Showing posts with label Gay Actors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Actors. Show all posts

July 10, 2018

Hollywood's Heartthrob Tab Hunter Died At 86


Tab Hunter, a Hollywood heartthrob of the 1950s who came out late in his life, has died at 86, according to a Facebook page linked to the actor. Hunter, who was born Arthur Gelien in 1931, rose to fame in the 1950s with roles as an approachable, all-American boy in movies like Battle Cry(1955) and The Burning Hills (1956) and Damn Yankees (1958). He also pursued a brief music career, landing a No. 1 hit with his song “Young Love.”While Warner Bros. publicly pushed Hunter into a pairing with Natalie Wood, Hunter had secret romances with other gay Hollywood actors, including Psycho star Anthony Perkins. Their relationship is set to be the subject of an upcoming J.J. Abrams–Zachary Quinto movie.
Hunter publicly discussed his life as a closeted man in Hollywood in his 2005 memoir Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, which was later adapted into a documentary in 2015. Hunter’s career had a brief resurgence in the 1980s when he appeared in two John Waters movies across from Divine, but the actor retired from Hollywood later in life, living with his partner Allan Glaser and their horse in Montecito.
Vulture

June 7, 2018

Rwandan President Meets With Ellen DeGeneres and Her Wife, A Move That Will Change Many LGBT Lives in This Country


It was a brief meeting. So unofficial that the international press barely covered it, yet this handshake has the potential to make thousands of lives better.
At the end of May, America’s favorite television host Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi met Rwandan president Paul Kagame in the capital Kigali. The trip was part of DeGeneres’ work with the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund. The fund supports Rwanda’s mountain gorillas through the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter


Encouraging to see the mountain gorilla population in the Virungas has grown 25% in the last eight years. Conservation efforts must continue. Thank you @TheEllenShow & Portia for coming to Rwanda & getting involved.

During the courtesy call, DeGeneres gave Kagame a T-shirt and the three posed for photos together. Ever-media savvy, Kagame’s people tweeted the meeting and posted the video on his YouTube channel, with no further detail from either. Yet, the short meet-and-greet between a lesbian celebrity couple and the world’s favorite African strongman has the potential to signify much more for gay rights in East Africa.
Last year, when a gay Rwandan TV journalist publicly proposed to her partner, their planned nuptials caused an uncomfortable debate and anger in a conservative society. Rwanda’s LGBTQI community has not faced the kind of persecution seen elsewhere in the region, but they became the target of backlash when the proposal challenged traditional notions of marriage.
“They wondered, ‘Who are they? Who is who in the relationship?’ We started to get harassed again, so we stopped going out in the street of Kigali, we were scared,” said Carter, a transgender man and rights activist, talking to Voice of America after the incident. Still, the public proposal empowered a community that has lived in the shadows. 
In 2008, for example, a Rwandan lesbian couple was reportedly prevented from attending a conference on lesbian feminist thinkers in the Mozambican capital Maputo. Today, while gay marriage isn’t legal in Rwanda, the government does recognize the LGBTQI community’s right to live openly.
Rwanda has done away with colonial-era anti-gay laws and Kagame said at a meeting in San Francisco in 2016 that being openly gay in Rwanda “hasn’t been our problem. And we don’t intend to make it our problem.” Rwanda is more progressive than its neighbors, but has yet to use its influence for the better in the region.
In 2017, Rwandan police arrested Ugandan LGBTQI activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, as she arrived in Kigali. They deported her back to Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal and violently repressed. In Uganda, police go as far as raiding gay pride events and gay film festivals.
Rwanda’s other neighbor, Burundi, has moved to strengthen its anti-gay legislation. In Kenya, homosexuality may not be persecuted, but it is openly frowned upon, most recently through the banning of the filmRafiki, a coming-of-age lesbian love story
Kagame’s legacy is divisive. His clean capital and well-run run country belie a regime accused of being repressive. The economy’s steady growth is used to justify extending Kagame’s term and the gender parity in his cabinet distracts from his silenced opposition.
In spite of all of this, Kagame holds much influence as a leader in his region, especially on gender rights. It’s why women frustrated by discrimination in the African Union turned to him specifically. And it’s why posing with DeGeneres, whose own coming out more than two decades ago changed American attitudes, could be more than a photo-op—it could be a regional turning point.

