Room 69

July 13, 2010 at 12:30 am | Posted in Cinema, Heterophobia | 12 Comments

Did you guys miss me? Hehe, of course not. But, still, I’m back and, to make up for my week of absence in the blogging world, I just created an epic list, a list of my most favorite gay films. Cinema and homosexuality, these are a few of my favorite things. And, with all the descriptions and comments I’ve made, let’s note that I haven’t seen these films in a while, since I rarely go back to watching a film I’ve already seen unless I haven’t seen it in a long time so the comments I’ve made are based on what I’ve vaguely remembered about them. So, forgive me. Here it is, uber-long with pictures and all.

6. Taxi Zum Klo (Frank Ripploh, West Germany, 1980)
Fisting, gloryhole in public toilet cubicles, cum-swapping, and pissing, after cumming, over your sex partner’s face? Definitely, not my kind of thing but that’s just how realistic and bold gay sex is portrayed in this otherwise fabulous film.

The film, a possibly autobiographical one, presents an unsympathetic hero, a promiscuous gay man, definitely quite the stereotypical or archetypal gay man and not the greatest role model for gay people, but depicted as a human being with flaws. Now that he has found a partner who has no eyes for anyone else but him and who loves him so much, he shows more self-destructive behaviour, not wanting to be monogamous and in a real relationship, as he continues to hook up with more men and to live a life of promiscuity and intoxication. And this is all told in the least commercial and least mainstream sense, but still with sweet and romantic scenes such as the lovers’ dance on ice.

5. Happy Together (Wong Kar-Wai, Hong Kong, 1997)
This is the only film in my list that was actually directed by a heterosexual filmmaker, adding to that a contemporary filmmaker known to most cinephiles. And it surely doesn’t seem from an outsider’s perspective but more from someone who knows about human relationships. No matter how many times film buffs whine about how this is not a gay film, this is still a gay film. It is a film about a gay couple, for crying out loud, idiots. It may not be a conventional gay film and it may be made by heterosexual filmmakers, but it is still a gay film. Got that? Okay.

Okay, another film about a gay couple, one a self-destructive person, the other someone who just wants their relationship to work out. See the trend here? But this time, Happy Together, unlike Taxi Zum Klo, is all shown in vivid imagery, lucid colors, and romantic tones. And, this time, the focus is more on the stable guy, played by Tony Leung, as he meets someone who might be more of an ideal partner than his current one who picks fights, gets drunk, needs all the attention and flirts with men in front of his lover. And, sisters, I won’t spoil it for you all but it doesn’t exactly end in an either tragic or happy ending.

4. Tongues Untied (Marlon Riggs, USA, 1990)
It is an essayist film by a black gay director that touches on themes of race, sexual orientation and self-identity in a less sentimental and more gritty way than most saccharine Hollywood films that pretend to be politically correct and socially relevant and on issues one might never get to see being dealt with in contemporary Hollywood films.

Turn the gay black men in this film to any other gay non-white men and lesbian woman in the world, and you’ll see how universal this film is. But, of course, the film deals more with the director’s personal experiences being a gay black man, specifically the difficulties of being black and openly gay in a homophobic community and neighborhood, such as the exclusion of gay black men in the brotherhood or friendship of black men, the homophobic jokes of Eddie Murphy and homophobic comments of black characters in films, and dealing with AIDS-related deaths of friends. But not all of the film is about the social injustice and discrimination and all serious, as we do see part of the gay black culture in certain communities in USA during those times such as the “voguing” and get a lesson from a bunch of divas on the proper way to snap.

3. Scorpio Rising (Kenneth Anger, USA, 1964)
I always thought that the gay culture seems more suiting and more idealistic as an underground culture, not something forbidden and restricted to others but something not easily accessible and with less restraints. I always associated it with non-conformity, non-conventionality, idealism and obscurity so it does seem right that most of the best queer films are art house, experimental, and avant-garde films.

