You guys, the Oscars this year were so gay! Neil Patrick Harris and his giant stuffed bulge were so gay. That acceptance speech Graham Moore made for winning Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game was so gay. The Imitation Game itself, nominated for Best Picture was SO GAY.. Oh wait. NPH is the most innocuous non-radical faggot to enter the public sphere since Sean Hayes, Graham Moore is STRAIGHT (wtf?), and the gayest thing about The Imitation Game is that its leading actor’s name sounds a little porny if you pronounce it drunk. Not to mention, where THE FUCK was Joan Rivers’ slide in that In Memorium segment?!
Such unabashed heteronormativity makes a cake boy like me go straight to the Netflix Instant Gay & Lesbian section looking for solace. To my chagrin, eCupid is still there, mocking me for even considering clicking play. But what ho, salvation from the soft-core standbys; a new addition to the dreck that is gay cinema, and this one really seems like a doozy. Inter-racial, closeted gay, British, tragic death mope-fest Lilting creeps up in my queue, promising something more than a Kickstarted Wolfe Video. I want to click play, but after viewing the trailer multiple times I think, “no. I don’t need to feel even shittier about myself”–watching a room full of completely out of touch celebrities celebrate each other already made me feel numb and numb-er and it was getting late. But then a quick Google search leads me to the revelation that lead actor Ben Whishaw is not only super cute but ACTUALLY GAY. Hold the phone, or at least put it on vibrate, Mama is in for this ride, even if it promises to depress the shit out of me.
I like a good play on words. But I didn’t cue up Tru Love for its wit. Instead I looked at the hour twenty-seven run-time and thought, “I can handle this – a nice little palate cleanser between episodes of ‘House of Cards’ and ineffective job hunting.” Little did I know (and how is it always so little in these cases?) that my experience would balloon into a numbingly dragged-out two hour soap fest, replete with healthy pauses for Google research (yes – the movie was made in Canada!), harried text messages to out-of-town friends seeking tax counsel, and general existential crisis about mortality and feelings of otherness. Some of these ponderings were related to the film.
Tru Love is the story of a noncommittal, late-thirties lesbian named Tru looking to connect. Despite her mild Canadian manner and conservative bang n’ bob tresses, life hasn’t always been easy. Orphaned at twelve, banished for homosexual activity at fifteen and a cutter in her early twenties, she’s got a shit-ton of baggage and she likes to work it out on whatever warm body floats her way, although from my perspective her sex life seemed to mainly entail waking up in different pairs of pajamas with other frumpily dressed bedfellows. Sample (fully-clothed) pillow talk: “I had a great time Jenny.” “Jenny? It’s Jamie.” Crazy Tru. When will she learn that life isn’t just about casual sex and comfy pants? IT’S ONLY ABOUT COMFY PANTS. But enough about me.
Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story
of that man skilled in all ways of… butt sex
Kudos to anyone who got the Homeric reference, but you don’t need to be an ancient Greek scholar to be enlightened by the great, marginalizing mythology of the young gay. It is a simple and easily repeatable one. All you need are some female props, like a tiara and beauty pageant sash to establish early onset partial gender-identity dysphoria, an insecure straight boy to lead you astray only to betray you ultimately (in abundance these days, especially in Flanders, apparently…) and an older ally or mentor to have a semi-fucked up relationship with that will probably help you learn something about yourself. Once you’ve got all these elements just throw them at your young gay male protagonist, and voila! You’ve got yourself an Odyssey (of ass). Stacked to the brim with cliché coming-of-age tropes, North Sea Texas is a perfect execution of an unfortunately staid and obnoxious stock gay narrative.
Quick sum-sum: Pim is a little gay boy who likes to put on his deadbeat mom’s makeup. He falls for this boy next door straight-but not narrow kid named Gino. They jerk off together and Pim collects Gino’s cumsock and other autistic memorabilia. Then, lo and behold, Gino starts dating chicks. Pim is betrayed and slashes Gino’s tires. Gino’s sister Sabrina, feels slighted by Pim, who she’s triangularly fallen for, when she finds out he’s a fag. They end up bonding when Pim’s mom skips town with Zoltan, a gypsy that Pim has had a crush on his whole life. Doubly-betrayed-Pim has really been through the ringer at this point, when Gino and Sabrina’s mom gets really sick. On her death bed, mom silently requests that her son and Pim be friends (or more!?) by joining their hands, then kicking the bucket. This kind of reunites Gino and Pim and it kind of maybe ends happily.
Wednesday. 3:26 AM and the insomnia hasn’t lifted despite the Bonnie Raitt playlist I’ve got cued up to complement my plastic sippy cup of Jameson’s. So what better thing to do than tell you about a recent experience I had watching a gay and lesbian Instant Netflix with my bud Rel. Her partner was out of town and mine has grown weary of my eternal adolescence so we were primed for a serious bro down, complete with some boxed butternut squash soup and herbal tea. My dog couldn’t really get on the couch at Rel’s place since he’s been bleeding from his dick for the last couple of weeks – a hump session gone awry, immediate folks in my life are pushing hard for a castration, but goddammit if I don’t love that little fucker’s marble-sized balls – so we got down old-school style on the floor – minus the popcorn and sexual tension. Rel was ready to follow this queer film aficionado to the ends of the earth and I pushed them there alright – by recommending the seemingly innocuous Butch Jamie for our viewing pleasure. But pleasure quickly turned to pain as we subjected ourselves to some of the most confusing eight-four minutes I’ve spent in recent memory, discounting the last cab ride I took from Manhattan to Bushwick.