WRITTEN BY
Lynsey Chutel~~~~~~QUARTZ

September 1, 2017

Colton Haines Open Up About Being a Gay Actor in Hollywood







If you don’t know Colton Haynes by name — and he’d be the first person to bashfully tell you, you probably don’t — you at least know the 27-year-old actor by his familiar Hollywood Fable: farm boy turned New York model turned aspiring Los Angeles actor, a paragon of the digital age of the Instagrammable hunk, a slab of innocent Kansas marble sculpted by MTV and polished by The CW.

He’s a teen heartthrob and a fast-rising one at that, thanks to two major roles: His life-changing debut in 2011 as slithering jock Jackson Whittemore on MTV’s runaway hit Teen Wolf and his series regular gig on The CW’s Arrow as hooded vigilante Arsenal. Both roles made him digital teen royalty, bolstered by Haynes’ decided effort to embrace and interact with fans and his eccentric social media savviness (somewhere to the tune of some 4-million Instagram followers).
So why, then, would a rising prince of teen genre walk away from two red-hot TV gigs — arguably at their own peaks, and on the cusp of his own — and all but abdicate the throne?

“I asked to step away because I cared more about my mental and physical health than my career at the time,” the actor tells EW, opening up about his personal and professional life for the first time in quite some time. “I’ve had terminal anxiety my entire life. Physically ill, fainting. I’m 27 years old, and I have an ulcer. I had to step back.” Clinical anxiety and public pressure are a potent mix, but their effects may be worse for someone like Haynes — a gentle spirit in a threatening (or so he’s been told by many a casting director) build, someone who lost control of his own personal narrative somewhere along the way between Kansas and California. 


Social media afforded a temporary way to maintain his public voice after his departure from Arrow in 2015, and Haynes frequently made minor news over the year for his off-kilter Instagram posts (like his photo shoots with photographer Tyler Shields or his now-famous Halloween costumes). He laughs about the strange themes of his social media decisions. “People think there’s this working machine behind it all, but the machine is my weird personality,” he chuckles. “I think I have a good outlook on life, and I like to share that.

There’s no filter. I mean, a couple of Instagram filters, but not an actual communication filter.”
But while social media has helped his career, it’s also gotten him into some trouble. Case in point: A Tumblr post in January sparked an Internet firestorm after a fan commented on Haynes’ “secret gay past,”regarding racy modeling photos Haynes took while underage. Without giving it much thought, Haynes offered a coy reply: “Was it a secret?” The comment was picked up by bloggers as his coming out — but it wasn’t. Not yet.

“It was a complete shock. I wasn’t ready to be back in the headlines,” says Haynes, who is, in fact, gay but has never publicly addressed his sexuality (and, like many others on his path, took advice early in his career to subdue it). “I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they’re ready, and I wasn’t yet. But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said.” The headlines about Haynes turned vitriolic in the absence of an announcement, but he was in no place to make one: He had checked into rehab for anxiety and would be frequently back in the hospital over the next three months.

“People want you to be that GQ image that you put out, but people don’t realize what it’s like to act 24 hours a day. I’d go home and I was still acting,” he says gently. “People who are so judgmental about those who are gay or different don’t realize that acting 24 hours a day is the most exhausting thing in the world.” The truth is, Haynes has been out for most of his life — in high school, to his family and friends, to his cast members, to his Hollywood bosses (like Arrow creator Greg Berlanti, now one of his closest mentors). But as a green transplant in Hollywood in 2006, he wasn’t any more immune to the town’s well-chronicled discomfort with LGBT identity. 


Now, however, there’s a palpable energy around him, a positivity that gushes from a 27-year-old eager to start not just a new chapter, but perhaps a new book. He’s setting his eye on movies, on comedy, on theater and photography and music — all passions he’s keen to explore as a version nothing less than himself. He’s even returning to his fashion roots and starting his first clothing line for men and women. (And sure, he’s also up for a return to Arrow, should the show bring his character out of hiding: “Working for Greg was the greatest experience of my life, and when he offered me Arrow, it was a new beginning for me. I would love to do more. They know I love them. I’d go back in a second.”)

