This is not “news” per se, but it’s the sort of thing which needs to be reported on and brought to the fore as much as possible.
The quick version: Colton Haynes is a not-too-brilliant American actor, who’s starring in the new MTV show “Teen Wolf”. He may or may not be gay. He also appeared, as a teen, in a photoshoot for XY magazine, aimed at gay teen youth, in which photoshoot he a) was shirtless and b) kisses another boy! Shock.
The trouble is, an attorney has been sending threatening letters demanding the removal of any copies of those pictures online, making claims along the lines that they are “private”. Despite having been published in a national US magazine and/or that they are pornographic or sexually explicit.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want any embarrassment to be caused to young Haynes. What I do want, however, is and end to the subtle, low level of homophobia which moves like this seem to perpetuate. The idea that pictures of him, kissing another boy, are likely to end, or at least, damage his career. The idea that such pictures are inherently pornographic or sexually explicit.
So let’s see shall we:
XY Magazine – 2006
As the magazine says, “shocking”.
Colton Haynes – recent photos
Let’s see the hugely different, non-private, non-explicit, non-shocking photos with which his attorney has no problem shall we?
So, there you go – clearly a huge difference!
Basically, I think these photos need to be kept out there, and the story kept out there, because;
- the attempt to remove them from the public domain intimates that there is something inherently shameful in homosexuality,
- it perpetuates the idea – which may therefore become self-realising – that to make a career in Hollywood requires one either not to be, or not to be perceived to be, gay,
- it’s a deeply worrying threat to freedom of expression,
and, of course,
- they are very nice pictures! The boy is easy on the eyes!
So, that’s my little bit of activism for the day!
1 – these pictures may be copyright – if so, I will happily remove them if so advised
2 – I don’t know Colton Haynes’ sexuality; any speculation is just that – or wishful thinking
A couple more pics from the XY shoot, just to keep them out there: