Friday, April 13, 2007

We Still Have a Lot of Growing Up To Do

The following is an excerpt from a review of the movie, Boy Culture.

"Boys may be boys, but sharing a life with a boy is no easy feat. A man is what’s required, and Q. Allan Brocka’s film “Boy Culture” exposes the necessity for adulthood among gay men who value youth (and even immaturity) above all things."

"Framed by a sometimes-witty sometimes-intrusive voice over, the film tells the story of X (Derek Magyar), a high-end hustler, and his two roommates: the newly out Andrew (“Noah’s Arc’s” Darryl Stephens) and the professionally out Joey (Jonathon Trent). X is in love with Andrew, Andrew might be in love with X, and Joey is definitely in love and lust with X. Convoluted? Slightly. Implausible? Hardly."

"X and Andrew do end up trying to forge a relationship that’s based on love, but the pair has a lot of baggage to unpack first. Andrew still wants to explore other men in an open relationship, but finds X’s hustling repugnant. X, who believes that hustling is just a job, thinks that sleeping around for free is the morally reprehensible act. "

"The really interesting part of the mix comes in the form of Gregory (Patrick Bauchau), X’s newest client. The 79-year-old hasn’t left his apartment since his lover of 50 years died — eight years ago. While the odd couple doesn’t have sex until far into the film (and what a refreshing sex scene!), Gregory does guide X into a greater understanding of loving relationships because of his own rich past."

“BOY CULTURE” IS one of the better gay films to come along in recent memory. The snappy writing, courtesy of Brocka and Philip Pierce with inspiration from the novel written by Matthew Rettenmund, creates a witty and frequently stinging commentary on the characters and gay culture.

Love might be born in a look or a dinner date, but relationships require maturity, and in “Boy Culture,” each character needs to grow up, even the 79-year-old. It’s been a long-held theory that coming out starts a whole new period of emotional and sexual adolescence for the individual. Perhaps this is part of the reason why gay men have difficulty acting like adults in their relationships with friends and lovers.

"While Joey might be the most obviously “young” character (his emotions vacillate wildly and he’s willing to burn all his bridges), the chronologically older characters act in similar ways, just with less flair. Each character is trying to come to terms with the rigors of gay adulthood, without any role models in sight. If they could watch their own stories, they just might find the guideposts they need."

Sounds like the coming of age gay male flick that hasn't been made in about 20 years. Gay adulthood takes balls to live through. What gay men seem to always fall back on is that little boy inside us. That's a big mistake. We need to "man-up" and take responsibility for our actions, whatever the consequences.

Roseanne Barr made a remark this past week that has gotten herself into a lot of trouble, but not Imus type trouble. Her remark about gay activists always talking about "it", the gay struggle, and the perception that they are one dimensional since they always talk about the "we", can appear selfish to straights who support us. We got to be more than one issue gay guys. Yes, we want equality and yes we deserve it. But sometimes we come off as "in your face", instead of persuasive and "equal opportunity" caring guys.

Rosie O'Donnell is accused as coming across as a loud-mouth lesbian. She brings up gay rights every weekday into the homes of millions of gay and straight viewers, on her bully TV pulpit, "the View". But when Roseanne was a guest recently on 'the View", the ladies shared the view that the working middle class in this society today is getting the short end of the stick. This is not just a straight issue but a gay issue. It's an economic issue. We are working harder and enjoying it less.

These ladies are both rich, but they can see how the rest of us, gay or straight, are getting screwed. Everyone wants what everyone else who has it better, got, and no one seems to care about the other guy's struggles and hardships. It's a "me too and the hell with you" mindset that never gets to the collective issue. First we got to end this bloody war, then with a bit of persuasion, maybe the majority in this country can be convinced that it's ok for same sex couples to get married and get an economic benefit in terms of a tax break, the same that married straights currently enjoy. But this right is never going to be given to us on a silver platter.

We have to be adult men and earn the legal rights to anything straight society takes for granted. So what, if straight married couples screw it up by getting divorced. We have to prove to straight society and to ourselves, that we are better than them because we are compassionate, civil, smarter, and more creative in adversity than they will ever be.

So let's pull ourselves up by the jockstrap, put on those boots, millions of pecs strong, and stand up for our equality. Not by getting in society's face, but by collective action. Talk is cheap, standing around and criticizing is ineffective. It takes action. Straight society needs to see us as more than guys who can coordinate paint colors or drive the latest sports car. Let's get down and dirty. I'm all for playing in the mud. WOOF.


JB said...

"It's an economic issue. We are working harder and enjoying it less."

Surprised to see that sort of thing on here...

All too true though, things are getting tighter. And just you try buying a house in the UK...

Anonymous said...

When a Black person is perceived to be wronged the Black defense squad composed of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and others comes running to their aid. It makes me hope for the day that Gays will have a famous team that will jump to the defense of those of us who are wronged. I hope to live long enough to see the day. Ed

Lemuel said...

well said

Timmy said...

A really compelling thought you articulate that as gay men, when we come out, we go through adolescence, and then never grow up as gay adults. That's worth chewing on some more. Thanks!

Leonard said...

Ya know Buff, I'm always the one to disagree on ur blog! ugh! but really, I don't believe we are working harder, I believe we are working "more" in the top paying jobs, the jobs that pay the most! With no wife, no kids, we have a higher disposable income...I think we are "right" now for advertisers..and we are a new market. Look at Out or the Advocate...we are getting high end advertising! I agree with Roseanne Barr, you ever see the Margaret Cho skit on her stand up? She talks about straight sex and then she says to her gay la la la la...why? and covers her ears... 'cause she is talking about straight people..and "we" don't want to hear that. Gay men need to realize, that not only are we fighting for equal rights, but the world in general is fighting, women, gays, races, tribes and even whole cultures, it's an American thing I feel. Other than Iraq, there are wars happening all over the world, but Americans don't even know that. It's not about equality for gay men, it's about equality for all. Once we realize that, our voices will be heard even farther. ;-) peace

Shaney said...

I think what you have said was "SPOT ON" & well written...Hav to applaud your enthusiasm too...Yet the feat is not so easy, as anyone would know that has such passion for the same ambitions & goals with in the gay community...But is is just nce to know there are those willing to put there opinions out there & attempt to make a difference...Well done!!!...xoxox

TOS said...

Amen brother! We could do so much if people would just ORGANIZE! I want to see the unity that came during Stonewall and the onset of the AIDS epidemic - not the cheap advances that design shows, makeovers, and "gays as str8 society's clowns" have made. Sure they help make things a tad more palatable to them but really, we have a much better story to tell.

Hope the weather is getting better by you - it is sunny and 70s here and time to go for a walk!