Beefcake, male bonding, and other gay content in kids' movies, tv programs, comics, toys, and games in the 1960s and 1970s, when everything was subtext and innuendo. An occasional rant about how even today, popular culture continues to assume that LGBT people do not exist.
Petey's Boyfriend in "Cul de Sac"
It seems that comic strips I hate, like Blondie, go on and on and on, generation after generation of gags about napping on the couch and burnt potroasts. But comic strips I like are short lived.Cul de Sac had a syndication run of five years, from September 2007 to September 2012.Ok, it's not cartoonist Richard Thompson's fault. He discovered that he had Parkinson's Disease, and it's hard to draw with your hands shaking. But still...Cul de Sac is set in a fascinating, jarring universe, a suburban wasteland on the outskirts of Washington, DC. The star is ostensibly 4-year old Alice Otterlooper, a preschooler who combines adult-level world-weariness and childish innocence.But I think the real star is her older brother Petey, a neurotic outsider who is frightened by everybody and everything. Her older brother Petey is a classic neurotic. He is the world's pickiest eater. He goes trick-or-treating in a costume consisting of a sign reading "Boo!" attached to his chest. He is a devotee of Little Neuro comics, with a hero who does nothing.Peter is unique, yet the type of all kids who grow up isolated, alone, hiding their desires and interests to survive. Like every gay kid in a heteronormative society.Petey has mild heterosexual interests. A gigantic girl named Viola D'More (a play on d'amore) befriends and bedevils him.Plus an admirer, Ernesto, who wears a business suit and belongs to the "Future Adult Guild." Petey can't understand Ernesto's interest, and suspects that he is imaginary.Later in the strip's run, Viola fades away, and Petey makes a "best friend," Andre Chang, at cartoon camp. Andre is as gigantic as Viola -- apparently Petey likes them big.The two become inseparable, in spite of Ernesto's jealousy, leading one to imagine that Andre is Petey's first real boyfriend.Unfortunately, the strip ends shortly after the relationship begins.It's easy to compare Cul de Sac with Peanuts, other children with adult voices, but while the Peanuts kids experience angst, cruelty, and pain, there is no pain in Petey's world, unless you count Mom forcing you to substitute a store brand for your favorite cereal. There is no bullying, no cruelty. No one even comments on Pete's favorite pizza: no red sauce, and cheese on the side.It's a world I want to live in.
Fall 1993: Matt and the Bartender Frighten the Horses
San Bernardino, Fall 1993"Ok, mes amis," Matt says, "I'm going to tell you about the time j'effrayé les chevaux."Lane and I have driven 70 miles to San Bernardino to spend the weekend with my first boyfriend, Fred, and his partner, the 27-year old Cute Young Thing Matt. Their friend Jerome, a Daddy months away from becoming a Geezer, has joined us for dinner, and now we're swapping stories of dates from hell, supersized penises, and fantasy hookups.I told about how Alan and I hooked up with the kept boy, Jerome told about how he almost had sex with his own father. Now it's Matt's turn."You frightened the horses?" I translate.He nods "When Mrs. Campbell heard that gay people exist, she said 'I don't care, as long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses.' Well, mes amis, right in the bar, right before the very eyes of the scandalized patrons, the bartender and moi...well, you'll see what we did."The rest of the story, with nude photos and sexual situations,is on Tales of West Hollywood.
Bathhouse Boy #2: In Search of Indios in Tijuana
I'm running low on Alan stories, but I hate to let him go. so here's the story of me, Alan, and the bathhouse in Tijuana.Tijuana, August 1987It's a sedate cultural center now, but in the 1980s, it was synonymous with sleaze.Watch your wallet.Drink only bottled waterBe careful of the bathrooms.Don't walk too close to alleys."We should go," Alan the Pentecostal Porn Star said one day in 1987. "You speak Spanish, so you can impress all the locals. And the bathhouses are still open. Have you been to one?""Just once, four years ago in Chicago. My friend Viju took me. I didn't like it.""They're great!" Alan exclaimed. "Darn homophobic Department of Health closed them down here, thinking we're all having unsafe sex and getting AIDS in them, but you can have unsafe sex anywhere. You just have to be careful, stick to French. That won't be a problem for us, right?"Alan rarely topped anyone, and I never knew him to bottom. Interfemoral, oral, and sometimes 69, although he was a little too big to do that comfortably."Sex with strangers?" I said, dubious. Even casual hookups were frowned upon in West Hollywood."It's a foreign country. Our rules don't apply. And we're both single, right?" He paused. "Besides, I know a place where you can meet Indios."The rest of the story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.
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