REVIEW: “Albert Nobbs” and the mystery of identity

Unlike The Crying Game, where the sex of a character is a major twist about halfway through, the genders of the characters in Albert Nobbs is not much in doubt: Glenn Close is a big star with above-the-title billing — her butched-up face is the ad campaign. And yet there is just as much mystery here, albeit of a different kind. This is a story of identity that’s almost impenetrable.

Albert (Close) is a gentlemanly servant at a high-end boutique hotel in Ireland. Everyone admires Albert: The women appreciate his respectful demeanor, his male co-workers his work ethic, the boss, Mrs. Baker (Pauline Collins), his reliability. But no one really knows Albert, who lives in a small room in the attic and squirrels away his money and dreams of something else.

But really, Albert doesn’t even know himself. He has been living as a man for decades — who knows how long? — and cannot even remember a time when he (or she) was not Albert. He has become so repressed, he almost doesn’t have a personality anymore.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

“Head Figure Head” more about journalism than about Gov. Rick Perry’s sex life

Head Figure Head, the new e-book from Glen Maxey, details the author’s arduous and frustrating six-month effort to investigate rumors of Gov. Rick Perry’s gay sex life. Maxey served as executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas (now Equality Texas) during Perry’s tenure as a state representative, later serving for 12 years as a state representative, spanning Perry’s time as agricultural commissioner, lieutenant governor and governor. Of all the people who’ve attempted to look into the rumors of Perry’s trysts with men, Maxey is perhaps best positioned to get to the truth, and takes great pains to ensure we are aware of that fact.

The book is the narrative of Maxey’s research, assisted by a journalist from a national media outlet. Like almost every character in the book other than Maxey and Perry himself, “the Journalist” is referred to only as a pseudonym. Maxey and the Journalist begin their search for proof in June 2011 as rumors of Perry’s impending presidential bid are widely circulating. Immediately the pair find that almost every gay man in Austin has a friend who has a friend who claims to have slept with Perry. For the next three months they track those leads and come excruciatingly close to breaking the story.

—  admin

Richard Chamberlain: Gay leading men should stay closeted

From the Advocate via Towleroad:

You were a wildly successful closeted actor during a period of time when coming out was unheard of, but the climate of acceptance has significantly changed in recent years. How do you feel about gay actors who still remain closeted as we near 2011?

“It’s complicated. There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It’s regrettable, it’s stupid, it’s heartless, and it’s immoral, but there it is. For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren’t, so it’s just silly for a working actor to say, “Oh, I don’t care if anybody knows I’m gay” — especially if you’re a leading man. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a gay leading man–type actor to come out.”




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Richard Chamberlain: Gay Leading Men Should Remain Closeted

The one-time leading man tells the Advocate:

Rc You were a wildly successful closeted actor during a period of time when coming out was unheard of, but the climate of acceptance has significantly changed in recent years. How do you feel about gay actors who still remain closeted as we near 2011?

"It’s complicated. There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It’s regrettable, it’s stupid, it’s heartless, and it’s immoral, but there it is. For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren’t, so it’s just silly for a working actor to say, “Oh, I don’t care if anybody knows I’m gay” — especially if you’re a leading man. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a gay leading man–type actor to come out."

When can a leading man come out — when he’s 69 and promoting a memoir?

"I have no idea. Despite all the wonderful advances that have been made, it’s still dangerous for an actor to talk about that in our extremely misguided culture. Look at what happened in California with Proposition 8. Please, don’t pretend that we’re suddenly all wonderfully, blissfully accepted."

Chamberlain was outed by French magazine Nous Deux in 1989 but only publicly came out in his 2003 autobiography, Shattered Love, at the age of 69.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Former LCR Head: Mehlman an ‘Unhelpful’ Closeted Gay Republican

Rich Tafel, former head of the Log Cabin Republicans, lays into former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman in an interview with the Washington Blade:

Tafel “It pisses me off that people will put their ambition ahead of the truth, and then, when it’s convenient, play the gay card and hope that everybody [can] raise money and get money and then expect everybody to say, ‘Everything is great,’” Tafel said.

Tafel says Mehlman lacks moral courage and was an "unhelpful" kind of closeted gay Republican, rather than the covertly "helpful" kind:

Tafel said Mehlman’s decision to come out after working for campaigns that promoted anti-gay initiatives “sends a lousy message.”

“You do have to show moral courage in coming out when you work in politics,” Tafel said. “And if the message is stay ambitious, and stay in the closet, even work with anti-gay stuff, and then come out and everybody’s supposed to forgive him — I’m just not there.”

Tafel said Mehlman was unhelpful in those years, even as others who were closeted and held high-level positions within the Republican Party provided assistance to Log Cabin. Tafel counted Dan Gurley, a former field director for the Republican National Committee, as among those who were helpful even though he was closeted as a Republican Party operative.

“I would say there are two types of people in the closet,” Tafel said. “There’s one type of people in the closet who were extremely helpful to me, and then there were the other ones who weren’t. Ken was in the very small category of people who weren’t.”

Adding:

“Most people actually tried to help … wherever they were in their life,” Tafel said. “They tried to help you, but he really never lifted a finger for us. Things got pretty hostile with myself and the Bush campaign. He was unhelpful. So, it was a pretty unhappy relationship. It was nothing positive.” Tafel said the Bush campaign in 2000 was “coming after” him personally and threatening to create another gay organization while saying “get in line or we’re going to put you out of business.”

More at The Blade, including a defense of Mehlman from current LCR Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper.

In related news, former Log Cabin Republican head Patrick Guerriero has left the Republican Party to become an Independent

"Primarily I have always looked at myself as being a public servant and I have found that bipartisanship is more important than party affiliation. I feel it’s always been a better way to get the job done—to look at the real issues and not concentrate on any one party’s agenda. I think a lot of people are frustrated with the political system and I am interested in making good policy rather than protecting party identity."


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Repulsive Anti-Gay Quisling Homophobic Scumbag Asshat Closeted Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman Has Come Out

Maybe the M loft he bought in gay gay gay Chelsea this summer did (or more likely, brought) the trick, as Mike Rogers reports today that repulsive 2004 Dubya campaign manager and former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman is about to come out. [UPDATE: It's official. See update at the bottom of this post.]

In 2004 Steve Schmidt (then the Republican National Convention spokesman and later the McCain campaign’s senior strategist) lied to me when I asked him point blank about Mehlman. “Ken Mehlman is not gay,” he proclaimed. In 2006, Mehlman told the New York Daily News, “I am not gay, but those stories did a number on my dating life for six months.” It’s so nice to be proven right, me that is, not Ken. If this move doesn’t call for a Roy Cohn Award, I don’t know what does. Ken Mehlman is horridly homophobic and no matter how orchestrated his coming out is, our community should hold him accountable for his past.

As we saw with Jim McGreevy, many gay leaders will attempt to elbow themselves to the front of the line to say on cable TV how wonderful it is that Ken is now being honest with the American people. Someone will be quoted in the New York Times saying something like, “After so many years of working for the Republicans, it’s wonderful to see Ken be true to himself.” Or perhaps you’ll read a quote in the Washington Post about how “every gay person is on their own personal journey and we are happy Ken has decided to be so open about his personal struggle.” Next up will come the book, then the TV shows, and of course the speaking tour. I’ll only buy it if he is really sorry.

Mehlman’s crimes against his own people are motherfucking LEGION. Mike Rogers continues:

So, how can Ken Mehlman redeem himself? I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for being the architect of the 2004 Bush reelection campaign. I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for his role in developing strategy that resulted in George W. Bush threatening to veto ENDA or any bill containing hate crimes laws. I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for the pressing of two Federal Marriage Amendments as political tools. I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for developing the 72-hour strategy, using homophobic churches to become political arms of the GOP before Election Day.

We can be sure that GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans are positively drooling over the prospect of welcoming Mehlman onto their boards of directors. VOMIT.

UPDATE: It’s official. Here’s Mehlman’s statement.

“It’s taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life. Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I’ve told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they’ve been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that’s made me a happier and better person. It’s something I wish I had done years ago. I wish I was where I am today 20 years ago. The process of not being able to say who I am in public life was very difficult. No one else knew this except me. My family didn’t know. My friends didn’t know. Anyone who watched me knew I was a guy who was clearly uncomfortable with the topic.”

Read the entire story on the Atlantic. Andy Towle is reporting that Mehlman has already agreed to chair a “major anti-Prop 8 fundraiser” for Americans For Equal Rights, Ted Olson and David Boies’ outfit. Gee thanks, shitbag. That’s like offering to help rebuild a house when YOU were the fucker that helped burn it down.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright