Monday, September 19, 2016

The Times They Are a Changin'

Recently I came across an article that served as both an interview of late British actor John Inman, and a promotion of his then-new TV show Odd Man Out. Produced during a hiatus of Inman's hugely popular BBC program Are You Being Served?, this was a series that provided his first starring sitcom role, albeit it on the ITV network. Alas, it flopped, and was canceled after only seven episodes.

What is of note from the aforementioned article is how much it seems to focus on Inman's private life. It mentions the mews house he purchased in Little Venice (what he described as the first home he'd ever owned), and how he was still a "bachelor" at age 41. Inman died aged 71 in 2007. The article was from 1977. At the time of his death, the actor had been with his same-sex partner, Ron Lynch, for 35 years. I'll let you do the math.

Of course, hiding one's homosexuality is nothing new. Folks such as John Inman would have had to contend with a nosy media the best they could. Only ten years prior to the Odd Man Out interview was homosexuality decriminalized in parts of the UK. You can watch Basil Dearden's 1961 film Victim to get an idea of what gay men were going through to keep their lives secret at the time. And the awkwardness, fear and timidity extended well beyond the sixties and seventies.

I (briefly) bristle at the thought of John Inman hiding the fact that he's in a same-sex relationship in 1977, but then, before judging him too harshly, I remember myself and Ashley in the early 2000s. Our relationship was new, just finding its way. This was prior to Lawrence v. Texas, so there were still enforceable laws on the books regarding homosexual relations. We'd had a commitment ceremony, but it came only after much to and fro in our personal lives about just how out we wanted to be.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Pic of the Week

Our Pic of the Week this time is singer and pop culture fixture Nick Jonas, who turns 24 today. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Near Miss

A little over a week ago, I was in the hospital.

The brief, one-day stay came about because of some stomach pains that wouldn't go away. I went to the ER, they ran some lab tests and a CT scan, and discovered diverticulitis. Some IV antibiotics (and potassium) while at the hospital, followed by oral antibiotics and pain meds have seen an improvement, though I am still not 100%. Overall, I've appreciated the situation, which may sound odd.

It is by no means a new, startling sentiment to note that our down times help us appreciate when things are good. Hills and valleys and all that. This episode of diverticulitis (my first and, hopefully, last) has been such an experience. As I lay on the utilitarian bed, under the harsh, sterile glow of the ER lights, a multitude of thoughts went through my mind: Is it cancer? Is this the beginning of the end? Have I done all I want to in this life?

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Strangest Movies Ever Made

Many of you know how much I like movies. They fill such an important space in my life. Of course, having seen over a thousand of them throughout the years, there were bound to be some that left me scratching my head. Of course, because I couldn't always follow a movie's plot doesn't necessarily mean it was a bad film. Sometimes, strange is good.

With that, following are my Top 10 Stranges Movies of All-Time....

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Catching Flies With Honey

I'm not sure when we stopped knowing (or caring) how to communicate with one another, but it has happened somewhere along the way. We've huddled into our own bubbles of comfort and, conversely, outrage. We do not seek the best way to understand, or to impart knowledge. Instead, we seek only to protest, vilify and win an argument. It doesn't have to be this way.

When Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the U.S. national anthem during a recent football game, there were folks coming out of the wood work to label him as unpatriotic. When he explained his reasons for not standing, the vilification continued. As with most things, this is a complex issue, not easily digested for quick and immediate opinions. Of course, many people don't have the patience for such things, so, instead of taking-in the thoughts and feelings that Kaepernick has expressed, many have simply decried him.

It has just been announced that out gay actor Matt Bomer has been cast in a transgender role for an upcoming film. Already, some folks have labeled this as violence against the transgender community, since a trans actor was not cast for the part. There is no nuance presented here, no pause for thought, or the fact that actors, well, act. Once words such as "violence" are deployed, all meaningful conversation comes to a halt, as there is no longer discussion, only labeling and accusatory language that is sure to bristle people and send their defensive shields up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

What Men Shouldn't Do?

The 2016 Summer Olympics have certainly been interesting. From the insane speed of Usain Bolt, to the Olympic Village not being ready to house its athletes, to the Olympic diving pool suddenly turning green and, finally, to the false robbery allegations from Ryan Lochte, there has been plenty to raise an eyebrow about. Unfortunately, the British newspaper The Daily Mail found a rather homophobic way to look askance. The incident in question involved two divers from Team Great Britain who'd just won a gold medal for synchronized diving. Chris Mears and Jack Laugher, clad only in speedos, had the temerity to hug each other after their win was announced.

Now look, I'm a gay man. I appreciate the male physique and, yes, seeing two fit, barely-clad Olympians jumping on each other hit a certain carnal nerve. But I am also an adult, and can put away such feelings with the understanding that, sometimes, when a team works hard, perseveres, and their dedication pays-off in an Olympic gold medal, yes, they might just embrace. That's a moment to step back and appreciate it for what it is: athletes reveling in their hard-won victory.