissed.

They aren’t gay.

We get it.

And we don’t care.

Unethical Authors Zon Alert

Update: In an unrelated article to book publishing, the NY Attorney General is fed up with fake reviews.

New York’s attorney general revealed the results of a yearlong investigation into the business of fake reviews. Eric T. Schneiderman announced Monday that 19 companies that engaged in the practice will stop and pay fines between $2,500 and $100,000, for a total of more than $350,000 in penalties.

Yesterday when I posted about Kirkus and authors paying for book reviews, I had no idea this web site even existed until later in the day. The blog is called Amazon Alert, and the web address is Zonalert. From what I gather in a general sense, they are investigating book reviews on Amazon.

Anything written in this blog is the opinion of the blog creators. Our posts are not meant to defame, harass or personally attack any individual or company. However, as journalists, we intend to report what we’ve encountered while investigating fake reviews since 2010. Our promise to readers is that we won’t post anything without careful research and double-checking the facts.

I have little to say on this topic, because I know very little about it. I don’t pay for reviews, never did pay for reviews, and never will pay for reviews. I get them the old fashioned way: I wait for people to buy my books, read my books, and leave reviews. However, according to a recent post on this zon alert, several authors with fairly high profiles have allegedly engaged in the practice of paying for reviews, and on quite a grand scale. I’m not talking about one Kirkus review now.

According to zon alert:

In a rather odd turn, Hugh Howey, who was merely listed here as a review buyer in the official September 12 Fiverr Report on Melissa Foster but made no other mention of, has gone on a weeks’ long tirade professing his innocence. Bizarre behavior for someone who is supposedly innocent, especially as he’s using his ongoing tirade as a promotional vehicle to get family, friends, and other supporters to flood Amazon with favorable reviews.

I once posted about Howey here, and a rant post he wrote about his experiences with a young woman at one of those book events we hear about all the time. Howey is a self-published author who is represented by the Nelson Literary Agency, a literary agency based out west somewhere that runs an e-publishing service for its self-published clients.

Zon alert, according to the same post I’ve linked to above, is working on a book deal right now that will get more deeply involved in the investigations they’ve made about paid solicited book reviews and “the dark side of publishing.”

The acquisition editor writes in the acceptance letter: “I’m as appalled by this behavior as you are and I congratulate you on your dedication to revealing truth. Your photocopies of emails between authors and [the company you worked at], particularly the brazen nature of M. Foster’s emails, leaves no doubt they knew what they were doing was wrong.”

As journalist Linda Ellerbee used to say, “And so it goes”

And as I’ve predicted before, I think this is the beginning of the end of the lawless old wild west of the Internet.

Gay Russian Sex

In this article, the practices of gay sex in Russia are examined.

“In the toilet a young lad came up to me, shook my hand and said, ‘Let’s get acquainted,'” Klimov later recalled. The man’s name was Volodya. He invited Klimov to the Lenin Museum.

“He bought the tickets with his money, and we went straight to the men’s toilet.”

I know that sounds highly irregular and superficial on the surface. However the article goes into far more detail about cruising in Europe and even offers explanations as to why this happens. And, as in most cases with articles of this nature, the comment thread is just as interesting.

Frankly, I don’t see how much of it differs from the US. Cruising is, and always has been, part of gay culture everywhere. I think that will change, though.

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

E-Book BEA Debate; Michael Douglas on Oral Sex; New Fight Against AIDS

E-Book BEA Debate

When I post about this topic now, I start to feel as if I’m living in an altered universe sometimes. And yet this article from PW talks about e-books as if they were just invented.

In a question from the audience, Ed Conklin, buyer at Chaucer’s Books in Santa Barbara, Calif., said, “I’m not real interested in e-books.” That’s because there’s no way for a customer to buy an e-book in his store. In a follow-up question, Emily Pullen, manager of Word Books in Brooklyn, N.Y., pointed out how little money booksellers make on e-book sales. “If I sold an e-book to every customer who came in my store, I’d be out of business in a week.” To which Friedman responded that e-book pricing is going to level out at higher than $2.99.

While I do often think that e-books are either too expensive or too inexpensive to be realistic, and I would like to see publishers focus more on fair pricing, I can’t help but always take into consideration the near future. And when I say the near future I mean watch kids in grade school, or even in middle school and high school. The tech devices they own would most likely turn someone like Ed Conklin from Chaucer’s Books upside down. If past is prologue, and if history does repeat itself, than all these debates are absolutely pointless.

I saw an interesting TV commercial last evening. I forget what the commercial was about in detail, but at the end there was a young woman holding a record in her hands and she says, “I know what these are. I read about them in books.” The main focus was that records are obsolete, and most kids don’t even know what they are. Frankly, I don’t even know what records are because my generation had cassette tapes and CDs. I never had a record collection. My mom and dad owned records. But the underlying irony in that commercial is that in the real world the odds are that the young woman either read about old fashioned records online somewhere, or she read about them in an e-book. And whoever put that ad together didn’t even realize they were being ironic.

Michael Douglas on Oral Sex

Update: Here’s a link that will lead you to a web site that talks in depth about HPV. There’s also a vaccine available, which I didn’t know about.

Actor Michael Douglas talked openly about his ordeal with throat cancer and the kind of cancer it was. According to this article, it wasn’t caused by smoking or alcohol. It was caused by engaging in oral sex. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard something like this. It’s actually more common than most people know.

 In a candid new interview with U.K.’s The Guardian, Douglas admits that his illness was caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

“Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus,” the “Behind the Candelabra” star, 68, explains.

For those who haven’t heard about this, it’s an interesting article with more links.

New Fight Against AIDS

This comes from Lambda Legal.

As the nation marks the opening of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, executive directors from 35 LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations from across the United States have released a joint letter committing themselves and their organizations to re-engaging the broader LGBT community in the fight against HIV. While issues like marriage equality and employment protections for LGBT workers have taken center stage, HIV continues to ravage the LGBT community. Despite making up just two percent of the population, gay and bisexual men accounted for more than 63 percent of new HIV infections in 2010. In fact, gay men are the only group in which HIV infections are increasing.

With all the information out there, the numbers in gay men getting HIV should be declining, and yet that’s not the case. I’ve read that a lot of younger gay men hear that HIV is a chronic disease and there are now medications that can keep them alive so they don’t think they have to be as careful anymore. This is true about HIV in a general sense. Those with HIV don’t get a death sentence anymore. It is treated as a chronic disease.

But that’s not the bottom line, not by any means. The HIV meds have side effects that you may not see for years to come. These side effects can appear in a variety of ways. And none of them are pleasant. I know this first hand because I’ve been acting POA for a friend who is HIV+ and I often go to his doctor’s appointments with him at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The other factor is the cost of HIV meds. They run into thousands of dollars each month and if you think Obamacare is going to help you you’d better start reading more. The fact is that if you don’t have a great medical insurance plan you’re going to have to figure out a way to get those meds and it’s not going to be simple.

This is the goal. I think it’s realistic if everyone takes the time to read this information.

“The LGBT community always has been at the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic. As the community most impacted in the nation, we are the ones who must step-up and recommit to ending future transmissions. To have a new generation of LGBT young people grow up free from HIV and AIDS will be a fitting legacy to those we have lost to this disease.”

I also think it’s time we took the stigma away from AIDS. Michael Douglas talked about his ordeal with cancer and oral sex in the above article without a hint of shame. We need to be able to do the same thing with HIV as gay men.

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.

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.