Posted July 29th, 2011 by outerlimits
I once saw the richly talented Shirley Maclaine in her one woman show at London’s Dominion theatre. Gay men have consistently relished the appeal of Shirley Maclaine - actor, writer, singer and truth-seeker extroardinaire.
Now well into her seventies, Maclaine has hung up her dancing shoes and resides in New Mexico, whose landscape she finds congenial to meditation, or “sageing” as she calls it. She admits even her friends think her “wacky”, but her memoirs are an energy blast as she recalls former lives in Atlantis, and discusses star-beings …..and that means extraterrestrials, not showbiz pals! So, just open your mind as we welcome this very special guest aboard. Read the rest of this entry
Posted December 4th, 2010 by outerlimits
When Mae West famously quipped, “a hard man is good to find”, she could not have envisaged the extent of the modern gay movement’s reliance on porn from mags to movies to the proliferation of domestic cam sites. She was a truly modern woman whose sexual awareness, electrifying satire, and forthright feminism were castigated by the moral majority in 1920s America.
Imprisoned on Devil’s Island for “corrupting the morals of youth”, Mae saw enough homosexuality to turn it into a play called The Drag. It was promptly dropped when she refused to rewrite it to please a nervous theatre manager.
For all her renown, she would have seen the gay porn now surfeiting the scene as pernicious. It is a revelation to look at her career again, which, she claimed, had “a redeeming social purpose”, and, in the light of this, to question where our present gay sexual obsessions are leading us. Read the rest of this entry
Posted September 2nd, 2010 by outerlimits
Gay interest was surely aroused by the preview of Shame (the single and video), combining the talents of Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams for the first time since the latter went defiantly solo 15 years ago. Since then to his recent marriage, Robbie has pursued an unevenly successful career, teasing us with ambiguous messages as to his queer credentials.
Now we have a song of reconciliation and a video with clear visual references to Brokeback Mountain and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Barlow and Williams dance holding token females in a bar whilst gazing longingly into each others’ eyes. They both strip to the waist (showing some evident gym work), race joyfully to the top of a mountain ridge with a lake far below it, and then turn their faces back to the sun just as you think they will join hands and jump.
The end of this romantic sequence is perhaps symbolic of what Barlow has admitted may be only an eighteen month joint venture with the band, with Robbie likely to resume his lone career after that. What deserves deeper examination is the gay factor in all this, and how it helps us to decode the hidden meaning of the song’s chorus, “What a shame we never listened…” Read the rest of this entry
Posted February 15th, 2010 by 1stofficer
Lee Alexander McQueen
Lee Alexander McQueen, aged only 40 and found dead by his own hand on the eve of his idolized mother’s funeral, was a gay fashion designer of undisputed genius. He combined Savile Row craftsmanship with rare imaginative style, from rippling visions of Kate Moss to the intersexual video posturings of Lady Gaga. His last act inevitably stirs memories of the shooting of Gianni Versace in 1997. Self-described as the “pink sheep” of his Lewisham-born family, McQueen was always confidently out and gay, as reflected in his bizarre and spectacular shows. It is significant though that he once compared his creations to armour, giving protection to the wearer, hinting at an inner vulnerability which had its own unerring cut and motif. Read the rest of this entry
Posted January 18th, 2010 by 1stofficer
Derek Jarman's garden at Dungeness
Best known as a gay activist, writer, artist and filmmaker, Derek Jarman’s physical end in 1994 followed an heroic and well-documented struggle with AIDS. A last act was to make a film whose completely blue screen and soundtrack commentary was a brave testament to having gone blind. He lies over Romney Marsh in one of England’s most beautiful sheep-frequented chuchyards, in the towering presence of a two thousand year-old yew tree.
Jarman was a gay renaissance man, cheekily canonised by the Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence in a shoreline ceremony before his clapboard cottage and lovingly created sculpture garden, where he managed to grow a profusion of bright flowers and herbs in the nuclear terrain of Dungeness. His journals similarly captured the vibrancy of gay life and gay politics against the backdrop of a Thatcherite Britain.
The rebel in Jarman was closely shadowed by a late 1940s, early 1950s upbringing, travelling to rather grand places as the career of his RAF father Lance dictated. This ambivalence showed itself in Jarman’s appetite for lying across Charing Cross Road protesting with Jimmy Somerville with members of Outrage!, his attraction to cruising and all the liberating elements of the thriving London scene, and a private reticence at betraying the values of his parents’ privileged world. In paint, celluloid and intimate writings Jarman wrestled with his vision of a new gay Jerusalem.
It was Jarman who took the homoerotic story of the martyrdom of St. Sebastian, a young man pierced with arrows, featured in such gay literature as Yukio Mishima’s Confessions Of A Mask, to make the film Sebastiane in 1976. Not only was the dialogue in Latin, giving it a certain stylistic campness, but as a way of looking positively at gay sex, it was a pioneering British production. Read the rest of this entry