Although overt gay themes in the film are not obvious and clear especially to an outsider and as far as I remember the film does not blatantly show gay men in love or having any kind of intimate or sexual acts together, Scorpio Rising does appeal and reach more to its gay audiences with its fetishistic gaze on biker boys all clad in black leather, its gay iconography and the gay filmmaker’s indulgence and masturbatory pleasures on these images of mostly biker gangs set to 1960’s pop music, mostly songs by female singers singing about love. And there’s James Dean and Marlon Brando, and I don’t think you can get any gayer than that. The whole thing was just a hallucinatory and dreamlike experience, as if I was in Cloud 9.

2. Un Chant D’amour (Jean Genet, France, 1950)
Jean Genet’s lyricism in his novels mostly about amorality, gay sexuality and crime is evident in his only film, Un Chant D’amour (translated to A Song of Love). In this silent short art house film, the wall between two cells prevents two horny, gay prisoner studs from having any kind of intimacy or physical contact with each other. Just like Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising, Jean Genet’s film also shows the filmmaker’s pleasures in his own sexual fetishes and his camera’s seductive gaze on the young men.

Normally, the cinematic gaze would be on women, such as Bunuel’s fetish for female legs and Rohmer’s whole film about a hero’s obsession with the titular character’s knees. Maybe, one of the many reasons why I love this film is its subversiveness, now the gaze being upon men and their sensual bodies. The erotic dancing, touching of one’s own body and the sharing of cigarette puffs through a tiny hole on the wall. The warden’s sexual frustration and jealousy as he beats up one of the prisoners and puts a gun in the prisoner’s mouth. Phallic imagery, much?

1. The Raspberry Reich (Bruce LaBruce, Canada, 2004)
Obviously, this is my most favorite gay-themed film, since I even named my own blog title after this one. That’s how much I love the film. So, yes, neither am I a neo-Nazi or do I love raspberries. But I do love the didacticism, subversiveness, wildness and fun of it all, not to mention the softcore gay sex scenes.

Gudrun, the female leader of an otherwise mostly male terrorist group, is determined to destroy everything normal and conforming to social norms. Unlike most who have seen it, I didn’t see the whole thing as a parody or satire on leftist politics. I saw the flawed characters as people who do have great revolutionary ideas but who don’t have the right means and resources and who, most of the time, don’t know the heck what they’re doing. And, in the end, instead of continuing to be terrorists, they become normal citizens, not conforming but learning to deal with society. But, let’s overlook the filmmaker’s intentions with his story for the time being and enjoy the film’s over-the-top campiness, its arousing sex scenes and its political statements enormously written across the screen. There is no revolution without sexual revolution. There is no sexual revolution without homosexual revolution.

Infatuation follows a certain blueprint?

June 8, 2010 at 12:14 am | Posted in Heterophobia, Sarcasm | 22 Comments

Two nights ago, I’ve been able to get myself to attend at an acquaintance’s party. Acquaintance, not friend, we’re not that close. I never usually go to social gatherings. I’m socially awkward, if you must know. As much as possible, I try to avoid going to social gatherings and come up with the oldest excuses known to humankind or just plainly say the next day “I was feeling too lazy”, which is usually not the case.

And of course, I got to see old faces, people I haven’t seen in ages. And, you know, there’s the obligatory small talk, asking me what I’ve been doing lately. I don’t ask back, most of the time, afraid that the conversation will lead to more awkwardness or something else. Sometimes, I’m compelled to answer; sometimes I just shyly say “Oh, nothing much.” And then one, with all of his best intentions in mind I guess, asked me if I was still single. You see, I’m pathetically one of the very few who hasn’t still been in a relationship yet and pretty much the only gay person in our huge circle of friends back in high school. How that is possible perplexes me. Wait, we do have a lesbian friend but she’s obviously not a potential partner for me and now provinces away, haha.

And, of course, I sadly shook my head. In their heads, they think it’s my lack of social skills; in my own, I say it’s my eccentricities, unreasonably high standards and destiny’s hatred towards me. And then they started asking me what type of guy am I into or do I like and getting me to try hook-ups with other gay guys they know. Um, if you’re going to hook me up with someone, please let him be cute, at least. I couldn’t answer back and just laughed it off. I was thinking at the moment, what kind of guy did I really want? I mean, I was never specific even back then and my crushes didn’t exactly follow a certain blueprint or pattern. They really got me into thinking, haha. My only answer to them was that I liked my men geeky. Vague, much?

