You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Gay’ category.

I have toted with checking this show out a number of times, but have always been cautious taking on a gay themed series sight unseen.

But with JB Hifi currently selling the series at a dramatically reduced price – $14.95 NZ – I decided to take the plunge and bought the first season. After only two episodes I have now gone back and bought the rest. It is that good.

Beyond just being witty and about the GLBT community, the series really does present a fairly accurate portrayal of the minefield of issues that face gay men and women on a daily basis. Yes, it is slightly exaggerated, but when one of the character’s states “There are only two types of straight people. Those who hate you to your face and those who hate you behind your back” in reference to gay people.

That’s not only a ballsy statement to have a character make, there really are actually gay men out there who think like this. Presumably this guy is going to have this view challenged before the series ends.

While the series is an ensemble show, there are three clear leads out of the cast of seven. Mike is the narrator who occasionally breaks the fourth wall for comic effect. He’s nice, friendly and clearly a bit of a romantic. Brian is the gorgeous cocky manwhore who doesn’t believe in love just sex for fun. He’s arrogant, but there is a hint that this is to protect himself from a world he feels is just out to get him. Justin is the supernaturally beautiful 17 year old virgin who is just entering the gay community. I say supernatural because the actor is just stunningly beautiful in a very angelic manner. Even when he’s being adorably goofy – for example he is in bed and asked “what do you like?” by a naked Brian and he starts listing his hobbies and after school activities.

I love that the show has a reasonable cross section of the community, including a lesbian couple that don’t look like a crass stereotype.

From a perspective of “would heterosexual viewers like this show?” I think many would. The cast are great, the dialogue is witty and fun. The show is very frank about what the gay community is like, to the point that it may surprise some people as to what it is like to be a part of that community.

I think QaF succeeds in presenting a gay perspective that can engage, shows the sensuality of the lifestyle without being porny and has some bluntly honest observations of how the world looks from a gay perspective.

Two thumbs up. Genuinely good television.

Conan

Advertisements

On the day I wrote about how much of an embarrassment Chris Carter was to the gay community, I was sent the link to an American local politician who is the complete opposite.

As some of you may know, there has been an increase in media coverage of youth suicide in the US that has been linked to bullying and particularly bullying involving claims that the target of the bullying is gay. Some of these kids were even too young to have known if they were gay or not themselves.

Although this is being called an epidemic, the harsh truth is that it has always been around. It’s just getting more air time at the moment. And the usual toxic responses have been cropping up with many Tea Partiers and conservatives outwardly displaying homophobic hatred with claims that homosexuals are lesser citizens and one particular individual claiming that these suicide victims only had themselves to blame. That bullies are just a way of life and if these kids can’t harden up, tough.

Fort Worth Councilman, Joel Burns, has publically addressed this issue during a televised meeting and his message has now gone viral. Rather than fill his speech with indignant anger and petulant yelling, this brave and openly gay council member talks with compassion and humanity. He openly admits to a painful past and how he got past is and delivers what is the epitome of the growing “It Gets Better” campaign that has been developing in the States.

I feel that this man is someone the gay communities of the world should be proud of. He represents such a shining role model for gay youth to aspire to. A man with compassion, a healthy marriage and the support of families and colleagues. He is the embodiment of “it gets better.”

What is also important is that his message is universal. Bullying and suicide are not exclusively gay issues. And Joel’s story is just as relevant to straight kids who are contemplating suicide or even some act of violence against others – stop. It gets better. It may not seem it now, but it will. His story of the events in his life that he cherishes, the pure honesty of emotion is powerful.

And here in NZ, his message is incredibly important to get out there. We have a tragic problem with suicide in this country, and we need to be talking about it. Joel Burns puts faces to these names during his speech. He challenges his audience to look at these kids, see who they are and put a face to this tragedy.

The classic NZ stoicism and not talking about personal issues is clearly not helping. We need people like Joel Burns who will stand up and challenge us to talk.

And he goes further. He explicitly states the obvious. This. Must. Stop. The bullying needs to stop. It is not enough to say there will always be bullies, what can we do? We should be helping these kids who feel the need to bully. Teachers need to tell them to stop. Parents need to stop encouraging this behaviour or ignoring it. Just because there were bullies in the past is no excuse to keep allowing it.

It gets better, and we all need to learn to be more compassionate. To support the next generation and grow out of this habit of shrugging and saying “it’s human nature.”

People like Joel Burns need our help. We need to add our voices to his and show that our future will get better. That all the doomsayers and bullies are wrong.

