Recently I discovered Home for the Holidays, a Jodie Foster film. I was surprised to find Robert Downey Jr. playing a gay sibling who is too afraid to announce to his parents that he was married to his boyfriend. For a 1995 film, this was a very progressive image to have in theaters and kudos to Jodie Foster for having the courage to make such a film so close to Hollywood. Home for the Holidays starred Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, Dylan McDermott, Steve Guttenberg, Cynthia Stevenson, and Claire Danes. It was made through Polygram Pictures, a film production company that differed from traditional Hollywood studios in that the power to make a film was decided by negotiations between producers, management and marketing rather than centralized in a small number of executives.
Fast forward 16 years and crowdsourcing (websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo) have largely replaced Polygram Pictures as a way to green light stories that would normally not be made in a traditional Hollywood studio model. Continue reading →
As I was watching Happy Together for the thousandth time, it struck me that this month was the eighth anniversary of the untimely death of Leslie Cheung, nicknamed elder brother (pronounced “gor gor” in Cantonese). If Michael Jackson and James Dean had a love child who was Chinese, it would be the prolific singer/actor Leslie. As you may have already known, not only was he “one of the founding fathers of Cantopop,” he was also voted the most favorite actor in Chinese cinema.
Openly bisexual in the later half of his career, Gor Gor did not shy away from queer roles in films. His film roles were as iconic in Hong Kong film history as they were to the Hong Kong psyche since the 80s. His persona embodied both the masculine and the feminine.
Here is a list of my favorite roles of Gor Gor:
Ling Choi Sin–A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
As the clumsy and handsome scholar, he stole the heart of the gorgeous spirit played by Joey Wang (Yum!). Continue reading →
I may have to recant some of what I wrote about Indonesia on my post about Lady Gaga being censored in Malaysia. Yours truly is currently on a 2 week hiatus in Jakarta, Indonesia. It’s been 8 years since my last visit and I’ve been noticing quite a few changes in this densely populated city I call my birthplace. Aside from the noticeably worse traffic, I’m sensing a positive change especially in the lives of LGBT people. Continue reading →
Long before gay idol Sailor Moon charmed us with her magical costume transformation, there was Hana no Ko Lunlun (花の子ルンルン) dazzling me with her magical outfit changes which are done by pointing her special locket to various species of flowers. Lunlun is probably the grandmother of all other magical girl animes that follow and with that, I dub the series as the gayest anime of all time.
I fell in love with the series back in the early 80′s when the show made it to my home country in the form of dubbed Betamax tapes. Continue reading →
Lady Gaga seems to be a favorite topic of mine. This entry will be the third post from me concerning her. Because she’s such a champion for gay rights, how can I not talk about her? Well it seems in Malaysia radio stations are censoring her single Born This Way by garbling: “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track, baby.” This action is taken as a precaution to avoid fines and penalties imposed by the government for playing songs that violate “good taste or decency or are offensive to public feeling.” Continue reading →
So I recently just bought this game called Dragon Age 2 the day it came out. While I’m a fan of role-playing games, the Dragon Age franchise offers us gaymers a bit more than other games of this genre in that it features gay/lesbian sex and romance should you desire to play the game in this manner.
It’s good to see video game companies including gay/lesbian plot lines. This seems to be the trend lately although this is certainly not a new phenomenon. The earliest inclusion of a gay/lesbian plot line that I can remember happened in the classic RPG Ultima VII from the early 90’s. In this game you, the Avatar, encounters a bath house and are given the choice of either a male or female character to have some fun with. While you don’t see any sort of lascivious act being done on the screen, the fact that you can engage in homosexual activities in a game was practically unheard of during that time. Imagine how intrigued and excited I was to be given this option as a young teenager just starting to discover my sexuality. I must have visited that bath house multiple times in the game… Although a bath house isn’t the most positive way to introduce a gay aspect into the plot, I did feel some comfort knowing that there are others out there who recognize who I am as a person and was gracious enough to include it in the game. This meant a lot to someone who has not come out of the closet yet. Continue reading →
I WoW. Like 12 million other people from around world, I am addicted to the hugely popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft. Some clever people also came up with the name “gaymers”, queers who play video games on a regular basis.
I am not a fashionable person. Nor am I particularly style-conscious. But my brawny friend and I sometimes quibble about the limited choices when it comes to clothing for our respective gender. He believes that women have a wider variety in clothing and accessories while men are restricted to shirts and trousers. He is undoubtedly straight. But, as he puts it, once in a while he just wants to put on a dress because it is pretty and fun. Alas, he doesn’t think he should considering the scrutiny that will be brought upon him. But he does don a handsome kilt here and there.
I, on the other hand, think men are blessed with the cool gear. It is quite a strenuous task for a woman like me, who prefers a more androgynous approach in her attire, to find a jacket that is not adorned by “princess-cut” shoulders or glitters. Buy a man’s jacket then, you might suggest. No, they mostly don’t come in my size. And don’t even get me started on shoes. That’s why there are sites like FiTTiD Tomboi.
I know that this little debate of ours seems puerile. However, I believe the issue of cross-dressing and androgyny demands more dialogue not just in queer culture but culture in general, particularly when androgyny has slowly seeped its way through mainstream culture.
Meet Andrej Pejic, the most sought-after male model in the fashion world at the moment.
A few days ago a thought came into my mind: the classical music world is full of Plain Janes and Average Joes. To illustrate my point go on Youtube and watch a full orchestra perform. Try to pick out the attractive guys (or gals) in the group. You’re lucky if you’re able to find 3 hotties out of a group of around 80 musicians. For whatever reason, this is just how it is in the classical world. I then challenged myself to find good-looking well known composers of the classical world. I scoured the internet for images of well known composers and I was only able to find 4 composers that I consider attractive. Yes, only 4 out of about 500 years of music. Also, the funny thing about these 4 is that they’re all gay (well one is still debated by musicologists but I’m pretty sure he’s queer). I guess the stereotype that gay men are better looking than their straight counterparts holds true here. Here are the 4 composers that I found: Continue reading →
I’ve watched the Oscar every single year, well before I even realize that I’m gay! I watched it, analyzed it, guessed it, you name it, I’ve done it all. I even throw an annual Oscar viewing party in the past 5 years, complete with the Best Picture-themed food & drinks. Yup, I’m an award whore. Every single year I always manage to guess the most correct (and apparently am humble about it too! *sarcasm*). It gets a bit boring after a while, so 3 years ago I also started guessing the nominees, all 24 categories. On my first year I got 54% correct and last year I got 62% correct so I’m hoping that this year I’d get over 75% correct. Wish me luck! Continue reading →
Last year I turned 34. If I was straight I would probably be married by now, have a child or two, live in a two bedroom house with a couple dogs and maybe a cat. Instead, here I am single and vacationing in Hawaii even though I got laid off my day job 2 months ago. I don’t have a sense of when or even if I am going to get married to a man someday. I think I want to have kids but I’m not even sure if I REALLY want them or even if it’s financially possible. It just feels like I’m going through life without any real plan and I wonder if this is the fate of most of us gay men. Continue reading →
I’m Filipino-American, raised Catholic by immigrants, raised WITH immigrants and raised with pride. (We also had seven dogs and never ate them.) I was raised in the Mission in San Francisco and being Asian was never a problem. I was certainly not in the minority and neither were any of my Black, Latino, Asian or White friends in my Catholic school. And it was because of this level playing field that we saw it as innocuous to blatantly point out each others’ race/ethnicity (both of which were words we would ignorantly interchange with nationality…but that’s a different article.)
But I knew I was in the minority, amongst my friends. Being gay was that deep dark secret that I and all of my Catholic school buddies were taught to shun. Abominable, I was. I didn’t even know what that word meant! The word only brought images of giant snowmen to mind, and I certainly wasn’t THAT. (He was white, after all.) Continue reading →