Archives for category: Gay


Tuesday,  a woman I know sent me a revolting picture of a skinned, live puppy attempting to escape a pot of boiling water.

The following email I opened that day was from a friend telling me that the young Olympiad Tom Daley was dating Dustin Lance Black.

The similarities between these two emails far outweigh the differences.

Black, known to his friends simply as Lance has been around my life as long as we have both been making gay films.  Despite how we have been described, Lance and I are NOT friends. Never have been, never will be.

Recently, Lance’s films have fallen by the wayside. His famous friends and perfect Hollywood pedigree can not augment his startling lack of talent.  Despite the luxury of many recuts his film Virginia remains almost unwatchable.  One of his producers told me that Lance cannot and should not direct.

He claims that he loves my British Academy Award nominated film AKA.   Yet, for all his ‘love’ of my work… he and me have never really connected.  I’m not… a) a young blonde boy,  b) a Hollywood grandee,  c) interested.

Like so many gay men in Hollywood he is ruthlessly ambitious.

Lance Black (born to the Morman faith) is an affluent, white, gay man.  I stress this because it defines who he is as a so-called gay activist.

We see each other at gay apartheid (white only) parties in the Hollywood Hills.  I am usually the plus one.

He lives in a nice house on Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood.  It is sparsely decorated.  For all his riches Lance lives a frugal life.  One might say the house lacks imagination which is odd for such an imaginative man.   One of the bedrooms in his humble home is reserved for the two surrogate children he is planning in his not so distant future.

The only fly in the ointment?  He will not have children unless married.  Sadly, his seeming inability (like so many gay men in Hollywood) to keep just one man, a man to marry… the bassinets remain empty.   He is drawn predominantly to much younger gay men.   The subject of child rearing, when discussed, often leads to amicable separation.

It seems that Lance may have found in Tom Daley a young man he can marry who shares his desire for an immediate family.  Let’s wish him all the best and that child-birth comes quickly… he doesn’t want to be an old dad, too old to play football with his young child.

Lance’s pre occupation with a nuclear family is at odds with how I would determine an activist.  But Lance is no ordinary activist.  He passionately wants for all gays to perfectly ape what heterosexuals seem to have.  Nothing less than full integration will do.  He fights vehemently for the gays to participate in the traditionally right-wing institutions of marriage and the military.

He hangs primarily with a gang of affluent white men who share similar mores.

Gay activists like Lance Black were quick to blame California’s African-American voters for the defeat of Proposition 8, the anti gay marriage amendment.  People for the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert, criticized “the speed with which some white gay activists began blaming African Americans—sometimes in appallingly racist ways.”

Black is wedded to right-wing gay organization the HRC who once famously refused to support the rights of trans people then issued a groveling apology.  Not learning from their white gay mistakes the HRC recently silenced the voices of trans and queer undocumented activists outside the Supreme Court during the DOMA Supreme Court decision, again… apologizing after the fact.

The gays at the HRC, it seems,  have a very narrow view of sexuality. The LGBTQ coalition leaves many affluent, white gay men feeling uneasy and confused.   Unsurprisingly, like so many gay men, Lance questions the legitimacy of bisexuality.  A nettle the gays prefer not to grasp…

Read more about the dark practices of the HRC here.

“In recent years, HRC has been working to contradict its former reputation as an organization overly focused on issues of concern to affluent white gay men, combating long-simmering charges of transphobia within the organization.”

When Lance first started calling himself an activist and regularly going to Washington to meet President Obama I bumped into him at Cafe Solar de Cahuenga on Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood.  Solar is a tatty south American coffee shop/restaurant popular amongst young actors and writers within sight and sound of the busy 101 Freeway.

I praised him for his film Milk which he valiantly produced and won an Oscar for writing.  I didn’t ask him about the controversy whirling around the gay gossip vortex in which we are both hapless victims.

Amongst the back stabbing gays his success and authenticity were being questioned.

Hadn’t he stolen the Milk project from another gay producer?  Did he in fact write the script that won him the Oscar?  Some people said that Ron Nyswaner had in fact written the final script that Gus shot?   The gays told me that he took his Oscar everywhere.  That he couldn’t put it down.  They scoffed that he used his power and prestige within the gay community to snare impressionable young boys.   They said that he should have been wearing a condom when he was fucking his ‘boyfriend’ in the infamous shots of Lance with a cock in his ass… if he was at all interested in being an ‘activist’ he should have been wearing a condom.  They said that he should practice what he preached.  They said that the original documentary about Harvey Milk was far better than the film.

