1. shane says

    I also love the ‘slippery way’ intelligence and avant-garde art overlap with pretension and been-there-done-that. It’s so retro it makes me feel like I’m part of it, as if I’m back in the heady days of college, in Cambridge. This could be awesome, or terrible, or both. As long as it’s not boring…
    And my comment is so ‘meta’.

  2. THE QUEEN says


  3. hello says

    The so-called ‘beauty’ of queer subculture—S&M,gloryholes, bath-houses etc led to the decimation of thousands of gay men via HIV/AIDS. As filmmakers explore that subculture I hope they also examine the consequences it birthed.

  4. smithb says

    I hope my access to marriage rights doesn’t spoil James Franco’s ability to experience queer culture as delightfully anti-normative. Won’t someone think of the Francos?

  5. Bollux says

    Now this I seriously have an interest in. And as for the subculture leading to the “decimation of thousands”…what doesn’t? Everything dies of something. The cessation of cellular respiration terminates all. Living in a city lowers your life expectancy. You gonna belittle that as well. Get off your horse.

  6. Javier says

    Why does he seem to be fixated on the seedy, subculture of some gay men’s lives? He seems to think of gay men as perverted, immoral and disordered instead of mainstream, wholesome people. I am offended by Franco’s view of gay men.

  7. Dreaminglive says

    Is there such a thing as “mainstream?”
    Film will be interesting at the least. If only the queers in the leather hang-outs looked like these actors…sigh.

  8. Dan E says

    Look, the people who will stereotype us as sex-crazed deviants will do that no matter what.

    The people who understand we’re human beings know that this is no more representative of “all gays” than a movie about swingers would be representative of all straight people.

    This notion that we have to present a scrubbed, perfect version of gay and that anything else is somehow “harmful” is dishonest, disingenuous, and, frankly, far more harmful in my view than any film about cruising and leather bars will ever be.

    And yea, I’m not sure what “mainstream” is either. All I know is that, in my experience, most anyone who loudly protests that they are “normal” is usually both deeply boring and deeply broken.

  9. The Milkman says

    Gosh, so many people seem so uncomfortable with the seemingly seedy, pseudo-dangerous environment of leather bars. Have any of you been to a leather bar lately? Maybe I’ve been to the wrong ones, but every time I go to the Eagle, no matter what city, I see more chatting and dancing and pool playing than gloryholes and fisting. In fact, any sex that happens is usually squashed by some staff member with a flashlight. Leather bars in the 70s… maybe that was another thing. I don’t know, I was too young to experience it firsthand. But I’d bet a few dollars that the depiction of these places in popular culture was and still is exaggerated for salacious voyeur effect. But if these bars were actually like that, you can bet your ass I’d be there. It ain’t the bar that is dangerous, or even the sex… it’s how you do it that makes the difference. And as for judgement about being “perverted” or “immoral”, that says more about the particularly American brand of sex-phobia than it does about gays. Ah, the Puritans. When, oh when, will we break free from their influence? Sigh.

  10. Isaak says

    I’m thankful that showing a seedy underside of gay cruising will help me attain marriage equality. Not at all sure how that’s going to happen (Oh, the poor gays, they can’t get married so they go cruising for anonymous sex), but Franco and Mathews seems far more enlightened. I’ll be sure to give the standing ovation when equality comes around and those that pass it cite this film as their reason for finally doing so. Its this kind of film that will then go straight to the Nigerian and Ugandan politicians who can then use it as propaganda to keep jailing and killing us. If he’s THAT concerned with exploring this side, there are plenty of porn sites he can turn to.

  11. jlavoy says

    Hiding queer (note: not necessarily normative gay) sexuality in order to obtain marriage rights is not a broad stretch toward justice. It seems cheap. In addition to marriage, I thought we were also advocating that we should embrace the multiplicity of healthy sexualities.

  12. The Milkman says

    Scrubbing our image into Will Truman-esque sexlessness will do nothing to help ensure marriage equality in America or to help protect gay people in Uganda or Nigeria. Bigots use anti-gay hatred to deflect attention away from more pressing political issues, just like they do in the US. If it isn’t this film, then it’ll be porn, or pride parade videos, or Betty Butterfield clips on YouTube, or episodes of Glee. Anonymous or recreational sex is something that some people (gay or straight or other) enjoy, and it is no more representative of the entire community than Fifty Shades of Grey is to the straight folks. Time to unclench, ladies.

