Get Off Elmo’s Dick

Considering this is a twink site dedicated to glorified sex, gossip, and personal essays, I assume you’ve heard about the great Elmo scandal. For those of you who missed last week’s pop culture recap, here’s the dirty deets: A  23-year-old “model/actor” accused muppeteer Kevin Clash of sleeping with him when he was underage. The next day the accuser dropped the charges, yet Clash remains on leave from Sesame Street. TMZ claims the alleged victim dropped the charges, because Clash offered him $125,000—hence Clash’s leave of absence. (Because the accuser may have been bribed, I have decided to remove his name from this essay; he needn’t become a D-List celebrity from the incident.) Others believe that even if the victim was 18 at the time, Sesame Workshop has to force Clash to take time off. (Editor’s Note: As of a few hours ago, Kevin Clash has resigned from his role on Sesame Street after a second accuser has stepped forward.)

Attorney Kevin Mulhern told Buzzfeed’s Kate Authur, “Mr. Clash was more than 30 years older than his accuser, who had barely obtained the age of consent when their affair began. So, even if there was no legal issue re: the age of consent, that kind of gap makes me worry about a potential abuse of power or subordination of the younger man’s will.”

If we apply the same logic to celebrity relationships, Tom Cruise raped Katie Holmes, and Woody Allen molested his wife (better known as his step-daughter)—except they didn’t. It’s only inappropriate for gay men to sleep with barely legal boys. Gay boys never want to sleep with older men, except many times gay boys do.

I am 20, but I have slept with a 47- year-old man I met on Grindr. He never lied to me about his age. He never manipulated me. He never forced himself upon me. I wanted to sleep with an older man—middle-aged dudes have twenty more years of experience that twinks don’t have. My sexual taste is no different than a 20-year-old girl with a professor fetish; my partners are no different than cougars that hunt for frat bros or Wall Street executives who date young models.

Unlike other websites, Buzzfeed points out that this is an example of the homophobia actors face when they come out. (On a side note, everyone should read Buzzfeed’s new LGBT vertical; it’s baller.) Activists have complained about movie stars remaining in the closet, but how can they admit they suck cock when sucking cock is a dirty deed?

America may have passed gay marriage in four states two weeks ago, but the country continues to perceive gay men as sexual deviants, although we put our penises in holes as old and young as the vaginas straight men love.

This homophobia mirrors the tactics used by anti-marriage equality groups to present gay parents as sex offenders. Anti-gay advocacy site uses the same argument to oppose gay marriage. In an article titled “Same Sex Marriage Harms Children,” they write, “Fourth, same-sex marriage will increase sexual confusion and sexual experimentation by young people. The implicit and explicit message of same-sex marriage is that all choices are equally acceptable and desirable. So, even children from traditional homes—influenced by the all-sexual-options-are-equal message—will grow up thinking it doesn’t matter whom one relates to sexually or marries. Holding such a belief will lead some—if not many—impressionable young people to consider sexual and marital arrangements they never would have contemplated previously.”

If the accuser was an 18-year-old willing to shag a middle-aged man, then he is no different than every rich, white straight dude dating a young model he met in the Meatpacking District.  Publically shaming Clash for sleeping with a legal adult is straight up homophobia. Even if the accuser was paid off, the media has still spat homophobia all over this story. Clash is a pervert, and the accuser is a criminal. In this story there is no room for a rainbow hero or victim. Everyone is a homosexual villain.


More from Mitchell Sunderland:

 My Online Teenage Life: Pills, Photo Teachers, and Parties

Five Books Every Twink Needs To Read

Dear LiveJournal: Car Wrecks, A Camry, and My First Date

image via Flickr user libertygrace0

About Mitchell Sunderland

Mitchell Sunderland is freelance writer and social media manager in New York. His work has appeared in VICE Magazine, Thought Catalog, The Billfold, Rookie Mag, the Huffington Post, and Emily Books Quarterly. He has ghost tweeted as and managed social media publicity campaigns for authors at Simon & Schuster, Crown/Random House, and Plume/Penguin and various tech companies. He tweets and tumblrs regularly. Email him about your life and his work at