I know many straight people don't like to hear this, and some gay people as well. They will tell you, "it's just acting," and then repeat, "it's just acting." Then they will splain why is doesn't matter if straight actors play gay face. Some will tell you they don't like "labels." I've heard it all by now. However, I'm also seeing younger gay artists speak up on this topic.
Ryan O'Connell is the creator of a smart new TV show on Netflix titled, Special. I've seen it, I liked it, and I recommend it. O'Connell has also been vocal about why he's casting gay men in gay roles. Here's one spot on comment he made that no one ever seems to take into consideration.
“Is that because I think straight people can’t play gay? No, but I know a lot of talented gay actors that don’t have the same opportunities as straight actors because they’re gay, and that’s just the world we live in."
I think this logic could be applied to any marginalized group of people.
Here's a link to more. He's so honest, and so unfiltered, it's the most refreshing thing I've read in a long time. I wish I could be this honest and unfiltered about what I see happening in book publishing all the time.
Another Complainer About Gay Tops and Gay Bottoms, Again
Here's yet another article where a highly opinionated gay man doesn't like the "labels" tops, bottoms, and vers, and he thinks nothing of offering his unsolicited advice to all of us.
“There’s a whole world which is way more than just top, bottom, or vers,” he says. “Sex is about connection, it’s about vulnerability, it’s about intimacy.”
And, water is wet.
You can read it all in full here. Check out the comments, too. There are more than a few opinions about this.
One guy in the comments left a statement I thought was brilliant. Here's part of it, and you can read the rest at the link above.
The human mind is wired to rely on labels. Every time an article pops up about why labels are bad seems to overlook that labels are only bad when people assume Label = Identity. A label is only useful in providing some broad stroke context toward an individual.
Edmonton Pride's Parade Cancellation In Canada
I've been posting about this Pride controversy in Canada for a while. In short, there are community groups that want all police and military banned from Pride for political reasons, they couldn't reach an agreement with Pride organizers, so the organizers wound up cancelling the entire event.
Here's a piece that discusses everything concerning the dispute. They give some back story, some examples, and why it's so disappointing in many ways to see the event canceled.
I do not know the details of the negotiations that have taken place between the Pride organizers and community groups, or what compromises have been discussed. But an inability or unwillingness to reach a compromise is particularly disappointing in such a landmark year.
Here's the link.
FREE Gay Excerpt: The Rescuer by Ryan Field
After Keith's boyfriend, Chet, turns down Keith's ultra-romantic marriage proposal on the beach in Provincetown, MA, Keith is left devastated and confused about what to do next. He begins to question everything, including his career as the director of a unique animal rescue foundation that's partly SPCA and partly pet hotel.
Keith loves working at the SPCA more than life itself, and he loves the animals as much as the people in his life, but he knows his job just isn't good enough to convince Chet to marry him. It might be time for him to join the prosperous family business, become an executive like his brother, and give up on his simple dream of re-homing and rescuing animals.
He winds up finding love and strength in some of the most unlikely places, one of which is with a shy, quirky 3-legged dog named Misty who teaches him the importance of trust and tenacity. Even though he's surrounded by all the things he loves most, from a mischievous pet monkey to a skunk who thinks she's a cat, Keith knows he'll never win Chet back unless he tries working at the family business. There's only one thing he's overlooked, and when he finally figures this out he realizes what's most important to him in this world.
He kept Misty at the far end of the barn in a special area where all the larger breeds were housed. They all had well secured kennels and long runs so the dogs would never be cramped. No two dogs were ever kept in the same kennel together. They all had their own fluffy beds, bowls, and blankets. Each pen was heated and air conditioned for their comfort, and they were able to go outside in a secured run whenever they wanted. Keith had worked hard for years to make his SPCA more like a hotel or resort than a clinical government facility. It had always been his fantasy to fill their lives with everything that made their stay at his SPCA more like a real home. He could never be certain when they would be rescued and adopted, so he focused on giving them all a sort of home away from home while they were there. Whenever people asked how he got funding for all this luxury, he would simply smile and say, "I make do."
Even he had to admit that he spoiled Misty more than the others. He'd placed a sofa and a thick lush carpet in her pen, and then he'd painted the cinderblock walls a pale shade of pink. The other workers at the SPCA joked around when he hung a small crystal chandelier over her doggie bed. He didn't care. Misty was different from other dogs he'd ever known in the past. To glance at her from a distance she resembled any other medium sized pit bull, with a stocky muscular frame and a shiny light gray coat. However, at a closer glance she wasn't like other pit bulls at all. She'd been born with 3 legs, but she moved around as if she had 4. She had a severe indentation at the top of her head, and her snout was so misshapen it veered sideways which made her look perpetually lopsided. And if all that wasn't enough, her eyes weren't even. The left eye was significantly higher than the right. Her ears didn't match either. The left ear was about two inches longer than the right. But there was something different about Misty on a completely spiritual level Keith couldn't quite explain. Her crooked light green eyes melted his heart whenever he glanced into them. Her uneven ears made him smile. He could never be totally sure if he felt sorry for her because no one wanted to adopt her, or if he was proud of her for always remaining calm and even in spite of her circumstances.
She was smart, too. Smarter than a German shepherd or a Poodle, and they were the two smartest breeds he'd ever come across. When he walked up to her pen that morning, smelling fresh and clean from the soap he'd used in the bathroom, she took one look at him and walked in the opposite direction.
"Good morning, Misty," he said, with a soft even voice. He held the bag that had the surprise up higher and shook it a few times. "I've got something you're going to love in here." He suspected she understood every word he said.
Misty sent him a backward glance and rested on her bed, as if she didn't care in the least.
She never growled or snarled at Keith. Even though everyone warned Keith she couldn't be totally trusted, he opened the gate of her pen and stepped inside. He knew better than anyone that she could be trusted. He showed no fear and he wasn't worried she'd attack him. Although she looked frightening, she didn't have a mean bone in her body. She'd been there for a long time and they'd reached a point where he knew it was safe to enter her pen. The only thing she showed him…and everyone else…was total indifference.
While Misty remained on her bed, he walked over to a small sink inside her kennel and said, "I've got something you're going to love."
He pulled a small pint size container out of the bag and reached down for Misty's bowl. He opened the container and shook a powdery substance into her bowl, and then he added water and reached for a spoon on a shelf above the sink. As he stirred the powder into the water, he glanced back at Misty and said, "I ordered this special doggie pudding just for you. It's supposed to taste just like bacon and all dogs love it."
Misty looked up and watched every move he made. He knew she would never get up and walk over to him, not even if she was curious about what was in her bowl. So after he mixed it up and it reached the consistency of chocolate pudding, he set her bowl down on the floor and exited the pen to see what she would do.
Misty just yawned and looked the other way.
"Aren't you even going to check it out," he said. He talked to all the dogs there, so this was nothing new for him. He knew they understood. He could see it in their eyes.
She still wouldn't look at him.
He didn't want to force her. His goal was to gain her trust, and the only way to do that would be to leave her alone. If she liked this special treat he'd left for her, she was smart enough to remember. Misty never forgot anything, which was why he never scolded her. So he put his hands in his pockets and said, "I'll stop back later, Misty. You can check out the pudding alone."