If his cyber clash with his own identity earlier this year forced him to take stock of his life, its after-effects are now on the positive upswing. “It took me so long to get to this point, but I’m doing so good,” says Haynes. “I’m happier than I’ve ever
If you don’t know Colton Haynes by name — and he’d be the first person to bashfully tell you, you probably don’t — you at least know the 27-year-old actor by his familiar Hollywood fable: farm boy turned New York model turned aspiring Los Angeles actor, a paragon of the digital age of the Instagrammable hunk, a slab of innocent Kansas marble sculpted by MTV and polished by The CW.

He’s a teen heartthrob and a fast-rising one at that, thanks to two major roles: His life-changing debut in 2011 as slithering jock Jackson Whittemore on MTV’s runaway hit Teen Wolf and his series regular gig on The CW’s Arrow as hooded vigilante Arsenal. Both roles made him digital teen royalty, bolstered by Haynes’ decided effort to embrace and interact with fans and his eccentric social media savviness (somewhere to the tune of some 4-million Instagram followers).
So why, then, would a rising price of teen genre walk away from two red-hot TV gigs — arguably at their own peaks, and on the cusp of his own — and all but abdicate the throne?

“I asked to step away because I cared more about my mental and physical health than my career at the time,” the actor tells EW, opening up about his personal and professional life for the first time in quite some time. “I’ve had terminal anxiety my entire life. Physically ill, fainting. I’m 27 years old, and I have an ulcer. I had to step back.” Clinical anxiety and public pressure are a potent mix, but their effects may be worse for someone like Haynes — a gentle spirit in a threatening (or so he’s been told by many a casting director) build, someone who lost control of his own personal narrative somewhere along the way between Kansas and California. 

Social media afforded a temporary way to maintain his public voice after his departure from Arrow in 2015, and Haynes frequently made minor news over the year for his off-kilter Instagram posts (like his photo shoots with photographer Tyler Shields or his now-famous Halloween costumes). He laughs about the strange themes of his social media decisions. “People think there’s this working machine behind it all, but the machine is my weird personality,” he chuckles. “I think I have a good outlook on life, and I like to share that. There’s no filter. I mean, a couple of Instagram filters, but not an actual communication filter.”
But while social media has helped his career, it’s also gotten him into some trouble. Case in point: A Tumblr post in January sparked an Internet firestorm after a fan commented on Haynes’ “secret gay past,”regarding racy modeling photos Haynes took while underage. Without giving it much thought, Haynes offered a coy reply: “Was it a secret?” The comment was picked up by bloggers as his coming out — but it wasn’t. Not yet.

“It was a complete shock. I wasn’t ready to be back in the headlines,” says Haynes, who is, in fact, gay but has never publicly addressed his sexuality (and, like many others on his path, took advice early in his career to subdue it). “I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they’re ready, and I wasn’t yet. But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said.” The headlines about Haynes turned vitriolic in the absence of an announcement, but he was in no place to make one: He had checked into rehab for anxiety and would be frequently back in the hospital over the next three months.

“People want you to be that GQ image that you put out, but people don’t realize what it’s like to act 24 hours a day. I’d go home and I was still acting,” he says gently. “People who are so judgmental about those who are gay or different don’t realize that acting 24 hours a day is the most exhausting thing in the world.” The truth is, Haynes has been out for most of his life — in high school, to his family and friends, to his cast members, to his Hollywood bosses (like Arrow creator Greg Berlanti, now one of his closest mentors). But as a green transplant in Hollywood in 2006, he wasn’t any more immune to the town’s well-chronicled discomfort with LGBT identity. 

Now, however, there’s a palpable energy around him, a positivity that gushes from a 27-year-old eager to start not just a new chapter, but perhaps a new book. He’s setting his eye on movies, on comedy, on theater and photography and music — all passions he’s keen to explore as a version nothing less than himself. He’s even returning to his fashion roots and starting his first clothing line for men and women. (And sure, he’s also up for a return to Arrow, should the show bring his character out of hiding: “Working for Greg was the greatest experience of my life, and when he offered me Arrow, it was a new beginning for me. I would love to do more. They know I love them. I’d go back in a second.”)