Now since I have no real idea myself, I shall create a blueprint for what kind of men I like. This shall now be a guide on future prospects for myself.

When they ask me of what ethnicities do I have the hots for, I usually say any men of any kind as long as they are hot. But the truth is, I have a thing for fellow Filipinos, Indians, and white men, specifically Italians… as long as they are hot. Haha, quick disclaimer. But, of course, that’s only a generalization. You never know, right? Wink, wink.

And my men shall be opinionated about all kinds of stuff. Don’t have to agree with me, as long as they know what they’re talking about. Yuppie capitalist scum are never a consideration, even if they possess such heavenly bodies. My men shall be a bit smarter than I am. Not too smart, or I might consider them as adversaries, rivals, competition. I don’t care much about their line of work or their annual salary and it doesn’t matter whether he would make more than I would but he shouldn’t be too committed to his work. Work is only a means to an end, despite your passion and devotion for it. And they shall know how to cook; I don’t want them to be like some people I know who are already husbands. Manigas nga sila; palamunin lang sila ng mga asawa nila. And my men shall teach me how to cook, while they’re at it, haha.

They shall be into some geeky stuff like films, sci-fi, graphic novels, superheroes, cool video games, comics, etc. You name it. But, at the same time, they shall be mature. They shall not be shopaholics or people who care too much about their own looks and clothing but, at the same time, they should know how to dress themselves nicely. And if I find out they obsessively collect shoes and/or bags, I’m outta there, haha. That’s just what I need, another one like my mom. They shall be good conversationalists and be able to talk about anything under the sun so we’ll never run out of anything to talk about. And they shall be good at sex and be up for anything. You’ll never know what goes inside my head, when it comes to stuff like that, haha.

Bow.

Um, Chris, good luck on finding that man, with those unreasonable standards of yours. No wonder, you’re such a loser still single.

Coco Martin, go back to being gay-for-pay.

May 7, 2010 at 11:26 am | Posted in Heterophobia | 21 Comments

Coco Martin, must you be a sell-out? Instead of just sticking to art house and independent films, why must you go and ruin your entire career by starring in trashy teleseryes where you play such dull hetero roles? We liked you better when you pretended to be a homo.

I’d have just loved to put you in suspended animation before you decided to sign contracts with the devil so you’ll always and only be remembered for your films with Brillante Mendoza, Masahista, Serbis and Kinatay and Raya Martin’s film Next Attraction. And you’ll be forever young and gorgeous.

Now there’s no excuse for us gays and women to watch you make out with another man for the sake of art. Even though Raya Martin’s film Next Attraction seemed almost pointless and wasn’t exactly a favorite of mine, I still impatiently waited for the scene where you made out with fellow actor, Paolo Rivero, in the shower. Yes, wash each other’s backs. Ooh, that’s the stuff. Now I can’t say that the film was a complete waste of time. I do like my films lingering and slow-paced sometimes but I didn’t see the point to the film Next Attraction.

This may not mean much to you but you represented the gay man who oozed sex, masculinity and Filipino male beauty. Sure, you’re straight in real life but for all we care, you were gay in our eyes. You weren’t just a gorgeous bod to stare at. Your great ass, good looks and distinct lisp were meant for something greater. But then you decided to let yourself be tamed by the mainstream entertainment industry, the embodiment of evil, even more deviant than kapres and manananggals because of its omnipresence and powerful influence on the masses.

Why did you have to cater to the mainstream audience? Why did you have to compromise your integrity and principles? You’ve just gone hetero on us. You just stabbed us gays in our backs. In our eyes, you have been converted from homosexuality to heterosexuality, from alternative film to mainstream trash, from coolness to blandness and tackiness. You just lost yourself an avid fan in me.

That’s so hetero of you.

March 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Heterophobia | 9 Comments

In my dictionary…

hetero [het-uh-roh]

– adjective
1. typical; common; ordinary: You lead awfully mundane and hetero lives.
2. bland; tedious; uninteresting: I find pretentious arthouse films so hetero that they put me to sleep.

– noun
1. a cliche
2. a plain and banal person: Heteros bore me.
3. an uninteresting person: I can’t be friends with a hetero.

I want to coin this term, and I order everyone to use this in a daily basis, to the point of annoyance and chagrin of straight people. And the most commonly used phrase shall be “That is so hetero of you.”

I just had to do this. I am so fucking sick of people using the word “gay” to mean something that you don’t agree with, anything that is displeasing, lame, effeminate, or disagreeable. Even the homosexuals are guilty of misusing the word.

Remember back then when “gay” used to mean happy? Hollywood stars would use the word “gay” quite often to describe anything cheerful, flamboyant, happy and wonderful. After the term was used to positively refer to homosexuals in the 1960s and 1970s, they would later use the word “gay” with negative connotations. Gay still means happy, while still being used to refer to a homosexual, particularly a male homosexual, but now homophobic Hollywood won’t even dare to use the word to define anything happy and wonderful. Instead, Hollywood expresses its homophobia by calling anyone weak and effeminate “sissies”, “faggots”, “queers”, and “pussies” and we’re only left with gay representations limited to sexually repressed cowboys who look good in tight pants.

I want you to have a party and be gay. Very, very gay! (Bette Davis in Dark Victory)

Remember when “gay” used to be the positive definition of someone who is attracted to the same sex? Those were the days. Of course, I wasn’t born yet then but those were the days. No, the pre-1960s weren’t the good days with all the world conflicts, fascism, oppression and discrimination but, during the 1960s and 1970s, there were revolutions and movements. There was hope. Now, not much change has happened. Now we’re all too busy. We’re all dormant and passive to even respond with hostility towards this capitalistic society of ours.

I just curl up inside every time I hear someone say “That’s so gay” and “You’re gay”. If you weren’t stupid, you’d know that was homophobic. Idiots never know when they might be offending someone. Fools never notice that there are other people who are forced to overhear their loud and barbaric conversations.

And since people are pretty stubborn and are not capable of changing their mindset in a matter of a few days’ time and their perception of things even if I keep blabbing about how the misuse of the word “gay” is offensive to the lesbians and gays, like myself, we’ll do it the hard way. We’ll start misusing the word “hetero” too. And no one likes being called uninteresting, average or bland. Just admit it, everyone wants to be a bit peculiar, to set herself apart from the crowd. Everyone proclaims herself to be weird, spontaneous and vivacious even when, most of the time, she’s not. This way, they’ll learn.

Now that you have read this amazing post and bask in all my glory, you can go back to your hetero lives. 😛

The Guidelines to the World of Homos for Hetero Dummies

February 12, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Heterophobia | 7 Comments

Take it from the gay guy, not from that scientist or preacher.

Before reading this, you should note that this is as authentic as the Bible. There should be absolutely no dispute as to its credibility for all of the things stated here are facts, without any doubts. This is the absolute truth. And since Nicolo, an acquaintance of mine, stubbornly believes that Christianity, and all the aspects and beliefs that come with it, is the absolute truth and that the possibility that the beliefs of any of the other religions and schools of thought might be the actual truth has never crossed his very “open-minded” mind, I am going to be stubborn and obnoxious as well.

If you say that the Bible has God, Jesus and a lot of eyewitnesses (who are all not of this world anymore) to prove the authenticity of the Bible, I have all of the gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transexuals to back me up on this one so beat that. So, these guidelines should be followed the way you follow the Ten Commandments. Just to let you know, as much as I hate to admit it, mathematics is probably the only study/practice in this world that has the absolute truth. There is no uncertainty about it.

And for the record, I am not asking for your sympathy and pity. I don’t need that. Please. If I needed that, I could have just gone and cried my heart out at a corner of my room. I just need your understanding, that’s all.

Now, let’s get to the point, you ignorant fools.

1. We do not choose to be gay. Most of us were all raised by heterosexual parents. We were also raised in a heterocentric, patriarchal, oppressive and conservative environment. All of the work comes from within. It all started from childbirth, it’s already engraved in our genes, and it becomes prominent either during childhood or during adolescene as one undergoes puberty. Personally, I already noticed it when I was still a kid. I just didn’t know how to define it since most parents are not eager to talk about it with their children as if it could go away if they didn’t talk about it. How could we have chosen to be gay in this oppressive environment when we already knew about our homosexuality at a point of our life when we still had no word or definition for it?

2. No one can suddenly turn gay. My hetero friends seem to have this fear that their boyfriends will suddenly turn gay just because they seem to do some stuff that women or gay men usually do and that “real men” don’t take a habit of doing. Sometimes, they just joke about it but you know what they say, jokes are usually half-meant. Your sexual identity cannot be changed, altered or converted at will. We are not mutants with superhuman abilities, for crying out loud.

3. The same goes with homosexuals; we can not be converted. Don’t try to fix us; we’re not broken. So, religious fanatics, your interventions and conversion therapies are a waste of time and effort in your part, your efforts are all in vain, not to mention that those people you try to convert lose all their self-confidence and any kind of belief in themselves as well as their faith on their loved ones who intervened. Sure, some can choose to wussy out by choosing the heterosexual lifestyle and marrying one of the opposite sex but they can’t still change their feelings and self-identity. It’s their choice; I can’t do anything about it. But, huh, they’re only fooling themselves. They will still later try to seek intimacy with people of the same sex while still trying to deny their homosexuality.

4. Kissing, hugging or having any acts of sexual intimacy with a person of the same sex doesn’t quickly mean you are gay or bi. There is this thing called experimentation. It’s experimentation when you do it in parties or other social gatherings among friends to please them. Having sex with a person or more of the same sex also doesn’t mean you’re gay or bi. There are also things called prostitution and exploitation. Men and women are usually forced to be hustlers (for reasons such as unemployment, easy money, lack of jobs, etc.) and they might choose to service particuarly people of their same sex, for their convenience, or might be forced to do some things out of their will. Women in straight porn are usually exploited and forced to have sex with other women, whether they are straight or not, for the pleasures of our thick-headed heterosexual men. Of course, they are not enjoying it, they’re having fake orgasms, for goodness’ sake.

5. Not all gay couples fall to the stereotype of masculine/feminine, butch/femme and top/bottom in same-sex relationships. You could argue that I’ve never been in a relationship before so how would I know? True, but who would you believe: someone who’s been raised in mainstream entertainment with limited images and representations of gay people or someone whose images of gay people are not only from pop culture but also from underground culture and other forms of art and schools of thought? Of course, the answer is the latter. If you still think of relationships in which one must be the dominant one and the other must be passive, you must still be living in the primitive ages, you fucking excuse for a human being. A child also doesn’t necessarily need both a mother figure and a father figure. A lot of children live with single parents, and they don’t end up being mentally disturbed when they grow up.

6. We are not here for your amusement and your entertainment. I will never forget what I heard from someone I personally know. “I love the gays,” she said. “They are so funny. They always make me laugh and are really fun to be with.” Of course, I am obviously paraphrasing. But you get the point. And whoever said that, you know who you are. Iha, you must be thinking about the likes of Allan K., Arnel Ignacio, and Boy Abunda. And I bet, you don’t know that many gay people in your life. I think you’re laughing AT them, not WITH them. Some of them can be pretty corny at times to me; I think you’re laughing more on their body gestures and movements. And not all of us gays have a great sense of humor. Some can really be as uninteresting, dumb and bland as hell. Don’t talk as if you don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve seen you guys laugh at other effeminate gay men behind their backs.

And think about it, most gay or lesbian people that heteros seem to really admire and love are the comedians and entertainers: Ellen Degeneres, Trevor Boris, Freddie Mercury, etc. And not many of them would admire or even know about the gay/lesbian playwrights, authors, artists, directors, actors, politicians, etc., not even the well-known ones. Oscar Wilde, Langston Hughes, Virginia Woolf, Pedro Almodovar, anyone? But that’s more due to the philistinic ways of people.

7. Not all gay people are promiscuous or perverted. I know I am perverted but not all are. We don’t think about men/women or sex all the time, just like you straights. We don’t hump every hot guy we encounter. We are not all sex machines. Even though some of us may be into extreme sexual activities such as sadomasochism, watersports and fisting (if you want to know what these terms mean, search for their definitions at your own discretion and don’t blame me) and may have strange fetishes as well, we are also capable of doing sex the natural way, through penetration, you dumbass. And, please, heterosexuals also have more fucked-up and more degrading fetishes and fantasies than we do. We are also capable of affection, nurturing and caring, no matter how sappy this might sound coming from me. And some of us just prefer doing it the typical way. Some really just prefer the lifestyle of marrying and committing to just one person.

8. And for you curious and naive people, gay people have anal sex and lesbians use dildos and other penetrative sex toys. At least, that’s the normal way to do it because we can be very flexible, haha. If you think that that’s disgusting, then you must be either sexually repressed, plain afraid of sex or just fooling yourself. I bet, you straight men sometimes like to take it up the ass. You just can’t admit it outside the bedroom. If you think I shouldn’t have covered this topic, then why do a lot of people I know always ask me about this as they giggle and act like innocent children?

9. A gay person can be almost anyone you know. So, you shouldn’t be that shocked to find out that someone in your workplace, school or even your home turns out to be gay. Some might still be in the closet, and you should just make it easier for her because she might be in the process of coming out. You don’t know shit on how hard it is to come out. Always be gay-friendly and don’t use any homophobic terms. The slurs “fag” and “dyke” are no-no’s, unless used in friendly and endearing terms, which is rarely the case. Even though I can be very profane and use cusswords all the time, I never resort to homophobic, sexist, or racist slurs. No one likes being called sexist/racist/homophobic names, unless you’re really fucked-up.

Don’t assume that a masculine man is straight or that a feminine woman is straight as well. Don’t assume that everyone you know is heterosexual. You never know when you might actually be offending or alienating someone.

10. The term gay shouldn’t be used to mean something that is lame or tacky, something of poor or bad taste. Using the word incorrectly is in itself of purely bad taste. Unless you want someone else to coin the term “hetero” and use it to define something that is very typical, bland and average. I should do that because using the word gay to mean something tacky is really so hetero of you.

11. We don’t expect to be treated specially. We expect you to treat us equally. It is the human thing to do. If you say you tolerate us, then why do you expect us to do what we do in our own private homes? If you say you accept us for who we are, why can’t we show our true selves publicly? If you yourself can publicly display your affection towards your loved one, completely devouring each other’s mouths as if you haven’t eaten yet, why can’t we do the same without you expressing your disapproval and disgust? If this is the way it should be, you must keep your heterosexual ways to yourselves and try to get a room as well.

You can’t also blame us for wanting more images and representations of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transexuals in the media and pop culture. Sure, sometimes we might whine about the stereotypical portrayal of LGBT people in the mainstream media but we won’t stop whining until you think of us more as people and less as caricatures and cardboard cutouts.

12. We don’t have similar interests and beliefs. Any similarity ends with the fact that we like people of the same sex. Period. Again, you must stop thinking of us in stereotypes. Not all of us are into fashion or fashionable. Superficial. Not all love shopping. Puke. Not all of us are party-goers. Dork. Not all lesbians are feminists, and not all feminists are lesbians. You, pig. Wanting to be in equal terms with men and trying to get rid of patriarchy and misogyny don’t mean one is a man-hating lesbian.

I mention this because someone has asked me before why do I love cinema and queer cinema when other gay people don’t give a damn about that. And this is my answer to him. My interests have no direct correlation to my sexuality, and vice versa.

13. And yes, Neil Patrick Harris is gay. Flamin’ hot.

Despite what I might have said earlier, I am really open to comments, arguments and debates. I was just trying to get my point across and to annoy people who seem to believe that what they believe is the absolute truth and that anything else is not a possibility at all.

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