Monday, February 3, 2014

Jonathan Groff to Critics; He Hates Condoms; Vintage Gay Art

Jonathan Groff to Critics



I posted my thoughts in a review of a review about the new LGBTI show, Looking, last week and most of my readers seemed to agree with me. It's all subjective, which is important to take into consideration. But in this case what the critics of Looking who call it boring don't seem to understand is that gay men like me and thousands of others aren't sitting back anymore while only a handful get to voice their opinions.

In other words, the gay community is highly diverse and those select few in the gay community who have represented us in the past often find themselves being challenged now in ways that wouldn't have happened ten or twenty years ago. No one challenged Truman Capote because no one ever admitted to being gay back then. In this case, though small when you think about all the issues we still face, it's with the TV show Looking.

The star of Looking, Jonathan Groff, isn't sitting back either, and he's responded to a few comments about Looking that I think are highly significant with respect to many gay men and situations these gay men often find themselves in these days.

“The way that, potentially, this show is moving in the next direction, [is that] while all of the characters are gay, nobody’s sort of grappling with the fact that they’re gay,” he explained. “This show is about a group of gay men where their sexuality is kind of the least of their worries. Their problems are more their work environment or their love relationships or their friendships. Or they’re moving out of town, or you know, it’s about many other things in addition to being gay. Hopefully, its a reflection of where we’re at, which is where being gay is a huge part of who you are but it’s not the definitive thing about who you are.”

I think Looking, in a way, is a lot like Sex in the City, but with gay characters, and without the bad gay stereotypes Hollywood has been cramming down our throats since the beginning of film.

You can read the full article here, where there are vocal excerpts from the interview.

He Hates Condoms

The condom topic always creates highly charged discussion in any forum, but this article is a little different because the author, Matthew Ebert, discloses his HIV poz status in the first line.

I have always struggled with condoms. They remind me of something I hate, my HIV-positive status. My bad, you say? Nope. I just love barebacking. But I will not have anal sex without condoms. Which means I have not had intercourse in 18 years. But recently I met a younger guy who is HIV-negative, and I don't want to risk transmission, so I decided to start loving the condom and learned to stop dropping those mind bombs that kept me down on the farm.

I can't tell you how much I love this entire article.

You can read more here. It's the first thing I think I've ever read that not only gets into the reality of condom phobia but also the reality that it doesn't have to rule your life.

 Vintage Gay Art

During the ten years I owned my art gallery in New Hope I carried a number of newer artists who focused on gay art, but my favorite pieces...and those that usually sold the best...were always vintage. And this next article gets into not only gay vintage art, but magazine art.

In the 1950s, art admirers were hard-pressed to find images of gay male life adorning the walls of major galleries and museums. Instead, the beautiful work of photographers and illustrators like Bob Mizer and Tom of Finland were often exhibited within the pages of gay magazines. Diverse depictions of private male life -- particularly erotic life -- were thus made available only to the people who knew where to find it.

Knowing where to find it was an important phrase up until recently. For those gay men who were in the closet and had little access to large cities it was almost impossible to find anything even related to gay art.

You can read more here. There are also visual examples.


Photo attribution here.



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