If his cyber clash with his own identity earlier this year forced him to take stock of his life, its after-effects are now on the positive upswing. “It took me so long to get to this point, but I’m doing so good,” says Haynes. “I’m happier than I’ve ever been and healthier than I’ve ever been, and that’s what I care about.” been and healthier than I’ve ever been, and that’s what I care about.”



July 16, 2017

Homophobe James Woods Goes After Pro Gay Family Gets Response from Neil Patrick Harris



 Actors Neil Patrick Harris (left) and James Woods engaged in a Twitter feud over an Orange County family's picture of their son at a gay-pride parade. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP and Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

 My  son usually gets stares/whispers in public, not the smiles/hugs/encouragement he received at his 1st https://raisingmyrainbow.com/2017/06/26/my-gender-creative-sons-first-pride/ 


Actors Neil Patrick Harris and James Woods James Woods {Homophobe and if you have seen him play a gay character,  ..He might have the genes} engaged in a Twitter feud this week over an Orange County family's picture of their son at a gay-pride parade.

Not the first time that he goes after someone gay:     (Tweeting about Anderson Cooper)        
Woods wrote: 'As his butt plug dislodges during a newscast' Alongside a gif of the CNN anchor rolling his eyesThe 70-year-old actor was lampooned by Twitter users for the lewd commentHe defended it on Saturday, accusing the 'liberals' of having a 'hissy fit' Cooper, 49, was interiewing Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway when he rolled his eye

The original photo shows the parents with their 10-year-old son holding signs that say "I love my gender creative son!" and "My son wears dresses & makeup ... get over it!"
Woods, who has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows since the early 1970s, is known for supporting conservative viewpoints on Twitter, where he has more than 723,000 followers.

He commented on the photo: "This is sweet. Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you've done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage."

That triggered strong reactions on both sides, with one of the most prominent coming from Harris, who is openly gay and has 26.9 million followers on Twitter. He responded: "Utterly ignorant and classless, Mr. Woods. I'm friends with this family. You know not of what you speak, and should be ashamed of yourself."

The exchange has sparked an angry debate online, in tens of thousands of retweets, likes and comments.

Faced with the backlash, Woods did not back down, insisting that his comment was not based on homophobia, but on parents using their child as a propaganda tool.

He sent out multiple additional tweets defending and expanding upon his comments and his viewpoint:

"Using one's child as a social justice propaganda doll is tantamount to child abuse," Woods tweeted. "This is not about homophobia. Nice try though..."

He added: "For the record I have supported human rights of all stripes and persuasions, colors, creeds, choices and preferences my entire life. Period."

He also tweeted "Some children can be ruthlessly cruel to children who are simply different in any way. I humbly suggest making your child a target is unwise."

And added: "I spent my entire adult life in the New York theatre scene, kids. I have more gay friends than Liberace. So let's stop the homophobia train."

The mother in the original photo, Lori Duron, maintains a blog titled "Raising My Rainbow - Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son."

She's also written a book with that title, with a foreword written by Harris.

Duron told People magazine that Woods' tweet was "shocking" and said the actor was "hugely misinformed."

"We've spent seven years sharing our journey to the public," she told the magazine. "LGBTQ youth don't hurt their parents, they hurt themselves. We're trying to raise our son in way that he doesn't fall into those behaviors. His tweet was so uninformed. LGBTQ youth do not kill other people, they kill themselves."

"I feel like adults should know better," she added.

She also said her son CJ is not transgender, but is a boy who wants to be treated like a girl.


By ABC7.com staff


June 22, 2017

Sir Ian Mckellan Says It's un-American for Trump Not to Defend Gay Rights









During an interview at the Variety Studio in Cannes Lions, the actor Ian McKellen had harsh words for President Donald Trump if he fails to follow through — as seems to be the case — on a campaign promise to protect the rights of the LGBT community.
Asked about the administration’s attempts to roll back gay and transgender protections, McKellen said, “If what you’re saying is true, it’s appalling and quite unnecessary and very un-American. The gay rights movement began in America. It began in San Francisco, it began in Stonewall, the city where Donald Trump was born and thrived.”
The White House has refused to acknowledge June as Pride Month. In March, Trump quietly rolled back an Obama-era rule, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. Many argue that the move leaves female and LGBT employees of federal contractors venerable to discrimination. 

