Right now, media offers the gays few entertainment options. Glee and Modern Family explore the-white-men-who-want-to-adopt-Russian-babies gay experience, and with the exception of the essentialist Rainbow Boys, publishers rarely release queer young adult novels. Gay teens turn to Ke$ha instead of Adam Lambert, because our options are few, and, excluding RuPaul and Frank Ocean, most our options suck.
Of course, this isn’t a new phenomenon. Straight art has been gayer than gay art for years. In 1950s Judy Garland, not Errol Flynn, captured the gay male experience, and Madonna sang about AIDS, while Elton John wrote music about lions. Today a plethora of straight writers and singers create art that expresses what we need to cope with day-to-day life: camp, empowerment, and smart discussions about marginalized cultural figures.
The Homo Life is for millenial gays and our younger counterparts, and we think straight art can empower gay youth as much as gay art. Once a month, we will recommend the best straight books, music, and art we’ve recently discovered.
In this new thriller by New York Times best selling author Andrew Pyper, a college professor receives an invitation to travel to Venice from a mysterious ‘Thin Woman.’ He rejects her offer, but after his wife leaves him he decides to follow the Thin Woman to Venice with his daughter, Tess. Once in Venice, his daughter dangles from the roof’s edge. “Find me,” she says, as she falls towards the Grand Canal. What follows is a mystery as ambiguous as The Woman in White and as suspenseful as The Da Vinci Code, where the female characters exhibit power, teaching male protagonist life lessons they never would have learned on their own. Even if you’re more fashion gay than bookworm gay, you should buy the book. Slip off the cover sleaze, and you find a campy painting of red skies and inflamed ruins that rivals coffee books’ beauty. In a literary world that has overdosed on MFA’s, The Demonologist is a reminder that books can be just as entertaining and thought provoking as a Netflix binge.
D.A.I.S.Y. RAGE KITTY
Everyone knows Kitty Pryde from her viral white girl rap hit “Okay Cupid.” The song caused a yearlong debate, asking if Kitty was a talented songwriter or another bored teenage girl with too much time on her hands. Her new e.p. proves she’s more Lily Allen than Rebecca Black. Singing as “Kitty” instead of “Kitty Pryde,” the rapper grows past her average girl/rap game Taylor Swift image, while retaining her sense of humor. She jokes about her past, bragging about her photo shoot in “print Nylon” and move from Daytona Beach, Brooklyn to Williamsburg, while simultaneously revealing a darker side side: “I love New York, because there’s so many bridges to jump off,” she says on “Dead Island.” She accomplishes a delicate balance between camp humor and seriousness that many gay musicians, most notably Rufus Wrainwright, have failed to obtain.
In the 1990’s, the British ruled fashion. Alexander Queen mixed experimental art with couture fashion, and Anna Wintour transformed Vogue into the world’s most respected magazine brand. Since the British have failed to capture the same global attention as Asian American designers like Alexander Wang, but last year Harriet Varney decided to change that. A Vogue writer and niece of the late McQueen muse Isabella Blow, she launched 123store.co.uk, an online fashion store that sells everything from teeth studded suit cuffs to mesh tops.
THE NEW YORK TIMES’ COVERAGE OF SPRING BREAKERS
Harmony Korrine’s mainstream debut offers gay audiences everything they could ask for: Disney Channel stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens wearing neon bikinis as they shoot bullets into the air and their teenage images; James Franco rapping without his shirt on; and an indie director’s take on contemporary society’s trashy spring break culture. This movie is a smart gay’s Jersey Shore, and it has already inspired a canon of smart journalism. Last Sunday alone, the New York Times published a profile comparing and contrasting Gomez and Hudgens and a Styles section profile of Korrine. Could we ask for more?
If you have any suggestions or products for next month’s Straight Stuff for Gay Boy, email Mitchell at Mitchell.P.Sunderland@gmail.com.
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