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WATCH: Ian McKellen Is ‘Mr. Holmes’ In Official Trailer For New Sherlock Holmes Film

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Ian McKellen stars in the new film Mr. Holmes, an adaptation of Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, as the legendary detective himself, Sherlock Holmes.

However, this new iteration of the famous sleuth is quite different than Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch’s recent robust take on the character. Ian McKellen plays a retired, elderly Holmes facing the trials and tribulations of old age as the brilliant detective’s mind begins to deteriorate, but the intuitive detective proves he still has some wit left at the age of 93.

Watch the intriguing, full-length trailer for McKellen's take on the famous character, AFTER THE JUMP...


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'Sherlock' Creator Insists That Neither Holmes Nor Watson Is Gay


If you’ve ever perused the internet looking for information about BBC One’s Sherlock, then chances are you’ve happened upon the Sherlock fandom and its penchant for slash. Slash, for the uninitiated, is a particular genre of fan fiction and media dedicated to same sex pairings within established canons. Sherlock (along with Teen Wolf, Transformers, and Supernatural) has a particularly vibrant slash fandom that insists that there’s true love and romance between Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John Watson (Martin Freeman.)

According to Sherlock co-creator and writer Steven Moffat, though, Sherlock’s definitely not gay. Or straight, for that matter. If anything, Moffat explained to Entertainment Weekly, he’s asexual, though even that might be a bit too carnal a description.

“It’s a funny thing when a character for over 100 years has been saying, ‘I don’t do that at all.’ He’s been saying it over 100 years,” Moffat insisted. “He’s not interested in [sex].

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07a1b5dc970d-800wi6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6fc7f85970b-800wi“He’s willfully staying away from that to keep his brain pure—a Victorian belief, that. But everyone wants to believe he’s gay. He’s not gay. He’s not straight. And Doctor Watson is very clear that he prefers women. People want to fantasize about it. It’s fine. But it’s not in the show.”

Watching the show, it’s not hard to see why fans see a true love that’s never been technically substantiated. Holmes and Watson have the kind of chemistry that really only develops between two middle-aged men who’ve lived in a cozy flat with one another, solved mysteries, and saved each other’s lives multiple times. Sherlock's infused with a kind of core homoromanticism that resembles queerbaiting in one of its softer forms. The show's writers know what they're doing, and fans are more than happy to play along.

In truth, the (non-romantic) relationship between Watson and Holmes is one of the more interesting depictions of queer intimacy on television right now. After all--it’s not like they have to get physical if the feelings are clearly there, right?

Ian McKellan's Sherlock Holmes Has Arrived - VIDEO

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The first teaser footage of Bill Condon’s take on Sherlock Holmes starring Ian McKellan has dropped, and it’s every bit as charming as you might have deduced. McKellan’s Holmes is a 93 year-old retiree spending his days in the English countryside reminiscing about his former life as a detective as stories about him gain popularity in early 1940s cinema. Now more beekeeper than detective, Holmes has largely left crime-solving behind save for the memories of a few unsolved cases that continue to pique his interest.

Check out the first clip of Bill Dondon’s Mr. Holmes AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t Big Gay Picture Show]

Continue reading "Ian McKellan's Sherlock Holmes Has Arrived - VIDEO" »

Yes, Nick Jonas Is (Sort of) Queerbaiting His Gay Fans. So What?


The Interplay is a special biweekly series exploring the intersections of sex, pop culture, and current events.


Last week, Flaunt magazine published its highly anticipated profile of Nick Jonas. The conversation was everything that the pre-release photos of Jonas promised it would be. It was prosaic. It was splashy. Mostly though--it was sexy, or rather, it was about sex. There are songs on the eponymously titled Nick Jonas that the 22 year-old singer wants you to be getting down to. With one hand resting on his proverbial “sword,” Jonas frankly endorsed the idea of you having sex to his new album.  

Like many Disney Channel stars before him, Jonas grew up in the public spotlight. His image, like his music, is maturing as he reorients himself towards a different demographic. Purity rings may have worked to sell albums to pre-teen girls, but Jonas circa 2014 is obviously going for a new market. There’s a big difference between signing autographs during a mall tour and pseudo-stripping your way through the gay NYC club circuit. Make no mistake: Nick Jonas is undoubtedly queerbaiting his gay fans. He’d be a fool not to.


In 2013 LGBT buying power was projected to peak at about $830 billion dollars, a figure that Jonas’s representation, Island Records, is certainly aware of. In an interview with Pride Source, Jonas chafed at the idea that he was using his Apollo’s belt to drum up gay interest in his music.