McKellen, the most recent openly gay actor to be nominated for an Oscar, admitted he’s not sure what Trump believes. “I can’t follow Mr. Trump,” McKellen said. “I don’t always understand what he says and when I do, I have to admit later that I got it wrong because he changed his mind or changed his mind about what he said. He’s a very bad communicator, at least to me. Get more straightforward, Donald. And then we can take you seriously.”

McKellen arrived at the annual advertising conference in the South of France with an initiative, co-sponsored by the European branding company the Brooklyn Brothers and TV production house Brown Eyed Boy, to solicit short films that re-imagine iconic characters as gay (winners will be broadcast on Facebook).
The actor known for playing Magneto in the “X-Men” franchise spoke about the lack of gay characters in major Hollywood tentpoles. “I wouldn’t say the films coming out of the mainstream are quite as related to what’s going on in the real world as I would like them to be,” McKellen told Variety. “One indication of that is LGBT people don’t really get quite a big enough say. If you’re one of those initials yourself, you do notice that actually, these movies are not about me at all.”
Hollywood has yet to greenlight a comic-book movie anchored by a gay superhero. “Frankly looking at the images of some of these superheroes it’s a surprise to me they aren’t gay,” joked McKellen.
He expressed disappointment that his costume for Magneto isn’t quite as flamboyant as it was in the comics. “I wasn’t allowed to wear that outfit,” McKellen said. “I don’t look like Magneto in the comics — always shot from the crotch level.”
McKellen had a suggestion for rebooting the James Bond franchise with a gay 007. “I do have an idea,” McKellen said. “I think Ian Fleming, who wrote the original books, knew all about [it]. I’m not sure subsequent actors have quite understood the joke, which is the same as Superman. James Bond is a wimp! He’s a silly Englishman that wants his martinis stirred. He changes his underwear, like Superman, and he can save the world. They all play it the same — he’s heroic all the way through. No, he’s not.”
“If you play James Bond as an outwardly camp, silly gay man that no one took seriously and then he turned out as many gay men are underneath their clothes — buff and strong and as hetero as any hetero — we might have a more truthful story than the one that has been told,” McKellen said.
Would he want to play this new Bond? “I’m not volunteering,” he said. “I’m insisting. No, I’m too old to play it. I can be on the periphery of this new version.”
With all the recent talk of diversity at the Oscars, one statistic still goes unnoticed. There hasn’t been an openly gay actor nominated for an Oscar in 15 years — since McKellen was recognized for his work in “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” as the wizard Gandalf.
“It’s hard isn’t it?” McKellen said. “It’s probably because there are few remaining very talented actors who aren’t quite out of the closet in the way one would like for them to be for their own health and good. I don’t think there’s anything sinister about it. I was only the second openly gay man to receive a knighthood. Records are being broken day by day.”

September 26, 2016

Game of Thrones } A Gay Man in Westeros

Renly and Brienne
Gethin Anthony wasn’t given the easiest of roles to play on Game of Thrones: a gay man in Westeros. The world of the show is far from the most accepting place in fiction. Women, homosexuals, bastards, and other groups are all put at a disadvantage, and King Renly Baratheon had to step carefully.
We’ve complained before about the portrayal of homosexuality on Game of Thrones, although usually in terms of how Loras Tyrell was reduced to a caricature of the man we knew in the books. But when it comes to Renly, there was something of a beauty to the way the “love that dares not speak its name” in Westeros was allowed to flourish on screen. In a recent interview, Anthony said that this was a deliberate choice.
Speaking to Attitude, Anthony reflects on his time with the show and says that he wanted to make sure there were positive portrayals of relationships in the brutish world of Westeros, where marriages are more like alliances, and many love affairs are unhealthy.
Credit: HBO/Helen Sloan
Westeros is a very scary world, with all the politics and violence going on, so it was nice to play an affectionate gay couple within that world. We were very passionate about it being a positive thing. I still hold on to that and I’m still very proud of it.
It was certainly a change from the books, where no one ever says outright that Loras or Renly are lovers. In fact, there are precious few references to anyone outside their immediate families even realizing they are gay. (At one point, Cersei even accuses Margaery and Loras of incest, oblivious that Margaery might not be his type.)
But the show’s choice to make them far more out afforded it a chance to to deepen their relationship. And Anthony sees it as a net positive for on screen LBGT relationships.
I got some lovely letters. One that sticks out was from a gentleman who was about to propose, or has perhaps just proposed, to his partner. He said some really nice things about seeing a gay relationship on television. Whenever people connect to things you’re involved with or a story you’re telling, it’s a lovely thing