Harvey Milk made Lance Black famous.  What Milk would have made of Black personally… I wonder.  What Black would have thought of Milk if he had met him contemporaneously… I wonder.  Milk was a charismatic, bombastic, driven, older jewish man.  Lance channels Milk’s political inclusivity when he claims that all he wants to do is ‘give people hope’, this wholesale appropriation of Milk’s legacy… sticks somewhat in the caw.

Lance hangs with Milk’s contemporary and true activist Cleve Jones.   Lance riding Cleve’s activist coat tails?  Cleve seduced by Hollywood glamour?

What kind of political activist is Dustin Lance Black?

Whilst whistle blower and trans hero Pvt. Chelsea Manning rots in jail, ‘activist’ Lance Black lead the ‘human rights’ charge on The Castro for San Francisco Pride.   SF Pride chose to controversially exclude Manning from the official Pride demonstration in fear of upsetting Pride’s corporate donors.

Back in Hollywood, Lance sits writing on his own in the middle of the coffee shop sipping green tea.  Everyone could see him there.  We talked about British equality legislation fashioned by Waheed Ali.  I told Lance about British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell.  He seemed enthralled by Peter’s unique brand of direct action so I organized an introduction.  When the time came for him to meet with Peter… Lance bailed.

I sent a dismissive note.

We didn’t speak again until he started dating a dear friend of mine who was at that time living at my home.

My friend is perhaps one of the sweetest man I know.  Kind, considerate, thoughtful, intelligent, curious and recently out of the closet.  In fact, history repeating itself, my friend came out for Lance.  My friend made the first move.

Knowing that my friend was falling for Lance I tried to stay as impartial as I possibly could.  It didn’t last long.  I was furious.  I was supportive and kind for as long as I could be.  I asked Lance over to the house for his new boyfriend’s birthday lunch.  Lance bailed.

During the next few months of their relationship I watched my friend fall apart.  My friend started therapy.  He was torn and confused and miserable.

At one particular gay pool party Lance rudely left without telling my dear sweet friend that he was leaving. Lance ended up at another Hollywood party, at Roland Emerich’s surrounded by more young boys.

My friend was distraught.

Thankfully, when Lance took my friend to The White House he didn’t bail.  They ran around with Don Lemons stealing Christmas cookies.  They had access all areas.  They hung in the Oval office.  My friend was delighted to see history being made… for affluent white gay people.

I maintained my impartiality.

I have no opinion about Lance and Tom.  Sadly, others do.

Tom Daley is being scolded in the bully chat rooms by the petit bourgeois gays for ‘making the first move’ as if his teenage innocence and delight can be construed as a devious attempt at star fucking.

The British public love Tom Daley and they will not let him get hurt or tangled in anything other than a relationship they deem appropriate.  For the time being they will give Lance Black the benefit of the doubt. I am sure that the British press will keep tabs on Lance.  If he thinks for one gay moment that he can get away with any duplicitous behavior around Tom Daley… he had better think again.

The problem is:  no one expects gay men to have morals, or stick to the rules.  Gay white affluent man have written their own rules and nobody dares question them.  They have become a super elite, their access to the world stage unparalleled.  But with wider acceptability comes broader scrutiny.

Elton John once said in front of me, “10 gay men run the world… and I know all of them.”

Tom Daley is a beloved young British boy.  We may begin to see this corrupt, elite gay world through his teenage eyes.  It is a shadowy world of sexual un-manageability, pedophilia and other unsavory obsessions.

It is not what the elite gays want you to know,  whilst they paint a public picture of themselves that makes them seem… just like you.

The Little Dog is, as usual, very chill.  He becomes more trusting as he gets older.

One bright Sunday last month we visited the Brooklyn flea market and looked over the river to Manhattan.

I spent two days in the hospital having a stent removed from my gall bladder.  Yes, I did.

I had dinner with Fern Mallis… who, as you know, invented fashion week.

Duncan Roy Fern Mallis

After dinner we decided to attend the Giorgio Armani One Night Only event.

When we arrived we were whisked off to meet Armani who refuses to speak english but spoke english to Fern… because Fern is a legend.

On Sunday we went to the doggy Halloween parade in Tompkins Square Park but we couldn’t be bothered to wait in line.

In Woodstock we met a man wearing a lovely sweater.


I met a friend of Wendy Asher’s.


Lady Rizo and I went to a party in a penthouse on Gramercy Park.

The hedge fund billionaire who owned the apartment also owned a perfect Nakashima coffee table.

Lady Rizo Duncan Roy

The following week we sat with Courtney Love in the Baby Grand, a new lounge at the back of the TriBeCa Grand with Paul Sevigny for a Roger Vivier event.

The lounge is perfectly beautiful and looks like the Beverly Hills Hotel interior on Acid.

For Halloween proper we hung with Cynthia Rowley who looked like this and loved my Asprey tie.

This is my Halloween costume:


It is a paper napkin with two slits torn into it.

The following day I went back to Woodstock to look at a lake house I want to buy.

This is me and The Little Dog in the view taken by Angelo:


Today we watched the NYC marathon. This morning at 7am we ate breakfast bagels in Crown Heights.  We ate two further brunches later on in Williamsburg.  After my haircut.


Before I start.  Before I show you more pretty pictures.

(I am loyal to those I love.)

I have something to say.

Something that needs capitalized.

I want to remind you that ARTISTS WILL PREVAIL.  Unfalteringly.  However or how often they are plagued by false accusation or malicious slur.  However their friends are forced to defend them.   Everything gets added to the pot.

The older, the more immune one becomes.   I hear it all.   Before… it made me crazy.  Now I am inured.   Eventually those who dare say it are forced to face me.  Try stopping me.

These plebeians.  No, no, no.

I was house hunting this weekend upstate.   Looking at pretty interiors.  Imagining cottage gardens.  The full, fleshy petals of pale pink peony around the house.   Imagining blackberries and apple.  Dahlia in the autumn.

Farmers Market

Gay and Lesbian cinema is enjoying a well deserved revival and two very special films are garnering a great deal of post Sundance attention.

Concussion written and directed by Stacie Passon and Kill Your Darlings written by  Austin Bunn and John Krokidas, directed by John Krokidas.

By way of full disclosure, I was once very friendly with John Krokidas who stayed in both my ex boyfriend’s house on Fire Island and our house in London.

The similarities between Concussion and Kill Your Darlings, both opening in NYC this weekend, are legion.

Both are first features by writer/directors in their 40’s, both incredibly accomplished, both fatally flawed during the middle of the third act and both produced by lesbians.  Concussion, produced by the venerable Rose Troche.   Kill Your Darlings,  by equally lauded Christine Vachon.

Thankfully,  both have found their way into the mainstream at a time when the mainstream have developed an appetite for gay and lesbian culture.

After their opening night screening Troche, when asked what had changed for gay and lesbian film since she showed Go Fish at the Angelica twenty years earlier, said, “Social Media.”

We, as gay and lesbian film makers, are no longer so isolated, so dependent on traditional media to get our message to what was once a niche market but has become, due to the marriage equality debate, a broader church.

Kill Your Darlings is a ‘bigger’ film than Concussion.  There is a great deal of Oscar talk around Darlings and film industry infra structure to support that claim.  A period film, a grander stage, a huge cast.  My gay friend who saw it before me called it one of the ‘best films they had ever seen’.

There are flaws in both of these low-budget movies that maybe, with a little extra cash, could have been resolved.

Yet Darlings suffers most for its low budget.

When all is said and done, Darlings is a cold film, lacking substance.   It seems scared of embracing man/man man/boy emotion.  The characters lack depth and focus.  It is a cruel film.  Not least because it deals with a murder.   Yet, the murder only really becomes apparent toward the end.

A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.’

Described thus on IMDB… the film does nothing of the sort.

Before the murder is picked at like an unsightly, syphilitic scab in the middle of the third act Krokidas sets up a youth orientated world where older men are vilified, where young boys (Daniel Radcliff and Dane DeHann) run from party to party, taking drugs, reciting poetry and jacking off .

Young, attractive, sexually ambiguous, entitled, partying college students vaguely remind one of Sebastian Flyte and Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisted but sadly… without the wit, subtext or the huge budget.

The two main performances are, on the whole, lackluster.  Yet, every single performance beyond the unrequited lovers are… brilliant.   Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Jason Leigh etc. etc. Brilliant!

Poor Michael C. Hall playing David Kammerer, the soon to be murdered older man, turns up periodically looking forlorn and pathetic in his period coat and beard like a homeless person had wandered onto the set by accident.  Both he and the equally talented Jack Houston are horribly underused and sidelined while the less talented ‘youth’ continue to take drugs and quote Yates.

If Kill Your Darlings had really focused on the murder, the resulting trial and  aftermath this film might have succeeded.  Yet, the backdrop becomes the foreground, the story held hostage by pretentious fluff and circumstance.

Unaware of this compelling murder story before I saw Kill Your Darlings.   I Googled Kammerer, Ginsberg and Carr.

I remembered  William Burroughs coming to my 21st Birthday party.  I began to see how the story had been massaged by Bunn and Krokidas to suit their own 21st Century gay agenda.

How do gay men want to present themselves and our history?

The murderer in Darlings is a bad gay not because he murdered a so called predator (his defense) but because he subsequently got married and had kids and didn’t ‘come out’.

The ‘older man’ is dispensable… worthless… the murder almost… forgivable.

Even though the victim Kammerer was seven years younger than forty-year old Krokidas is now, the writer and director show this character little compassion.  Krokidas directs the audience to incorrectly believe that Kammerer was somehow a much older pedophile rather than a love struck gay man…  that he deserved to die.

One final note.

The spectacle of Daniel Radcliffe being fucked in the ass, his hairy legs forced over his shoulders is perhaps the most daring yet superfluous, unnecessary and redundant scene in the entire movie.  Sadly, it is for what this film will be remembered, which is not what the writers intended.

Both Concussion and Darlings are very white films.  There are no black people at all in Concussion which I found utterly baffling.

Kill Your Darlings has perhaps one of the most racially offensive scenes where Radcliffe and DeHann are the only white faces in a black speak easy imagining what trouble they could cause by manipulating the clientele if they were negro puppets frozen in time.

As a metaphor it was sickeningly on point: this is how white gay Americans treats black gay Americans.

How could this appalling white casting have happened?  Whilst Darlings can use the ‘period’ excuse… Concussion cannot.

The colorless casting issue aside, Concussion, because it seems to comfortably inhabit the parameters of a low budget film is a more accomplished and polished tale.

After a blow to the head, Abby decides she can’t do it anymore. Her life just can’t be only about the house, the kids and the wife. She needs more: she needs to be Eleanor.’

Concussion as described on IMDB only scrapes at the surface of what this ingenious film unpacks.

Concussion’s provenance is by way of the IFP script lab and Sundance Post Production fund.

The delicate performances, elegant settings, this thoughtful and spare film (compassionately told) delighting from beginning to end… well, until mid-way through the third act.

Concussion is Robin Weigert‘s film.  Her performance is sublime.

Weaving interconnecting tales of Suburban and urban lesbian life, an ordinary sexually unsatisfied house wife strays into a world of sexual diversion.  Selling her sexual self to other woman.  It’s as simple as that yet the adventure she chooses becomes our teachable moment.   Those who crave sex over emotion, or emotion over sex.

The questions posited pester long after the film ends.

Films about double lives are always intriguing.  How those two lives collide.  Picking up the children from school juxtaposed with violent images of remembered s and m sex.

Abbey is an interior decorator who is renovating a small apartment in lower Manhattan.  She uses the apartment to meet women who hire her as a sex worker.  After the loft is sold and her secret life revealed a choice has to be made.

Will Abby stay with her wife or move on?

I’m not going to spoil it for you other than to say that the answer gets lost somehow in a melee of loose ends.

Both Concussion and Kill Your Darlings are welcome at a time when almost every Hollywood studio is contemplating larger budget gay themed movies.  Gay film makers must continue to tell stories that use the language and locations of our own lives.   Although I had problems with Darlings it is imperative that these films go on being made.

White,  gay male youth orientated stories have become bankable.  White female middle-aged lesbian movies… not so much.  Powerful white gay men in Hollywood make sure that some gay stories get applauded whilst others (Liberace) are ignored.

The Weekend by Andrew Haigh (Creator of Looking for HBO) although breaching the straight/gay divide was not given the ‘A Gay’ benediction Krokidus is currently enjoying.  The gay men in The Weekend were too old, poor and took public transport… some of the criticisms I heard from the velvet mafia.  The film was consequently marginalized by Hollywood gays.

John Krokidas waited ten years to enjoy the dream of making his movie come true, within that ten years the face of film making, gay film making, distribution and post production have undergone a revolution. The culture, the matrix from which these films are conceived and born has changed beyond recognition.

Krokidas could not have made this film ten years ago.  Nobody was interested in making films like this.

The recently democratized means of production and distribution allow any young (or not so young)  gay film maker the freedom to tell our tales without masking their truth.

For too long gay film makers were advised to turn their back on their own stories for fear of marginalizing their careers.

For those of us who waited, remained tenacious it is maybe too late to find a place at the table.   Yet, I am thrilled for those… like John and Stacie who do.

Blair Thurman

Utah 2

America is the most beautiful country.  Utah is my favorite state.

Utah 1




18 Year Old Des Moines Hairdresser

















































































Just Like You

Listen, I want you to know something about me.  I hate condoms. I hate wearing them. I love fucking raw. I love it. I don’t do it. I can’t do it.  I wanted to fuck my lover without a condom.  I want to cum inside you.  I love you.

This is what HIV looks like in 2013:

Brandon, he’s 22… he wants to be hog tied and fucked in the mouth and ass. He wants to meet me.

He wants me to ‘take control’ he wants me to beat him and fuck him.  He wants ‘verbal’. He enquired if I preferred him to call me daddy or sir.  I’m interested. This daddy loves an obedient boy.  We talk on the phone, he’s upbeat and sweet-natured but after we agree to meet he texts me:

‘Before we meet. I’m Positive. And I’m honest about it. Thoughts?’

I wait a moment. Restraint of pen and tongue.

I text him back. ‘Can we talk?’  I explain why I can’t meet him. I tell him that I’m scared and I don’t want to risk an infection. I’m too old to get infected. I lived through the AIDS catastrophe. I didn’t get infected.

The conversation I had with Brandon is not common. Usually when I say that I can’t have sex with someone who is HIV positive they spew vitriol.   They tell you that it was a ‘mercy fuck‘ anyway, that I’m ugly , that I’m ignorant… of course… I know what they are really saying.   They usually get what they want when they want it and woe-betides anyone who fucks with their plan.

Some HIV poz men feel that by being honest I will feel equally warm and fluffy and my respect for their honesty will translate into a fuck.

Let me tell you what I remember when someone tells me they are HIV positive.

I remember the gaunt, yellow faces of formerly beautiful young men crying because they don’t want to die. I remember men hermetically sealed from the world in plastic tents. I remember the smell of piss and shit.  I remember the quiet sobbing of newly widowed men.  I remember all of that and I cannot go there.

More controversially… when you tell me you are HIV positive I am confronted fair and square with your sexual history.  I imagine other men cumming inside you.

I just do. I can’t help myself.

That’s why I can’t sit facing the toilet when I am in a restaurant. Imagining people pooing and wiping their asses. It puts me off my dinner.

There are two communities. Two gay communities. The HIV negative and the HIV positive.  I have no interest in interacting sexually with the latter. I will be damned for writing that.

Brian says: ‘Duncan, someone who knows they’re positive and is on treatment can easily be less infectious than someone who doesn’t know that they’re positive and happens to have a high viral load, and is therefore very infectious.  That could be the issue of ignorance of which they speak. I agree no one has the right to go off on you for not wanting to play, but the issue is more complicated than pos/neg.’


The issue is NOT complicated for me. I don’t want to be HIV positive.

The community with HIV is very eager to diminish their responsibility and guilt those without HIV into thinking it’s all ok just because they describe themselves as ‘healthy’.  They still have HIV and they can infect you… however low their viral load.  They claim they are ‘undetectable’ which means they have a very low viral load.

Undetectable is a big problem.  It is used incorrectly by many people to make others feel that the sex they have is safer than with those who are not undetectable.  Undetectable people are still HIV poz.  The condom breaks. You are now a slave to toxic chemicals.  A slave to big pharma.

Who are these undetectable people? These invisible men? Gay ghosts. Scarcely there.   Leaving behind just the whiff of AIDS.  HIV is totally avoidable in 2013. Yet, we still go on being the largest group of new infections in what is still an epidemic.  I don’t want to talk about Africa or straight people or intravenous drug users.

I want us to take some responsibility.   Especially those of you who are transitioning from the Neg community to the Poz community.  Those of you who make the choice… who made the choice last night to take a risk.  Those of you who thought, or did not think, as he came inside you… that you would risk the consequences of HIV.  You are packing your bags, you are moving to the other side. To the other gay community. The undetectable gay community.

Finally, one last nail in my gay coffin.

What’s this crap about gay men and shame? We can’t shame gay/bisexual men into wearing a condom?  Because they are gay or bisexsual and have shame about their sexuality?

We can’t shame gay men or bisexuals into making better choices for themselves?  Like we do smokers?  No… because the gay community must be shameless at all cost. We are gay! We live without shame.  We’ve been shamed ENOUGH.


I say… shame those who knew they were HIV poz and took away the neg status of others by lying.  This really happens.  I know a few good men who have had their good health stolen from them by unscrupulous gay men.

There are two gay communities. One of them is HIV positive. The other is not.  Those who are not positive are described as elitist by those who are.  Those who are HIV positive scoff at those who are not… because the implication is: they weren’t pretty or handsome or desirable enough to get infected with HIV.

I am scared of getting HIV. Like some people are scared of snakes.

I am happy that I am HIV negative. In fact… I am proud to be HIV negative. Does that make me elitist?  Well, yes… if elitism means that I mostly took care of myself.

That I don’t have to buy costly drugs every month to stay… undetectable.

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Liberace Scott Thorson

I was asked to direct this movie, or a movie like it, ten years ago.

It was a script based on the autobiography of Liberace’s lover Scott Thorson.  I read the script, I met the producers, I met Michael Keaton who was, at that time, attached to the project.  Now, I don’t remember the script, I don’t remember the producers.  I remember meeting Michael Keaton in an obscure room in Santa Monica. Michael was very quiet, not at all enthused.

I remember asking myself why he would want to make this movie. I remember sharing ideas about performance and parameters.  He didn’t want to do an ‘impersonation’.

Another script about Liberace arrived, a more dynamic, dramatic and excessive script. It piqued my interest.  It began with Liberace’s final moments in the back of a limousine.  Liberace is often damned for claiming he wasn’t gay, for never admitting to his HIV status. That those around him at the end of his life went to extraordinary lengths to hide that he died of AIDS.

Of course, there are still people, (living people) who never admit they are HIV positive.   Such is the shame around HIV and AIDS.  But equally there were many people at the time of Liberace’s death who went to extraordinary lengths to reveal that he died of AIDS.  They exhumed his already buried body to prove their point.

There were too many people eager to shame him. For that’s what they wanted to do. Shame the gay man.

Liberace never said publicly that he was gay. He denied it. Again and again.  I sympathise with his denial. It was his choice, a choice we now condemn.  In these prescriptive times if you are not willing to say you are gay… someone else will.

Liberace was a brand.  Like Posh and Becks.  When David Beckham was caught cheating… they went to extraordinary lengths to protect their brand.  It’s understandable that Liberace lied on oath. He had everything to lose.  In those miserable homo-ignorant times there were plenty who would have delighted and profited from his downfall.


Reading the reviews for this film a theme emerges: Loneliness.

Mary McNamara LA Times: ‘A darkly moving look at two lonely men who briefly found something like love.’

Michael Thornton The Telegraph: The Lonely Liberace I knew.

There are countless other references to this ‘lonely’ man Liberace. His ‘lonely’ mother, his ‘lonely’ boy friend Scott.  Scott was ‘damaged’, Scott was a ‘gold digger’, Scott was a ‘lonely soul’. Scott was ‘played too sympathetically because he’s in jail for burglary’.  It seems like the prophecy of fearful mothers comes to pass in this movie, that their gay sons with end up alone, abandoned, unhappy.

The relationship between Scott and Liberace may seem familiar to any powerful, older man who lets a younger man into his life:  “They establish a bond that is a blend of romantic love, father-son affection, brotherly playfulness, and prostitution.”

Liberace, like Brokeback Mountain before it brings into hard focus the lives and loves of queer men.  There is the obligatory delight and revulsion (in equal measure) of the kissing. Two men kissing.  Two men kissing seems to remind many straight men that a tender intimacy can exist between men and that may very well interfere what they imagine we do.  The gay butt fucking they imagine… immediately… after meeting one another.

Men kissing, like men getting married, seems to inflame the homophobe.

I’m wondering why Steven Soderbergh wanted to make this movie, why a gay director wasn’t chosen?  Did he do it because it seemed like a cool thing to do? A straight man, so comfortable in his own skin that he can work with queer subject matter?   It still feels to me like straight boys (actors and director) getting together to prove a point.

With so many talented and extraordinary gay directors in the world how did this end up being made by a bunch of straight guys?  Was Liberace too difficult and distasteful and potentially divisive for a gay director?  When ever I have stood before a queer audience with my queer films (confirmed by other queer, male directors) the audience who have the most problems are those who want to say: I didn’t see me.

Gay man are desperate to see themselves and their lives as they live them in TV and film. It is perfectly reasonable for them to expect this.  Rather than the gay freak, the gay priest, the comedy gay… they, understandably, want to see themselves fairly represented. They want to see gay detectives, gay wedding crashers, gay teachers, plumbers, gay undocumented workers.

Many reviewers of Liberace: Behind The Candelabra smirk at the foolishness and naivety of the straight women who swooned at this obviously gay man.  I once researched a documentary about fag hags. All the women I spoke to who identified as fag hags felt adored and listened to, appreciated, respected by a man. Even if that man was gay.  Those women provide the clue to Liberace’s denial and downfall.  Liberace wasn’t lonely. He was a performing artist who found solace and validation, like many do, on the stage.