Selfie_jonas"I think it's unfortunate that some people have to find a negative in every situation," he explained in response to allegations of queerbaiting. "Clearly my heart is in the right place, and more than anything, if they just looked at my life and my gay friends and the authentic nature of where my heart is, they'd just see that they're kind of ignorant."

“The nature of where we are today is, we're in a time where we need to make strides and step forward as a society and embrace all people from all different walks of life. When you're trying to make a bold statement like that, some people aren't gonna fall in line with that. And that's OK. You gotta stay on your own path.”

Like any savvy business person, Jonas is quick to point out that he loves his gay fans despite his being straight and he’s totally cool with the fact that a large number of men find him attractive. 

Queerbaiting, in its traditional, insidious usage refers to the practice in which content creators position themselves as being a part of the “queer community” through strategic artifice. Katy Perry may have actually enjoyed kissing a woman at some point in her life and Nicki Minaj has been known to sign a breast or two after a concert. 

Neither of these performers has come out as being queer, opting instead to flirt with the ideas of both implicit and explicit bisexuality or lesbianism. Katy and Nicki love their gay fans too, but their histories of fauxmosexuality are egregious in a way that Nick Jonas’s isn’t. Jonas is queerbaiting only in the sense that he’s being an attractive man in public and inviting gay men to hand over their cash as tribute to his abdominal muscles. 

The harms associated with queerbaiting manifest themselves most clearly within the context of television, where long character-arcs, plotlines, and fanbases commingle in a heady mix of storytelling, ratings, and advertising. In a lengthy analysis of the BBC’s Sherlock and TNT’s Rizzoli and Isles, Autostraddle’s Rose Bridges explains how the two shows have a history of poking fun at canonical homosexual subtext. In doing so, she reasons, the shows’ writers turn characters’ implied queerness into the butt of lazy jokes that alienate queer audiences:

Friend 1.1"Indeed, the idea behind “no homo” is both that homosexuality is little more than a gag, and also that it’s deviant and wrong some way – “of course we’re not gay, how could you even think that” is the underlying assumption behind the joke.

When it’s that deliberate as in the cases of Sherlock or Rizzoli & Isles, there is a distinct feeling that the creators are playing with LGBTQ – and invested-in-LGBTQ-relationships (since the core of the “Johnlock” fanbase is slash-fanfiction-writing straight women) – dollars, but don’t care enough about us that they’d risk actually offending homophobes with explicit queer representation."

Friend2The closest musical equivalent to Bridges’s model for queerbaiting are the members of One Direction. Search for “X kissing Y,” where X and Y are the first names of any two members of the band. You’re guaranteed to find thousands of results--gossip articles, videos, fanfiction, etc.--feverishly speculating about the boys’ sexuality. Are they gay? Who knows? More importantly: who cares?

At its core, queerbaiting is tied in the increasingly less factual idea that there aren’t enough LGBT figures in the media. Nick Jonas isn’t the bait dangling from the tip of a musical hook. Rather, he’s a male pop star working in the age of “peak hot guy.” Explicit male sexuality is a cultural commodity, and if Nick Jonas is to be successful, then Nick Jonas is going to have to give the public its pound of flesh.

'Sherlock' Sparks Slash Fiction Craze in China, Conversation About Gay Acceptance


The return of BBC's "Sherlock," starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the famous sleuth and Martin Freeman as his sidekick Watson, has brought on a frenzy of fictionalized, romantic excitement in China. Young women there called "Fu Nv," from the Japanese word "Fujoshi" (literally translated to "rotten women"), identify as lovers of slash fiction arising from television, manga, and video games. Now, Holmes and Watson have caught their attention. The newfound popularity of the show has fueled the fan fiction craze, but has also brought up important questions about the level of acceptance for real-life gay relationships in China. 

Women of China reports:

Despite the fact that Fu Nv are mainly imagining the romantic relationship between men in unrealistic scenarios, it is an indirect implication that these young women can or are at least willing to accept homosexuality. They do not view romantic relationships between men as something against nature or wrong, they perceive it as something beautiful, romantic and even promote it.

Acceptance of homosexuality is a hot issue in the world today. It is worth noting that in countries where responses are noticeably different by gender, women are far more accepting of homosexuality than men, suggested by many social science studies. The rise of groups like "Fu Nv", in a way, reflects how young women in China are changing their opinions on such matters. 

What male-male romance would you like to see in your favorite TV shows and movies? Don the Fu Nv cap and let us know in the comments below!


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