From ‘Will & Grace’ To ‘Glee,’ This New Doc Explores The History Of ‘Playing Gay’

  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Aug 02, 2015 4:02 AM GMT
    From ‘Will & Grace’ To ‘Glee,’ This New Doc Explores The History Of ‘Playing Gay’




    http://www.mtv.com/news/2226972/playing-gay-doc-lgbt-representation/


    http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/television/2015/07/26/watch-playing-gay-doc-shows-how-tv-helped-win-marriage-equa

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playinggay/playing-gay
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 02, 2015 3:39 PM GMT
    If almost exclusively being depicted as effeminate, fabulous, and if having their most defining characteristic be their homosexuality is considered "representation," then sure. Sure, I'm represented in the media by someone who is nothing like me or most of the community.

    Sorry for the salt. This just annoys me to no end.
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    Aug 02, 2015 4:09 PM GMT
    I can appreciate how this helped the cause.
    But it didn't help me personally. One of the many reasons I was in denial for so long was because the media portrayals of gays. What I saw in pop culture was effeminate men. I wasn't like that, or was I attracted to that*. So I concluded I wasn't gay.
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    Aug 02, 2015 4:29 PM GMT
    I still get a laugh at some gay stereotypes, especially when they involve bitchy banter. Our current favorite is the British sitcom Vicious that we saw last night. Starring stage greats Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacoby, who are out gays in real life. So in one sense they aren't "playing gay" at all.

    It's a marvel watching them play against each other, using their incredible talents not for Shakespeare this time (with McKellen known more to recent US movie audiences as wizard "Gandalf" from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but was also in And the Band Played On as "Bill Kraus") but in Vicious for comic buffoonery and even pratfalls. Yet with such perfect mastery & control even with this material you realize what makes British actors the best in the world.

    So we just laugh the whole time watching each episode, and forget the stereotyping issue for a moment. And truth be told, we do know some bitchy queens very like their characters. We also enjoying cracking up our friends with our own brand of digging insults, usually directed at each other, just like the characters in Vicious do.
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    Aug 02, 2015 4:30 PM GMT
    Wyndahoi saidI can appreciate how this helped the cause.
    But it didn't help me personally. One of the many reasons I was in denial for so long was because the media portrayals of gays. What I saw in pop culture was effeminate men. I wasn't like that, or was I attracted to that*. So I concluded I wasn't gay.

    WHAT?! You're gay and you don't like flashy fashion, theatre, being a pretentious princess of drama, dancing, and having everyone know you as the gay one?

    That's... That's heresy!
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    Aug 02, 2015 4:47 PM GMT
    Wyndahoi saidI can appreciate how this helped the cause.
    But it didn't help me personally. One of the many reasons I was in denial for so long was because the media portrayals of gays. What I saw in pop culture was effeminate men. I wasn't like that, or was I attracted to that*. So I concluded I wasn't gay.

    In a way I'm glad to hear you say this. Because my own prolonged denial was based on the same mechanism: I didn't fit the stereotype for a gay prevalent in the 1950s & '60s, meaning therefore I couldn't be a gay myself. And in my era there was every incentive to not want to be a gay - legal, social, moral, family, employment, religious.

    So if you saw an opportunity to rationalize to yourself that you aren't gay you took it. That's not the same as being closeted. Which means you do know you're gay, and do admit it to yourself, but try to hide it from everyone else by disguising your behavior.

    But a number of RJ guys won't accept this distinction in others between denial versus being closeted. They insist that anyone who isn't out by their teens is "living in the closet", there's no other possibility, no other terms.

    I get subjected to this all the time here, a remarkably unsophisticated and backward attitude from men who should know better. An attitude that causes a lotta guys like you & me to remain in denial longer, and not come out sooner. It was finally understanding the nature of my denial mechanism, that such a thing could exist in me, that tore away the veil of ignorance and brought me out.
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    Aug 03, 2015 3:58 AM GMT
    Same here. Gays are like my standard poodles. No one wants to hear how butch they are. They'd rather buy into media portrayals and stereotypes that play both for laughs. (Well, not entirely. I can't recall any portrayals of poodles as transvestite serial killers…yet.)
  • KissTheSky

    Posts: 1981

    Aug 03, 2015 4:08 AM GMT
    AutumnalStride saidIf almost exclusively being depicted as effeminate, fabulous, and if having their most defining characteristic be their homosexuality is considered "representation," then sure. Sure, I'm represented in the media by someone who is nothing like me or most of the community.

    Sorry for the salt. This just annoys me to no end.


    Couldn't have said it better.
    It's like the days when all black characters in movies were servants or similarly offensive stereotypes.
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    Aug 03, 2015 5:12 PM GMT
    Wyndahoi saidI can appreciate how this helped the cause.
    But it didn't help me personally. One of the many reasons I was in denial for so long was because the media portrayals of gays. What I saw in pop culture was effeminate men. I wasn't like that, or was I attracted to that*. So I concluded I wasn't gay.


    That's a rather amazing insight, and i wonder if that's the same subconscious rationale that I had... Sure, i sucked dick in high school, and had my ass fucked in college, but i didn't lisp, swish, flaunt, or otherwise behave feminine, so i couldn't possibly be gay...

    I'll need to ponder that some more...
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    Aug 03, 2015 6:46 PM GMT
    Well it seems I'm not the only one who mistakenly confused masculinity with heterosexuality.
    I think that makes it all the more important to be out and for pro-athletes to be out. Kids need to see examples of gay men that are the full range of gender expression, not just the stereotypical Broadway singing, mani/pedi, shopaholic like Jack from Will and Grace.
    Not that there's anything wrong with that, I have a small crush on Yanis Marshall. A man who dances in heels!!
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    Aug 03, 2015 11:58 PM GMT
    Wyndahoi saidWell it seems I'm not the only one who mistakenly confused masculinity with heterosexuality.
    I think that makes it all the more important to be out and for pro-athletes to be out. Kids need to see examples of gay men that are the full range of gender expression, not just the stereotypical Broadway singing, mani/pedi, shopaholic like Jack from Will and Grace.
    Not that there's anything wrong with that, I have a small crush on Yanis Marshall. A man who dances in heels!!


    There's the Catch 22. The more masculine gays do not want to be lumped into the same bin as the more flamboyant gays but the media only mirrors the more effeminate, flamboyant gays because they are more visible, theatric, comical - they make good stock characters for the modern Comedia del Arté. The less effeminate gays see this in the media; they don't see themselves. They see the laughs, the ridicule, the bullying and decide they don't want this for themselves so they lie to themselves that they aren't gay, but deep down inside they know it's a lie. So the next generation sees more of the same in the media and the less feminine ones retreat to the closet. The more effeminate ones really can't hide in the closet because their voice or mannerism or rabid love of pop culture but they see safety in the numbers of all the other out stereotypical gays and come out at earlier ages. And the cycle continues.

    So yes I agree. We need more gay men that buck the stereotype to come out and be counted. And don't say it's getting better by pointing to Caitlyn Jenner. She just adds to the perception of the wider society that gay men want to be women or drag queens.

    So all you "macho, masculine" cock sucking, butt fucking bros come out, come out, wherever you are. If you aren't part of the solution, you are the problem.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Aug 04, 2015 12:11 AM GMT
    The UK was similar to the US on this issue for many years.
    Gay men were largely absent, I think, but what characters appeared were stereotypical portrayals when I was growing up in the 1970s, Mr. Humphries in 'Are you Being Served?', the comedian Larry Grayson, and John Hurt as Quentin Crisp in 'The Naked Civil Servant', etc.
    It may have been a blessing for me that I didn`t really watch television until I was thirteen any way, and quite sure what I felt. I may have largely avoided its demoralizing effect.
    It may also have helped I had an older gay cousin who was out in 1970 and living with his partner. Both were masculine and rather conventional. Their example counted for far more than anything I saw on television. Even then I knew it was something of an artificial, make believe world disconnected from reality to some degree.
    The portrayal of gay men on British television changed sharply with Channel 4`s 'Queer as Folk' in the late 1990s, with much more complex and realistic characters and storylines.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 04, 2015 12:48 AM GMT
    Lincsbear saidThe UK was similar to the US on this issue for many years.
    Gay men were largely absent, I think, but what characters appeared were stereotypical portrayals when I was growing up in the 1970s, Mr. Humphries in 'Are you Being Served?', the comedian Larry Grayson, and John Hurt as Quentin Crisp in 'The Naked Civil Servant', etc.

    I didn't watch much TV in the 1970s through the early 1990s because of my Army career. But one window of opportunity was for part of the '70s when I was back on college campus for a time.

    One of those I saw was Naked Civil Servant on US Public Broadcasting (PBS). I wouldn't call it entirely stereotypical, because it was based on a real life story, even if Quentin Crisp was flaming by today's standards. And I was fascinated, and kinda surprised I was fascinated.

    I knew virtually nothing about gays. I did have a gay college professor I befriended, who was very much like Crisp. But that was about the extent of it. Between those 2 influences, the on screen and the collegiate, it was the closest I was to come to breaking through my denial, which had to wait another 20 years.

    I thought Hurt's portrayal was brilliant. And I was impressed by Crisp's courage and guts, along with his incredible eccentricities. But then I've long thought Britain is one big island mental asylum. Sorry.

    BTW, not long after I came out I joined the online Quentin Crisp Society, and exchanged some emails with him. Sadly he shortly died. But it gave me another perspective on homosexuality, and softened my butch hostility to anything non-masculine.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Aug 07, 2015 12:27 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    Lincsbear saidThe UK was similar to the US on this issue for many years.
    Gay men were largely absent, I think, but what characters appeared were stereotypical portrayals when I was growing up in the 1970s, Mr. Humphries in 'Are you Being Served?', the comedian Larry Grayson, and John Hurt as Quentin Crisp in 'The Naked Civil Servant', etc.

    I didn't watch much TV in the 1970s through the early 1990s because of my Army career. But one window of opportunity was for part of the '70s when I was back on college campus for a time.

    One of those I saw was Naked Civil Servant on US Public Broadcasting (PBS). I wouldn't call it entirely stereotypical, because it was based on a real life story, even if Quentin Crisp was flaming by today's standards. And I was fascinated, and kinda surprised I was fascinated.

    I knew virtually nothing about gays. I did have a gay college professor I befriended, who was very much like Crisp. But that was about the extent of it. Between those 2 influences, the on screen and the collegiate, it was the closest I was to come to breaking through my denial, which had to wait another 20 years.

    I thought Hurt's portrayal was brilliant. And I was impressed by Crisp's courage and guts, along with his incredible eccentricities. But then I've long thought Britain is one big island mental asylum. Sorry.

    BTW, not long after I came out I joined the online Quentin Crisp Society, and exchanged some emails with him. Sadly he shortly died. But it gave me another perspective on homosexuality, and softened my butch hostility to anything non-masculine.

    Yes, 'The Naked Civil Servant' was as much about British eccentricity as homosexuality. Crisp is the kind of character television loves and makes programmes about.
    It was a good drama, well written and acted, and interestingly, made by ITV, usually quite conservative in its programmes, and less adventurous than the BBC.
  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Aug 17, 2015 1:00 AM GMT
    39 hours to go...

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playinggay/playing-gay
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 17, 2015 2:17 AM GMT
    Wyndahoi saidI can appreciate how this helped the cause.
    But it didn't help me personally. One of the many reasons I was in denial for so long was because the media portrayals of gays. What I saw in pop culture was effeminate men. I wasn't like that, or was I attracted to that*. So I concluded I wasn't gay.
    I've been out over 20 years, and stopped telling people I'm "gay" about a decade ago...until I get to know them better. Now I just mention one of my guy friends that I occasionally get intimate with. Sometimes people ask me "so you're gay?" I just say "no, but I do only date guys."

    That usually confuses people so I have to explain, but many of them get it.
  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Aug 18, 2015 5:18 AM GMT
    11 hours to go and about $2062 to go.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playinggay/playing-gay
  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Aug 18, 2015 4:38 PM GMT
    Looks like they did it.
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playinggay/playing-gay