Credit: HBO/Helen Sloan

September 17, 2016

Gay,Out and a Movie Star in1926




The story of William Haines is remembered, if it’s remembered at all, as the story of the first openly gay Hollywood star. The legend holds that Haines was a major box office draw who was fired by Louis B. Mayer for refusing to drop his live-in boyfriend and marry a woman. This isn’t totally inaccurate, but the truth of Billy Haines’ life in Hollywood is a little more complicated. Haines was born on the eve of the first day of 1900, and his biographer William J. Mann stresses that he was the ultimate child of the 20th century. And as such, he thrived during the Roaring ’20s, and struggled to adapt to the limited opportunities of the following decade, and then he reinvented himself in time to take advantage of the prosperity and consumerism of the midcentury. And through it all he was, proudly, one-half of Hollywood’s first openly gay marriage. 

From 1926 to 1931, thanks to hits like Brown of Harvard and Tell It to the Marines, Billy Haines was ranked as one of the Top 10 box office stars in Hollywood. By 1929, his studio boss, MGM’s Irving Thalberg, was holding up Haines as both the prototypical symbol of male youth of his day, and also the new model of a male romantic star. “The idealistic love of a decade ago is not true today,” Thalberg said. “William Haines, with his modern salesman attitude to go and get it, is more typical.”

By the time Thalberg made that speech, he and everyone else in the Hollywood community knew that Haines was, for all intents and purposes, married to a man. In 1926, on a trip to New York while on the cusp of his superstardom, Haines had a whirlwind fling with a 21-year-old former sailor names Jimmy Shields. When Haines returned to L.A., he brought Shields with him, and moved his new boyfriend into his house and got him work as an extra at MGM. Following the example of his friends from his days in New York’s Greenwich Village, Billy was intent on living with Jimmy without embarrassment or apology.

That Haines was living openly with another man, thereby destroying any possibility that he might not be gay, initially did absolutely nothing to impact Haines’ popularity around town or at his home studio. They were one of the few couples to make it into Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst’s inner circle, meriting invitations to San Simeon nearly weekly. And the local movie press knew, too, but nobody had any incentive to publish an exposé about it or anything. If any journalist had, he would have been frozen out of MGM for the rest of time. And at this point in time, as long as they weren’t hurting anybody, which they weren’t, nobody cared. 

Sometimes Billy would get asked a softball question about his love life, which he was always able to deflect with a wisecrack. Journalist and subject would wink at each other, the actor would be classified in print as an eligible or confirmed bachelor, and everyone would move on. When an earnest journalist from out of town asked him when are you going to get married, Haines would announce he was engaged to an imminently ineligible lady—usually frumpy slapstick comedienne Polly Moran.

During the 1920s, Haines always found ways to answer questions about his personal life without either lying or telling the truth. It wasn’t evident to every reader at the time, but reading some of the quips today, his use of sarcasm and irony speak volumes in their own way. If nothing else, Haines was always looking for an opening for a bawdy wisecrack or double-entendre. When an MGM voice couch informed Haines that his vocal technique was “lip lazy,” Haines fired back, “I’ve never had any complaints before.”

In fact, William Haines was actually better set up for the transition than many stars. His voice was robust and not thickly accented. Also, unlike stars like John Gilbert whose essential thing was made obsolete by sound film, Billy’s signature in silent films had been wisecracks, inserted as intertitles to make it seem like Billy was a master of wit and timing. In fact, he was, and Haines was easily able to perform the same trick accomplished by the intertitles as a talking comedian. Haines made the transition to talkies seamlessly, and 1929 would be the peak of his box office stardom. The trouble was still to come.

