If you actually spent some time reading the article in line at your gay ghetto grocer (no need to buy it as the article is also online), you find out that the quote is, of course, being taken completely out of context and Wentz is still just gay vague like he was in last year’s OUT interview. But seriously, folks: Does anyone fall for this shit anymore? Kind of like how TV viewers have evolved beyond laugh tracks, shouldn’t gay magazine buyers be given credit by old-media mag editors for an ounce of savvy? Or do covers like these still create boosts in sales? After the jump, we provide a brief history of gay fake-out coverboys.
Click covers to enlarge
Here’s where we think it all started. He hadn’t yet made a splash as an actor, but he’d become a bit of a pop star and caused more than a few homo hardons in Times Square as a Calvin Klein underwear model. It was the dawn of the Golden Age of Abs as well as the post-AIDS-crisis moment at which Pride parades started turning into the free-wheeling, corporate-sponsored flesh circuses that they are today, and The Advocate suddenly began seeing itself as less purely political and more about lifestyle and celebrity (like every other magazine). Throwing a straight guy on the cover, especially one who wasn’t afraid to pose topless for a gay audience, must not have been bad for business. Note: no misleading pullquote.
July, 1999 – Ricky Martin
Get this one! Here’s where the hoodwinking starts happening. I mean, even back in ’99 the gay rumors were swirling around Ricky Martin (has the boy ever even tried having a beard/girlfriend for the press?), and whether this was more the savvy work of his PR team or purely the work of editors at The Advocate, that whole “Gay Connection” lede is undercut as soon as you see the smaller print bullets, the first of which says, “The out songwriter who writes his hits.” Wait, didn’t Ricky write his own hits? Anyway. Bullshit.
February, 2002 – Gale Harold
Let’s see… what exactly is queer enough about Gale Harold, apart from the lecherous gay character her played on Queer as Folk for twelve seasons or however long that show was on? Oh, now we see it: in the sub-hed the actor has a “struggle” with “being television’s sexiest gay bad boy.” We imagine enough die-hard QAF fans out there bought this issue, hoping against hope that Gale would reveal his love of the dick on page 63, that editors stuck to their misleading guns.
October, 2004 – Johnny Knoxville
The Jackass hunk who boned Pete Wentz’s sister-in-law “talks about sexual adventures…” A lonely old man in central Illinois just came on himself. Was anyone else fooled into believing Knoxville ever strayed from the puss?
In case you’re wondering, he’s the British actor who played Marc Antony on the HBO series Rome. This one doesn’t have a misleading headline so much as two adjacent headlines that seem to suggest a) all Italians, like Purefoy’s character, are sort of gay and b) like a gladiator, Purefoy might participate in the promised “nude” wrestling within the magazine’s pages.
Oh, another hot young actor who’s not at all gay. And he apparently “runs off with his gay director.” Whatever.
We have reason to believe at least two of them are gay, but the only thing we like about this cover is the placement of the words “Stick Shift” next to Chace’s crotch.
Just stop it already. OUT already used him on the somewhat clever “Glass Closet” cover last year, and they had him as #3 on the “Power 50” list. Stop fucking teasing us unless he’s sucking face with a boyfriend or talking about how much he likes blatino porn.
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