Most gay men I meet, in some way, are assholes. Sometimes they’re total shmucks. Ordinary, boring, dumb, self-centered, doing precious little to improve the world beyond the space that their bodies inhabit.
Men, in otherwords. No more extraordinary or “colorful” than most straight men I have ever met.
They’re no more or less ballsy than Seth McFarlane, no more heroic than any government worker or forward-thinking than any scientist that I’ve never met. Really.
Problem is most of the gay male characters I see, and that’s rare, on TV and in film don’t always feel much like the guys I know. They’re so earnest, as if their subtext is about their visibility.
Straight actors often seem personally hung up about gay male sex, and however acting professionals and critics might try and parse that in terms of their performances–as well as out gay actors playing gay–one thing is clear: mainstream audiences need to see more gay male-on-male intercourse of all kinds–sex, fighting, being bad, and trifling redeemability, all the time, everywhere, in mainstream movies and TV.
This isn’t about how “masculine” or “male-seeming” gay male characters appear to be on the small or large screen (which personally I think is a waste of time). My beef is rather how flawed or fully human they aren’t, yet.
Anyone who grew up or came of age in the 1960s and ’70s knows Hollywood has a Mt. Everest-sized learning curve around and up civil rights, and LGBT ones are no different now. We’ve had our Julias (Will & Grace, The New Normal) and our Good Times (Queer as Folk, in both incarnations), and maybe now we’re having our Diff’rent Strokes (Modern Family), new and recently cancelled shows have made great strides with gay men, thanks in large part to GLAAD and LGBT film festivals throughout the country and the world.
So I’m going to be a grouch, an asshole, and a shmuck, sometimes all three, about a lot of the above. Throw popcorn, throw up your dinner, go ahead, I can take it. Comments welcome.