  13. The Milkman says

    I also think that the erasing of subcultures and “smoothing out the kinks” in favor of assimilation is a valid discussion. It’s one that I’ve had with friends for years… perhaps you’ve discussed it with your friends too? I would dearly love to marry my partner of 19 years. But why must civil equality come with a pricetag that includes regression to the behavioral and cultural mean?

  14. Francis says

    Some of the comments on this thread remind me of the comments on the Nate Silver thread yesterday. This desperation to conform, this desperation to look like neat little gays so straights like us. So you like yourselves. It’s so not cool.

  15. Derrick from Philly says

    Francis, I was thinking the same thing.

    The guys who criticized the so-called “Gay Culture” threw me for loop yesterday. I understood what they were talking about, but I felt they were deliberately limiting the idea of a “Gay Culture”. To them “Gay Culture” seemed to mean White Gay men with a lot of disposable income. We all aint that, honey.

    Gay culture has to include many sub-cultures (or communities) under the umbrella term “Gay”. If not, then we ALL have to find different group titles to call ourselves other than Gay.

    I saw “Cruising” back when it came out. It featured a Gay subculture that I was not familiar with. But it fascinated me. It was also fascinating that a major movie actor (Pacino) would star in such a controversial film. Although a movie star never knows what the final film is going to look like. I guess it was the director (Friedkin) who made Pacino feel it was going to be a quality production. It was very controversial within Gay communities back then. Some of the same comments you see above were said 32 years ago (oh my God, I’m old).

    There are different types of Gay. Thank God.

  16. UFFDA says

    Oh right, let’s all celebrate the abyssmal gay life of the 70’s that led to half a million dead men from AIDS and every STD imaginable. With out sleaze Franco in the lead.

    Hopefully it will at least show a new generation the sight and form of Stupid before our new current freedom gets so. There is/was a whole faction of gay men who are simply suicidal. I hope enough of them are gone now to enable this film to die quickly.

  17. anon says

    The kids are into rubber these days. Leather is associated with old fat guys now. Franco is trying hard to be edgy and novel, but competing with what’s available online is going to be impossible.

  18. says

    Hold your horses guys eh hee hee. This is a beautifully created film by Franco. It takes a lot of guts to make a film of this nature. The message is well delivered. The “Jamesi” does it best!!

  19. The Milkman says

    Jeez, Uffda. what a horrible comment. “I hope enough of them are gone now to enable this film to die quickly…” Really? Wow.

    you know, you don’t have to be suicidal or stupid to get HIV or an STD. Lots of those guys in the 70s and 80s and 90s got sick because ourknowledge base and culture were different then than they are now.. there are also people who like kink and fetishes in the world, both gay and straight, and there are people who like to have sex with more than 1 partner. people are messy and unpredictable. it was ever thus, and you and everyone else like you can’t do nothing to change it… instead of being horrible to those people, you could work to make those people safer. But maybe you don’t care about that.. maybe all you would prefer is to see everyone tonight if they’re not just like you.

  20. The Milkman says

    Jeez, Uffda. what a horrible comment. “I hope enough of them are gone now to enable this film to die quickly…” Really? Wow.

    you know, you don’t have to be suicidal or stupid to get HIV or an STD. Lots of those guys in the 70s and 80s and 90s got sick because ourknowledge base and culture were different then than they are now.. there are also people who like kink and fetishes in the world, both gay and straight, and there are people who like to have sex with more than 1 partner. people are messy and unpredictable. it was ever thus, and you and everyone else like you can’t do nothing to change it… instead of being horrible to those people, you could work to make those people safer. But maybe you don’t care about that.. maybe all you would prefer is to see everyone tonight if they’re not just like you.

  21. says

    stop worrying about “how people will stereotype us”

    all the advancement in the world hasn’t stopped the nation’s idiots from utterly rejecting Evolution because they’d prefer to think “God did. in less than a week. and jesus had a pet dinosaur”

  22. UFFDA says

    MILKMAN – I’m not trying to be horrible but merely to call attention to the careless sense of abandon and excess which led to the catyclismic sexual infections among gay men during the period in question. It’s nothing to be remembered as anything but tragic.

  23. Sarge says

    Franco ain’t gay.. He’s just pandering to gay Hollywood.. He (brilliantly) panders to everybody, especially jews, artists, gays, druggies and scholars.. How and why are the keys..

    You’ve got to have liberal America on your side or your movies will never be see the light of day.. If Perez Hilton hates you then you’re done.. Also, Franco claims 1/2 Jewish. Though non-practicing it’s enough to get him in the the club.. He goes to multiple colleges to get degrees and glorifies professors and academics – making them cool for once.. You need these snobs on your side as well.. Also, the artsy folks are needed.. He writes poems, paints, writes, directs etc.. He’s one of them.. Cater to druggies? You betcha.. He wants everybody to think he’s a stoner.. He’s not.. Just part of the act.. And finally, middle America likes the guy.. He’s handsome, edgy and cool in the eyes guys and gals, young and old..

    Who is the guy if he isn’t a jewish, gay, stoned, brainiac, artsy type?? Shockingly, Franco is mainly a regular guy who is very talented, smart and has a ridiculous work ethic.. He never gets in trouble because he never goes out.. So he invents a dark side of himself.. He’s always working and that’s who James Franco is – a workaholic and generally a good guy who is probably more conservative than liberal… And he’s a winner in Hollywood.. Game, set, match Franco.. Well played Mr. Franco..

  24. Cecilfirefox says

    Am I the only one who was interested in that and then spoiled by the fact that there were tons of women around, watching everything? lol

    And yes, there is a point where it’s just porn.

  25. MateoM says

    Actually, Uffda, I’ve NEVER had an STD of any kind. Which isn’t so surprising, considering all of my sexual partners have been respectful enough to wear a condom. Not sure what a gaybe is.

    Then again, I’m not terribly offended by what you say, as you’re just a lame troll. But it’s hilarious that you think you can hurt my feelings.

  26. Derrick from Philly says

    Yes, Sarge, and just the sight of Franco brings you close to “busting a nut”. It’s so apparent in your comment.

    I’ve gotta’ crush on you, sweetie pie….

  27. Caliban says

    I’ve become jaded about James Franco’s antics. I used to wonder what he was getting at but now I just don’t care.

    @MateoM, Syphilis and gonorrhea are both diseases that left many of their sufferers with grotesque lesions, dying in agony. It was only cured by antibiotics that became widely available about 50 years ago. (And they’re becoming more resistant to treatment.) And the victims were mainly straight.

    So what lesson should we draw from that? That heterosexuality is a bad thing?

  28. BIll says

    For those commenting on the 1970s, keep in mind that this was in the middle of the “Sexual Revolution”, which started in the 1960s, and was anything but a “gay only” affair. It coincided with the start of the gay-rights movement, but was not the result of the gay-rights movement.

    Some of the behavior seen in the 1970s was the result of repression suddenly being lifted. A simple model is the pressure cooker – get it going and then suddenly open the lid, and you’ll get the idea. Or try the following video clip: (the use of a steam locomotive for dialog that would not get by the censors was priceless, not to mention the choice of background music).

  29. Rob says

    The argument of “Queer” v. “Normative” is as old as ancient Greece. Leather bars, just like the Baths- pre-AIDS- were very hot sex dens. Franco’s flirtation may be historical voyeurism, but it’s so damaging to how far we’ve come- and how close we are…

  30. Jack says

    @OS2GUY: No way, dude. Ever since he played Sean Penn’s lover in “Harvey Milk,” James Franco has been a strong positive voice for us both in film and out. We need more like him.

  31. peterparker says

    The only way that I can make sense of the fact that nearly every role he plays is a gay man is that he must, in fact, be gay in real life. Nothing else computes.

  32. says

    I was there in the 70’s…having sex–as much as I could get–dirty, anonymous, and fun.
    And, my dear, I’m still here.
    Sex is a basic biological urge. This country is just devolving back into its Puritanical and prudish existence.
    Religion will be the complete destruction of the planet.
    How sad.


  33. millerbeach says

    I remember when this movie came out…I remember when it came onto VHS and I secretly rented it when my folks were gone. I remember how turned on I got, thinking it was odd, since I was straight…or so I thought. I came out a hair after the revolution, AIDS was already identified, but only as the “gay cancer”. Yeah, that’s what they called it in the beginning. I remember I was too shy to engage in behavior like that, in awe of it, but too frightened to do it. I also remember all the people I knew who did live like this, all now dead. They have been since the 1980’s, dying a wicked, painful death at the hands of evil government that was in denial. No one would help these modern day “lepers” Everyone thought that by merely speaking to them, one could catch AIDS. It was a very scary time. Do not wish death on these people, do not wish them harm. They suffered so greatly in the beginning days of AIDS, they need no more pain. “Cruising” simply exposed a sub-culture of gay life. It certainly cannot be considered the norm of gay life back in the ’70’s & ’80’s.

  34. Bill Perdue says

    Closeted guys won’t like this one little bit. They can squirm and squeal all they want, this looks to be a good flic.

    It very much reminds me of the One Way bar in LA in the ’80s.

  35. tommyboy10T says

    I think this is fantastic … If James Franco was gay i think he would come out…just be glad that we have some straight alys on our side, we need them. Secondly, just because something is uncomfortable does not mean there isn’t a story there … that is what movie making is all about. Not all of us, grow up in these perfect little “white picket” fence familes, then move to the city to start our fabulous gay life …with parties and brunches, and the gym … some men explore sex and fetishes …and in that time period the leather bars were the only places you could do that … that subculture is starting to die out because of the Internet and online hookups, but there are still bars out there with backrooms and patrons wanting to explore!! stop being so judgemental. The leather scene is not mine either, but it does not scare me either and I could give a damn what straight people think… which is what most queens are afraid of!!

  36. Bob says

    Why doesn’t James just have man on man sex and get it over with already. Geesh. Crusing is truly ancient history. He talks and talks and talks and it seems he really needs his cherry popped (gently of course and in a loving way) 😀

  37. randall says


    “Lots of those guys in the 70s and 80s and 90s got sick because ourknowledge base and culture were different then than they are now.”

    What garbage this is. By age sixty, more than half of today’s young gay men will be infected with HIV. So what exactly has changed? What good does “our knowledge base” do if nobody is using it?

  38. Sharp says

    Franco and his brother should both come out. Earn your stripes before you start calling gay the new straight. I think you’re using us. If not, join the spin the bottle game. That’s a start. You know you want to.

  39. Sargon Bighorn says

    UFFDA “the abyssmal gay life of the 70’s that led to half a million dead men from AIDS” No no Gay life did not cause AIDS. Any more than the Gay life of the 70s is causing AIDS in Africa now. Sexual activity has consequences, STDs, Pregnancy, the HORROR of learning one is infertile (for the Hetero-set). Gay people having sex no more caused AIDS than Str8 people having sex. What I think you were trying to say is that Gay folks having sex SPREAD the virus. Rest assured, Gay folk were having lots of sex BEFORE there was AIDs and not one died from it.

  40. kevin says

    it is funny people worried about this film and how str8 people will perceive us…do you think they worry about us whenever there’s a 60s documentary on tv or movie or song that comes on the radio…OH NOEZ…OUR SHAME…ALL THAT SEX THAT GAVE RISE TO STD’S UNWANTED PREGNACIES WHAT WILL THE GAYS THINK OF US!!! THEY’LL KNOW WE’RE BAD PEOPLE THAT WE SHOULDN’T BE PARENTS!

    Yeah i don’t think they think that at all…stop apologizing. And for the record…there are hot men in leather not just out of shaped ones…you know like life. Some of you need to get off the high horse…or stop pretending you are on one then sneak to do stuff in the cover of the dark. So your friends don’t know what you really like.

  41. Bobby says

    Every gender, every “sub-culture” every body has a “seedy side” and just as there will always be heterosexual swingers, orgies and different kinds of sex parties there will also be homosexual swingers, orgies and sex parties. If you’re uncomfortable with that, don’t go to any of those kinds of parties but please stop degrading those that do. I have NEVER been to a “sex party” and consider myself VERY vanilla and kinda shy but I don’t think people who like that sort of thing are bad or immoral. It’s all about consenting adults doing what makes them happy.

  42. says

    He is WAY up in his head. I don’t believe a word of either’s quotations. I’m sure they think that’s what they are doing. They should actually go hang out at the Eagle LA enough times that they loose the sense of “other”, relax and get to know what it’s actually about.

    And furthermore, Gay marriage is not about normalizing. It’s about living like some people want to live. having a homelife that is sedentary is as big a risk as cruising a leather bar. More actually. The bar’s risks are short term. A relationship housed in a domicile is a long term, huge and vulnerable risk.

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