And this change is not going to come from petulant threats and complaints of homophobia, it is going to come from compassionate support, honesty and courage.

Conan

For those following the news, Chris Carter has definitely been working his ass off at coming across as a right real looney toon and an embarrassment to gay men across the country.

The man who once could have been seen by some as a role model to the gay community has been responsible for one of the clumsiest, most poorly executed “coup” in modern NZ politics.

Not only that, but he has been one of the more extravagant examples of ministerial personal expenditure.

Then when he is challenged about his behaviour, he archly accuses people of homophobia.

As a gay man, I find Chris Carter’s behaviour embarrassing and tends to reinforce the stereotype of the queeny, emotional campy gay man. His recent petulant temper tantrums and nasty threats have given the impression of a man unfit for office.

No doubt Chris has been under stress, and I know I can be very direct and nasty when stressed – but I at least apologise and acknowledge my error when I calm down. Chris just gets more huffy and indignant.

In the most latest incident where he was kicked out of the Labour Party, he once again refused to acknowledge that it was his own fault for doing damage to his party and even threw out his favourite “homophobia” catch cry.

While homophobia is still very much a big problem in NZ, it is just a bit more behind the scenes than before, in Chris’ case most NZers don’t give a crap that he is gay. They are just sick of his sense of entitlement and they are certainly tired of his boy who cried wolf behaviour.

Chris Carter’s homophobia cries remind me a lot of other extreme liberals. As with any political mindset – Right, Left or Centrist – there are people who are so indoctrinated into their ideology that they lack the ability to use their critical thinking skills to think before they leap.

These are the folks who decry the slightest offence and feed their opposite number. One of the reasons we often hear the extreme Right whine on about Political Correctness is because the extreme Left have declared sexism or racism at every little provocation.

When Paul Henry made his stupid statements, some just saw the cries of racism as typical over-reaction from these idealogues. Just like Chris Carter, their cries end up doing their own cause more damage than good.

And often, like Chris Carter, they do not care to engage in honest discussion about an issue but rather choose to refuse to accept they could be in the wrong.

While I do tend to lean more to the Left than the Right, I don’t agree with the need to assume the worst of every single thing. I am a firm believer in researching intent and facts before crying out that someone is out to subjugate women or is trying to enforce a corrupt monarchy.

If it isn’t obvious, then you need to look closer before leaping to conclusions. Much like the claims that liberal groups make against the police. Having known a few police in New Zealand, these guys aren’t out to beat up the public or turn NZ into a facist police state. They genuinely want to protect NZ and the freedoms we enjoy. And these guys aren’t in the minority, they represent the majority of police.

While I do believe that the NZ Police need to be held accountable and scrutinised, there is a world of difference between scrutiny and harassment. Again, extreme Left folk can often take this too far, automatically assuming that anyone in authority cannot be trusted to do their job.

Scrutiny doesn’t mean a lack of trust, it means keeping an eye on the details when there is an issue.

Because even the most trustworthy person can make a mistake. The question isn’t about blame, it isn’t about assuming a mistake – it is about addressing potential problems.

In a way, it is about attitude. Do you assume the worst, yell and scream, accuse people of the worst crimes? Or do you assume that in the grey areas mistakes can be made and possibly people might betray your trust – but you need to find out through open and rational investigation.

I guess I find that these guys cry wolf too often because it is easier than having to actually think about what they are complaining about before jumping into battle.

I guess I want to assume the best before going to the worst.

Conan

Not too long ago I started dating a guy I met through a rather popular NZ online dating service. We went on about six dates, talked a lot and ultimately I realised that while we were getting on as friends, I had no emotional connection to him.

Cue the awkward discussions and decision to not waste each other’s time any further – it wasn’t a nasty split, but I certainly be awkward talking to him again.

After having taken a bit of time to sort out flats and settle down in the new place, I have been somewhat missing having someone to go out with and talk with. This is compounded by living with a couple who are living together for the first time and have their own cutesy couplespeak – you know the kind where they start talking like three years olds to each other and have new words with far too many “oo” sounds in them.

Yeah it’s adorable, but it is also torture for a single guy to be in the middle of. So I logged back in and started looking at profiles. I had kind of forgotten how bad modem dating is for gay men.

Our subculture has had quite the history of shallow dating practices – the old toilet block cruising, handkerchief signals etc. The gay community has a history of sex first, relationships second. The thing about cruising for sex is that you make a much more conscious focus on physicality over personality. When you’re shagging, who gives a crap about if the other guy like cars or crochet. If he’s hot and good at sex, that’s all that really matters.

Conversely, Internet dating sites have this notion that most people are looking for dates not just sex. And yet the same type of measuring is being applied. The sites even admit “with a photo you will get more than double the responses” with the unstated implication that this will happen as long as you are hot.

I have noted that most gay guys shy away from saying they are looking for a relationship. It’s all about keeping your options open and most times cruising for sex.

People will dismiss someone for things like the age on your profile, whether you reveal too much or too little and whether you don’t quite look like their ideal in a photo.

It occurs to me that unlike real life where we are forced to get to know a person simply by seeing them respond to our comments, online dating becomes more like an iTunes for sex and intimacy.

People seem to browse through the titles, make snap decisions and generally remove the humanity from the experience. Many profiles contain absolutely no information about the person, but demands that you “show an interest in the same things as me.”

Others want genuine guys, but without qualifying what that even means. Apparently it is just the expected thing to say to prove you’re not a douchebag.

Once you have navigated this nightmare of profiles, a guy may then reveal that he’s bigoted, believes in UFOs running the government or that he’s only really interested in guys younger than him. Apparently nobody wants to date people in their age group – everybody wants to be dating a 20 year old. Who is smooth, hot, successful, intelligent (but only in a Hollywood movie way), witty (but only in a repeat south park/Simpsons jokes way) and good in bed.

Navigate through all that and you might just find a person who is willing to chat. Some of these people are even open enough to actually chat back rather than expect you to provide all the conversation.

Then the moment you say “we should meet.” BAM! They disappear and refuse to talk again.

Ultimately the dehumanising element of this process makes everyone involved too nervous and shy to open up. There are probably hundreds of nice guys logging in, but they are so intimidated, and so disillusioned, they don’t realise that the only way to really find out if a person is the right one for them is to break out of their comfort zone, and let that person know something about them.

For myself, there really aren’t any other channels for me at the moment, so I continue to struggle through. I know what I’m looking for – someone who can keep up with me. Age isn’t an issue so much for me, sure he needs to be cute – but I have a pretty broad set of notions regarding what “cute” is. Unfortunately I’m yet to find a guy who can keep up.

Here’s hoping there is such a guy here in Wellington and that I meet him soon. 🙂

Conan

Well it has been a little while since I last posted on this blog. To put it in simple terms, I have been extremely busy!

My latest web project Setting it Straight has now entered filming, and we’re near to successfully wrapping on the first two episodes. Unlike The Winding City, this show has virtually no complex effects, so once it is edited and we have added music – it will be online!

It certainly has been an educational experience for me. I have made it a more collaborative effort than TWC, which means that the actors have had more input regarding their character’s storylines. I have since learned that if you give an actor an inch, they tend to take a mile!

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – as some great ideas have been bourne from this process. Unfortunately I have run into a bit of a situation with one if the cast who has waited until we’re near wrapping to tell me that he won’t kiss anyone. Normally I’d be fine with that, however this is an integral part of the character’s behaviour and was something I had clearly stated during auditions.

It is, to say the least, extremely frustrating.

So I have started to reorganize the story if the series to work this in – not an easy task given that I am juggling several subplots, and either have to create a new character or dramatically rearrange the current storylines to fit in the actor I had already cast for his now derailed storyline.

Fortunately, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. It’s remarkable how much GMing roleplaying games has made me skilled at creating new plotlines in a pinch!

During the shoot, the director accidently filmed two scenes that he didn’t realise were linked (we filmed out of order and he is new to directing) in such a way that one couldn’t logically follow the other in editing. I just sat down and pumped out a one page “filler” scene that explained a number of background events we had initially shot for laughs, tied up a loose storyline AND introduced a character two episodes earlier than planned with better integration than I had originally conceived!

I’m quite proud of that achievement. 🙂

All in all, the weekend proved incredibly productive and fun. We’re achieving my goal of making a zero budget show with people getting the opportunity to try out roles they normally don’t get a chance to try. Hence the inexperienced director.

Having said that Matt was inexperienced, he did do a fantastic job. He knew to film scenes multiple times and from varying angles – so the editor should have plenty if material to work with.

Projects like this are what help people gain confidence and experience – and I’m hoping that is the case for some of the people who worked on the weekend.

I’m all excited for next weekend now! 🙂

Conan

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Tweeting away

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Top Posts

Blog Stats

  • 13,379 hits

Pages