Why I Will Keep Pushing Homoerotic Imagery In America

06/07/2017 06:20 pm ET Updated Jun 10, 2017
From the Indiana Queen video “I Don’t Know What To Do”
Kevin Thornton
From the Indiana Queen video “I Don’t Know What To Do”

Around this time last year, Huffpost posted my queer-folk band Indiana Queen’s video for “I Don’t Know What To Do.” Within a few hours, Cosmopolitan, The Advocate and Yahoo all featured it and my inbox filled with as much, if not more, hate mail as there was praise. The video is fairly tame in my view. It features two shirtless men kissing in grainy black and white. One would think it would’ve been a little eye candy for my gay audience, but it was in fact the gays who were sending the hater messages.

Most of the comments were in the realm of “these kind of stereotypes are not good for the advancement of gay rights,” or “Why does every gay video have to be about sex?” This was only a year ago, but that was a different America. Gay marriage had been realized. We had a liberal, black president. Today, things are slightly different.

I’ve never been one to heteronormalize things. I didn’t care if it gave close minded people the wrong idea. Also, apparently the saying is true: no publicity is bad publicity. The video sky-rocketed to 100k views within a few days.

My least favorite anti-gay, micro-aggressive phrase is “shoving it in our face” (or “down our throats” depending on how repressed the person is.) and today’s America makes me want to get louder―- to turn up the volume as well as the heat. I don’t want to behave or take even one small step toward a proverbial closet. In Trump’s America, I just can’t be easy-to-swallow gay.

My friend Frank LaBeija and I reimagined the video for Pride Month. If last year’s version of “I Don’t Know What To Do” was black and white and cold, this version is technicolor and hot. It’s a colorful, David Lynch inspired homoerotic fantasy. Watch the video below:

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