SAME OL’ SAME OL’: HOMOSEXUALITY IN HOLLYWOOD
We’re all gay to some extent. I would have loved to have gone a few rounds with Brando. Just as I’m sure a lot of straight guys today would probably like to lick Hugh Jackman’s claws. Just as a lot of heterosexual women would probably dig digging on Jada Pinkett Smith. It’s in all of us, even if we never open up and say aaahhh.
What’s amazing is that in 2011, with a black president, when it comes to movies, it’s still the same old scene. Rock Hudson died of Aids, but there still ain’t no leading man who is openly gay. The most famous lesbian in Hollywood, Ellen, is mostly famous for being a lesbian. The people who do come out—like Ricky Martin—usually do it in a last stab at relevance, long after it would have really mattered to most. The only thing that’s changed, really, is Burt Lancaster didn’t have to deal with cell phone cameras like Vin Diesel does. The protection has been eaten through by TMZ. So now there are very public rumor swirls around Tom Cruise, Jodie Foster, John Travolta, etc. And rumors, by nature, lead to nasty jokes. And nasty jokes, by nature, lead to closets.
I don’t know who’s gay and who’s not—unless they say so. I do know that the kindest agent I ever dealt with was Bryan Lourd at CAA, and he’s gay. I do know my Zen teacher, Roshi Enkyo O’Hara, is gay. I know one of the best actors I ever worked with, I’ll just call him Fits, he’s gay. I admire all these people tremendously. But when I go to a movie, there’s just whispers and the dark. There’s just some old lie, lying there. And I wanna reach up and grab the screen. And I wanna shake the screen ‘til it knows what I mean.
Someone needs to change the rules. We’re too informed to be ignorant, but too scared to care. And yet why can’t an action hero actor be gay? Why can’t people just say what they say? There’s gotta be something better, gotta be another way. Smiles when angry. Cheats and lies. Do what has to be done to get by.
Modigliani hid his tuberculosis by becoming a junkie. A junkie was okay for an artist. But if people found out he was suffering from TB, he would be ostracized and cast out of society. He would no longer have access to the materials he needed as an artist. When an artist is faced with such a choice, it’s no choice at all. What could a white lie have on the profound truth of true art? If you wanna make an impact, mainstream. Mainstream yourself. Don’t be gay. Lose the weight. Plug the hair. Plump the lips. Race the race. Do damage. Kill it.
Sin is actually a Latin archer’s term. It has nothing to do with Mel Gibson or the apocalypse or God’s judgment. Sin is simply when an archer misses the mark. No heavenly prosecution involved. No right or wrong. No judge at all. Nothin’ holy. Sin is simply missing the mark. And it’s a sin that there aren’t a bunch of openly homosexual men and women starring in films today. It doesn’t sit right. Why are we letting Dumb Hillbilly Bob run our dreams? That’s all movies are. Dreams. Projections of light and time. The very act of sitting down in a movie theater is the act of seeing one’s dreams. And if we’re all the same one, the same dream, let’s take it over with our best self. Not with the self that’s fearful and tiny.
Could David Geffen give 100 million to a blockbuster starring an openly gay actor? Perhaps. But first the actor has to come out. Or does Geffen have to put up the money first? Or does the actor’s agent have to come out first? Or the actor’s wife? Or the actor’s audience? I dunno. Chicken and egg stuff. It’s a group effort kinda thing I guess. I’ll take off my mask if you take off yours. You first. No, me first. No, you first…
— Noah Buschel