Thomas Jane, who plays a heterosexual prostitute on HBO's Hung opened up his past as a gay hustler in his younger days to the L.A. Times. Talk about going method! Strangely enough, this is probably the first time gay men are going to get all upset about a hunky actor talking about having man-on-man action.
Jane was talking about his role as Ray on the show and the reporter brings up the flack Jane got from the gay press for saying that when Ray ends up with a dick in his mouth, that will be the last season of the show. Jane said that our world had gotten too politically correct and wished he could elucidate his comment. The reporter gave him a chance and here is what he said:
Hey, you grow up as an artist in a big city, as James Dean said, you're going to have one arm tied behind your back if you don't accept people's sexual flavors. You know, when I was a kid out here in L.A., I was homeless, I didn't have any money and I was living in my car. I was 18. I wasn't averse to going down to Santa Monica Boulevard and letting a guy buy me a sandwich. Know what I mean?
Do you feel that experience had any cost or was it just doing what you had to do?
You're a lot more open to experimentation as a young man. And for me, being a young artist and broke in Los Angeles, I was exploring my sexual identity. And probably because of my middle-class, white blue-collar upbringing, I would have never had the opportunity to confront some of my own fears and prejudices had I not been hungry enough to be forced to challenge myself in that way.
So then it was productive for you in terms of self-knowledge?
Yeah, absolutely. It blew the doors off of my conventional upbringing and thinking and opened up possibilities for me that were akin to World War III. And then you actually have a choice, and I chose to be a heterosexual guy because that's what my DNA dictates and my nurture dictates that I am.
Then is that a choice?
I don't know. I think up to a point it's a choice. But I'll tell you what - it's not a choice until you're open enough to experience both male and female sexuality. Until you've tasted the food, you don't know whether you'll like it or not, as my mom always said.
Usually if something like this came out all the gays would be overjoyed that another actor had come out, even if in some small way. But here is Thomas Jane (recently divorced from Patricia Arquette) saying that being gay is a choice. How dare he!
While most sane people know that sexual orientation isn't a decision, I understand where he's coming from. It sounds like he's saying, "I'm not gay or even bisexual, but I was put in a position where I gave it a shot, and I don't regret that decision, but it's not for me." I can respect that. Like so many others who poo-poo (ha!) gay sex on moral or religious grounds, at least Jane has given it a whirl.
He's not saying that all people choose to be straight or gay, just that he chose to stop doing it with guys for money. It's just like so many gay men who chose to stop having sex with women after coming out of the closet, but in reverse...and illegal...and kinda hot...and exploitative...and...
So don't be so quick to jump on Thomas Jane for his comment. Your mock outrage is totally going to ruin the buying-19-year-old-Thomas-Jane-a-sandwich-on-Santa-Monica-Boulevard fantasy I'm about to go have.
[Image via Getty]