In 1930, every studio in Hollywood agreed to follow the moral guidelines laid out by the Hays Production Code, but it was an empty promise: Everyone knew the Hays Office had no ability to punish violators of the code. If anything, while producers were waiting for the censors to come up with a way to enforce their puritan code, movies got racier. But the existence of the code made studios more apt to use the morals clauses that were now standard elements of almost every performer’s contract to scare stars into improving their public behavior.

Most stars signed the contract, and then either tried to stay out of trouble, or assumed that the studio wouldn’t use the clause against them. At the peak of his stardom in the late 1920s, Billy Haines reportedly managed to get the morals clause removed from his contract entirely, by refusing to sign until it was. As a trade-off, MGM would only sign him to two-year extensions at a time, rather than the five-year contracts that were more standard.

His films began to slide at the box office over the course of 1930, and in 1931, Haines’ MGM contract was canceled, only for Haines to be brought back to the studio as a featured player at a far reduced salary and billing. In 1931, in an attempt to rebrand Haines from the wisecracking post-college boy into a more adult romantic lead, Haines was cast in a movie called Just a Gigolo, in which he played a trust-fund playboy who makes a bawdy bet with his uncle that if he could get a society princess to give up her virtue within a month, then he wouldn’t have to get married. 

Haines was told going in that he was to abandon his usual winking, wisecracking persona for this film, but it seems like he ignored that edict. Just a Gigolo, which debuted the song later covered by David Lee Roth, did OK, but it failed to turn around the impression that William Haines’ star was slipping. Haines was informed that his contract wouldn’t be renewed, and the trade papers said it was because the star was angling for more money. Then MGM agreed to take Billy back, but at a much-reduced salary, and with his name demoted to below the titles of his films. He was forced to go on a dreaded personal appearance tour. He took up a strenuous diet and exercise regime, rationalizing that losing weight might help him appear younger and fresher.

Many versions of Haines’ story say that at this point, in early 1933, Louis B. Mayer called Haines into his office and told him that it was time for Billy to get serious, drop Jimmy and get married. In this version of the story, Billy says, “I am married.” He chooses Jimmy over Mayer, walks out the door, and becomes Hollywood’s most in-demand interior designer.

William Haines did become Hollywood’s most in-demand interior designer after his career at MGM ended, but the rest of the story is up for debate. For years, everyone at MGM had known that William Haines was gay and living with a man he loved. So why would Mayer make an ultimatum now?

Members of the Hollywood gay scene of the time believe that Billy had taken the hit for Jimmy, who had been arrested in a bar or a park, where he was known to cruise. But if that happened, it was covered up. What we do know is that Billy’s star had dimmed. We know he was getting older, and he hadn’t successfully transitioned out of his Harvard-boy persona. We know the depression had everyone scared about profit margins, and most studios were cutting salaries, if not straight up canceling the pricy contracts of aging stars. 

We know that many other stars in Hollywood had gay relationships, but most presented themselves as straight when told to. Billy’s old friend Archie Leach, for instance, is acknowledged now by many biographers to have lived as a gay man before he came to Hollywood and to have continued relationships with men after he became Cary Grant. But Cary Grant, and just about everyone else, was willing to play by the rules of the game that Louis B. Mayer and the other studio moguls set. They were willing to marry women—in Cary Grant’s case, several women—and keep their true private lives private. And we know that with the impending enforcement of the Production Code, which would happen in 1934, every studio was under pressure to make it seem like their houses were clean. And so, William Haines, the top box office star in all of Hollywood in 1929, found himself, four years later, out of a job.

Or, at least, out the job that had made him famous. William Haines had never aspired to be an actor, and once the rug was pulled from under him at MGM, he got right back on his feet. In 1930, Billy had become part owner of an antiques shop on La Brea Avenue. By that point he had already turned his own home into a showroom for his exquisite taste, and his guests were always asking where they could buy things like the ones he had, so he gave them a place to do it. He’d go into a starlet’s house and toss out the gaudy animal prints and gilded ornaments that she bought with her first flush of cash because she thought that was fancy, and replace everything with genuinely fancy stuff, high-quality, sophisticated simplicity, with elect pops of color or flashy accents. Hand-painted wallpaper became one of his signatures, as did low-to-the ground sitting rooms, outfitted with ottoman tables perfect for casual entertaining. Occasionally his antiques and art were borrowed for use in movies—paintings personally owned by William Haines lined the walls of Tara in Gone With the Wind.

