Meet Ben Massing, a smoldering young (straight) model from Florida, who recently graced the pages of gay magazine Genre. And he was not happy about it. Indeed he's filing a lawsuit, claiming his privacy was violated because he only intended to use the be-underweared photos for his portfolio. This caused something of a foofaraw in the ogling gay community, people accusing him of being a homophobe. Now a gay magazine publisher has come to young Massing's defense. Jeff Woodward, who publishes another gay mag called Next, wrote in to gay site Queerty:

Ben's a friend of mine… and straight… but as far as you can get from homophobic. I met him a few years ago. He is a Florida friend of Next's owner's boyfriend who is also from Florida. He would always hang around the Next offices when he was up in NYC doing shoots and auditions and all the boys here loved him. I haven't spoken to him in a while, but can assure you he's not the idiotic homophobe he's being portrayed as. He's a sweet funny kid who is going to go far. He knows the gay boys like to look at him and could care less about how that is perceived.

Which, OK, fine. But why then did Massing freak out so much? What kind of model doesn't want to appear in a magazine? I mean, he's already done Abercrombie & Fitch ads, which couldn't really get any more scantily clad or homoerotic. Except, heh, maybe he didn't realize that. So now that it's right out there, a blatant acknowledgment that, yes, the gays are looking, how can his negative reaction be seen as anything but a knee-jerk homophobic moment? I don't think the kid should be tarred and feathered, and Woodward is probably right to come to his defense, but the guy does need to learn a lesson. The gays are everywhere, and they will find you and look at you if they want to, whether you're in Genre or in a Dior ad in Vogue. You see what I'm saying Ben? In the end, it's all kind of the same thing. One world! Update: Massing says it was the sexually suggestive nature of the photos that prompted the lawsuit, not the gayness. So, problem solved!