Every night he performed he bathed in the glory of his screaming fans. The unconditional love of his audience.  An adoring audience of many thousands will never be any match for the love of just one man.  I remember saying that to Michael Keaton as I sat there in that small room realizing who Liberace was.

Garden 3

Ha.  Don’t hold your breath.

Will you tell your grandchildren that you remember a time when people hated on black people because they were black and your grandchildren raise their eyebrows in disbelief?

Will you tell your grandchildren that you remember a time when nearly all top jobs in industry and government were taken by white men and your grandchildren raise their eyebrows in disbelief?

Will you tell your grandchildren that you remember a time when a gay man was shot in the face in the middle of the most liberal city in the western world for being a faggot and your grandchildren raise their eyebrows in disbelief?

A thousand years from now?  Maybe that’s the kind of incremental change brown people, women and queer people expect?

When will you fight for more?  Why do you put up with the status quo?

Fight for marriage and all things are equal?  No.  Fight for white men to stop taking everything, determining the agenda and we might get somewhere.

A French octogenarian shoots himself in the face because he hates gay marriage.  If he were American he would have massacred first then killed himself.  I think that this scenario seems plausible.

I wouldn’t like to hang around in gay bars right now.  Not with all these emboldened haters amongst us.

Thank God I don’t drink.

I am wearing my pink shoes.  People understand what I am when they look at my feet.

I’m trying to jettison ‘straight acting‘, I’m trying to abandon my invisibility but I know what that means.  It means hostility from gay men and straight men.

I like it when they describe drag queens as fierce.  That’s what I have spent life being:  FIERCE.  Of course, this has been perceived as angry or anti social or…  can I explain something?

Anger is an emotion related to one’s psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged, or denied and a tendency to react through retaliation.

Anger management?  The management of justified anger.

Listen to this.  I have been reasonably angry for a long time.

I was a kid and I knew I wanted to fall in love with and have sex with men (and women) but the man part of my desire was outlawed, derided.

I fell in love at school.  I fell in love and explored men’s bodies.

I remember when I was 14 I was walking along the beach in Whitstable.  I met a man.  I lay on the sea wall with him.  Furtive.  Illegal.  I never saw him again.  I wonder about him.

They hated us for something we could not change.  I ignored them.  I parried the blows.

I lived in a dream world because living in that reality was simply too painful.

Margaret Thatcher didn’t want me and men and women like me… she didn’t want us to exist.

I’ll tell you what makes me angry:  Brown people not getting a fair trial.  A third of all black men in the USA are in jail.  Women in the military being raped and sexually abused.   Drag queens damning trans people.  I am angry that some people are denied bail.  I am angry that my lover left me when I found my tumor.   I am angry with myself for falling in love with men who could never love me back.  I am angry that the breast cancer gene is privately owned, that innocent brown people are still being held in captivity in Guantanamo Bay.  I am angry that gay men think that marriage is the answer.  I am angry that I grew up with an angry step father.  I am angry that Monsanto kill bees.  I am angry that my neighbors park in front of my gate so I can’t get in and out of my house.  I am angry that two young girls are criminalized for falling in love.  I am angry that most agents (realtors and talent) are sociopath.  I am angry with gay men and straight men for over simplifying sexuality.

How do you live with that?

I set it aside.  The anger.  I find peace wherever I can.  I pull weeds.  I walk the dogs.  I feed the fish.

I forgive them for their sexism, their murder, their bullying, their insistence that they WIN.  At all costs.  Like the bees.  Winning the market means… killing the bees.

When I buy something at auction the others applaud.  They congratulate me.  They tell me that I have won.  I didn’t win.  I just paid the highest price.  It’s not hard to do.

So.  Today I am wearing my pink shoes.  There you go.  ‘Nice shoes,’ they scoff.

Oh, I’m wearing them because I’m queer and I really want you to know.  Because I exist somewhere between Liberace and Jason Collins but I’m still trying to work it out.  Working out what kind of man I am.

I don’t think I’m alone.

Men make their own history but they do not make it as they choose.

Karl Marx

Stormy Malibu


It started with a short message and ended up with a whole bunch of choices I never expected.

Not in my wildest dreams.

I’ve read what you had to say. Now it’s my turn.

Stepping away from the mess. It’s not so messy. It seems like it was planned.

This pantomime. Look at the cast of unusual, freakish characters. Look at them.

Boys and men, trans and women.

Young girls. Yes. They are here too.

So you wrote me a poem. No title… of course.


We were connected .

When it expires we are expired.

The order? It was a good idea. It was a great way to formalize the end of our association. I can only imagine that you feel much the same way I do.

I wish we had never met.

Don’t you shudder whenever you think about it?

I understand why you needed to rewrite the narrative.

I took advantage of you?

You had far more to lose by telling the truth.

When assigning blame, I take full responsibility. I should have walked away.

Everyone I trusted advised me to do so. Everyone I trusted.

I didn’t.

Instead, I pinned my hopes on you. I found your interest in me all at once baffling and inspiring.

A romantic relationship was impossible.

Because I am a broken, sick man. Incapable of intimacy.

You sold me:

A big fat lie.

Yet, we never talked about my lies. Yes, I lied to you about almost everything.

Lies I had held onto for a very long time.

This man is a liar. Just like me. Did you ever think that?


The last time I checked, and that was some time ago, you seemed very happy wearing your new clothes, your relationship, your job and your family.

I am delighted. You will make a much better job of being a gay than I ever could.

It seems to be an exciting time for a young gay man in the USA. Equality on the horizon, no AIDS.

Your ability to form and maintain relationships will mean that you’ll have everything you always wanted. Everything you ever dreamed.

The questions I wanted to ask… I have no reason to ask.

The truth set you free and I am very proud of you… even though I have no desire to set eyes upon you ever again.

May 6th 2013


When did you have time to write that? Was it really meant for me?

Did you wonder if I should reply? Did you think I could?

There are no words left.


It’s 3am.

The storm rattles the house, thunders down the drain pipes. Torrents of rain over the mountain. Hammering down onto the wide, new leaves.

Wide awake.

Make some toast and lime marmalade. Boil some eggs. Stand naked in the warm rain.

Paw and Finger

Carpenter NYC 21

In the separate but equal ‘gay voice’ section of the Huffington Post yesterday there was another ‘outraged’ homo article about the Pentagon censuring  LGBT web sites like Towelroad but not ‘hate speak’ web sites Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter.

The Pentagon, like many large companies that control internet access, have deemed that LGBT sites are mostly inappropriate for work place viewing.

Why?  The gays scream.  Why do you censor us and not Rush Limbaugh?

A quick comparison.

Rush and Anne, although not my personal cup of tea, do not illustrate their ‘hate speak’ web sites with images of copulating straight people.

In hetero land hard core pornographic images are rightly limited to porn sites.

In homo land we are subjected to random pornographic illustrations (or advertising) on sites purportedly aimed at debating current queer affairs.  Images that I would not want to share with my co-workers.

Today, in the reputable queer news site Towelroad, well written articles about Bradley Manning run along side a pornographically illustrated story about the death of a gay porn star.

Interestingly, the porn star died of HIV related complications.

Something that supposedly doesn’t happen any more.

Even though every recent statistic sadly proves that HIV is on the meteoric rise in the bare back obsessed gay community… to say so out loud is deemed homophobic/selfloathing.

As for hate speak?  Have any of you read the hate filled rhetoric on most homo web sites… aimed mostly at other gay men?

As I have written many times:  queer men willingly take up the cudgels to beat and bully fellow queers where their supposed hetero persecutors dropped them.

BTW Gays…  a differing opinion is not hate speak.

The separate but equal ‘gay voice’ section of The Huffington Post is filled with either outraged queens claiming homophobia or cooing doves describing a gay kiss on net work TV.

A reflection on the vapid, with us or agin us culture so many of you subscribe to.

As usual we refuse to look at our part in the problem. We claim:  They are doing it to us.  They are to blame.  We are blameless.  We do not deserve scrutiny or self-examination.

The Elmo guy is not a pedophile.  He’s a persecuted, misunderstood gay man hounded by the straight media.

In the separate but equal ‘gay voice’ section of the Huffington Post there is a story about an angry ex ‘gay for pay’ porn star who claims that the devil comes out of his ass.

Why?  Why is this story about straight insanity in the ‘gay voice’ section?  Surely it should be on the ‘crazy white hetero’ page along with all those crazy white, straight mass murderers.

By the way, I’ve never understood why it isn’t ok to be ‘separate but equal’, sometimes it’s just easier.

Like being a Hasidic Jew, I want to be separate so I can get on with my business and enjoy my culture without prying eyes.

Of course I need to be equal, however, so I don’t live in resentment.

As a charming postscript I wanted you to know that after my ‘i am not gay piece’ the other day, the gay and lesbian Legacy Project contacted me and as a result my films will not be burned by jack booted gay men… but all of my queer themed films will now be archived (with pride) at The Legacy Project.

As for the film I am currently making?  Let me tell you.  We have come a long way in 20 years.  A very long way.

When a black straight producer wants to make your white queer film… that’s what I’m talking about.