Above all else, Billy understood how people liked to live, and he was able to create spaces in which they could do it. Billy and Jimmy enjoyed a high position in Hollywood for decades. Some members of the Hollywood community shunned them for living openly, but their true friends stayed loyal. They continued to attend parties at San Simeon, and at Joan Crawford’s house. And they stayed together until Billy’s death, in 1973. In fact, when his lover of nearly 50 years was gone, Jimmy Shields didn’t know what to do with himself.
Joan Crawford tried to help, but it was no use. He soon killed himself. He left behind a note that said, “It’s no good without Billy.”

slate.com
Picture from William Haines/History


September 1, 2016

Pre Greatness Colton Haines and Now Out, Proud and Hot Actor










According to OUT, “At home, Haynes’s mom, Dana, was both blindsided and dismayed by her son’s announcement that he way ‘gay’.. His response was to rebel. A year of exploration—in which he lost his virginity to both sexes—also became one rife with drug experimentation. He ran away from home for three weeks and bunked in a friend’s closet. He was there when an estranged relative called to tell him that his father, William, had committed suicide by swallowing roughly 40 oxycodone pills.”
When asked about his father’s tragic death, Haynes opened up and said “I’m the last person in the world who would say, ‘Oh, my dad—pity me,’” he said. “But I was told that my dad killed himself because he found out I was gay. So, of course, I lost it and was like, ‘How could you say something like that?’ And no one will ever really know the truth. But my brother and my mom went to pick up my dad’s stuff, and the only picture on his fridge was my eighth-grade graduation picture. So I was just like, F—k.”
Haynes also provided insight to his altercation with Noah Galvin. He said, “When I came out, Noah tweeted, ‘Welcome to the family,’ and ‘So proud of you.’” Haynes added, “I have the tweets saved on my phone. Then, all of a sudden, I’m the worst, I’m a terrible person, and I’m a shame to the gay community. I think just having enough nerve and guts to come out in any way is a lot. It was really an emotional thing for me. And for that to be discredited by someone who has never met me was upsetting. He has no idea what I’ve been through. And I can’t sit here and have a conversation about Noah because I don’t know him either.”
You can read the entire interview on OUT.com. But before you do, watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes look at Haynes cover shoot for the September issue.
from

July 22, 2016

Zachary Quinto as an American Gay Man: “Scary”










Zachary Quinto is opening up about what it's like to be a gay American amid the country's current social and political climate. 

In an interview with Time, the 39-year-old Star Trek Beyond star reflects on life as an out actor in the wake of the Orlando shooting at gay nightclub Pulse and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's appointment of vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, who has previously spoken out against LGBT rights. 

"I am scared," Quinto said of the political climate. "I don't take anything for granted." 

"There are indicators of the pendulum swinging the other way right now in terms of the political temperature and the landscape of Trump," he explained. "It's absurd to me, but I have to have faith that we'll endure and triumph. I have to feel like people will look at these two old white men, who represent everything that is negative in history, and say there are more people who want to go a different direction. I hope so."  

"We have to fight with everything we have to continue the path that we've been able to gain such ground on in the last five to 10 years," he continued. "It's just a bleak and dangerous moment in our geopolitical landscape right now. It's unprecedented in our lifetime how precariously we're all perched – not just here in this country but around the world." 

He also explained how the political tension in our world today is echoed in the themes found in Star Trek Beyond. 

"Our adversary in this movie is a being who's diametrically opposed to the Federation," Quinto said. "He wants to destroy a place that's a hub for different species and races – people from all over the galaxy coming together and inhabiting this one place. It's weirdly parallel to what's going on all over the world right now." 

"There's waves of nationalism and xenophobia and fear-based thinking and intolerance," he went on. “It's alarming." 

 
People Magazine

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