This may very quickly turn into a rant, but the essence is this: I was replying to a comment I received on a previous post about how the character Ryan Evans was outed in the stage version of High School Musical. The commenter compared HSM to the movie Hamlet 2, in which one character apparently is outed, to make the point that Disney movies would probably not yet be ready for an openly gay character. As I have not seen Hamlet 2, I’m in no position to say whether this is a fair assessment of that particular movie, but I immediately went to IMDB to read up on the movie.
The character in question, Rand Posin, is played by Skylar Astin (he’s kinda cute, you know). And here comes the moral lesson of this post, which has fairly little to do with gays in movies at all: However useful a resource IMDB might be, please don’t ever get involved in their message boards. I’m cutting from a very small sample here of course, but when I entered the Skylar Astin board and clicked on the ‘Hilarious in Hamlet 2’ thread, I was met by this, from the poster broadwaytechie: “OMG SkyLAR! BOY CAN SING! LOL I LOVE SKYLAR MORE! (We’re Facebook buddies and he knows my name and hugs me every time I see him!)” And then this, from poster outtonight129-1: “Haha I’ve been to his house. We’re really close family friends and I’ve done plays with him.”
I guess I should be thankful that out went a little easier on the caps than b-techie, but the same obnoxious feeling lingers: If I didn’t exactly ask myself who these people are (I really don’t want to know), then I asked what made them feel that they had to advertise their celebrity friendships in such a way to make themselves look interesting, or even worse, important? There is a triumphant tone to the posts that’s really annoys me. Minor thing, you say? Yep, but still.
A couple of weeks ago, googling Jonathan Taylor Thomas for my ‘Early Gay Crushes’ post, I was led to his IMDB message board, and the same thing happened. As you might know, there have been som quite persistent rumours about the possibility of him being gay, and he even appeared in American gaymag The Advocate to quell them. Anyway, on the boards they still won’t let the idea die, and thus poster josephandsandy says: “I worked with the kid years ago on a film in Vancouver. He’s probably one of the kindest and smartest actors i’ve worked with. When we were working he had an extremely attractive girlfriend that visited often. (…). Not gay, real solid guy.” Leave aside for a moment the fact that “Not gay, real solid guy” could easily be interpreted as saying that gays are not solid guys. What really irks me again is this need to announce your first-hand relationship with the person in question, which is further underlined by that last sentence.
Am I just jealous? Okay, maybe a little. Could I just avoid the message boards altogether? Sure, I probably wouldn’t miss them. But the best alternative would be if people just stopped their celebrity shout-outs entirely.
Rant over. Back to our original programming.