Top Gun Turns Thirty – How Did It Get So Gay?

by Mark Simpson (Originally published in the Daily Telegraph May 12, 2016) 30-years ago today, the stars of Top Gun were taxiing  the red carpet at the premiere in New York. The film, which features Tom Cruise’s ‘Maverick’ and Val Kilmer’s ‘Iceman’ wrestling in the air for Alpha male supremacy, was abou t to ‘go ballistic’ and smash multiple box office records. In doing so, the Tony Scott piloted blockbuster would make A-listers out of its two preening male stars, and become perhaps the definitive 80s film. But it has also become a […]

Objectify Yourself

Mark Simpson on the (self) sexualisation of today’s male body & why straight young men crave gay adulation (Originally appeared in Out Magazine, February 2015) Male self-objectification is, as they like to say on social media, a “thing.” There’s been a rash lately of so-called “gender flip” memes, in which people pretend to be impressed by male hipsters pretending to subvert sexism by ironically adopting the clichéd poses of sexualized women. Although sometimes funny and instructive, especially when it involves licking sledgehammers, the anti-sexism of many of these […]

Morrissey Hasn’t Changed – We Have

Morrissey is always going to disappoint those who want him to be some kind of ‘singing Stephen Fry with a quiff’, argues Mark Simpson  Originally appeared on The Spectator Arts Blog Because the 80s is the decade that actually ended the 20th Century – the 90s was just an after-party clean-up operation – it’s also the decade that never came to an end itself. In fact, the 80s is the decade that just won’t die. Economy in (‘Big Bang’) recession. Tories in power. Cuts on the table. […]

In Defence of Jerry Lewis

Martin and Lewis were the hottest male comedy double-act of all time – who make today’s ‘bromance’ look like bromide. (Originally appeared in Out, May 2009) Forget hair whorls, genomes, amniotic fluid, older brothers, domineering mothers or disco. I can reveal with absolute, religio-scientific certainty that the cause of my homosexuality was just two words. Jerry. Lewis. As a kid in the 1970s I watched re-runs of his movies, especially the ones from the early fifties with his on-screen boyfriend Dean Martin, with a level […]

Assume the Position: A Queer Defence of Hazing

Mark Simpson wants to be be soundly smacked with a paddle (Out magazine, 2006) When I joined my local rugby team, I was made to do terrible, awful things. Even now, all these years later, I feel distressed and choked up recounting what happened. I had to stand on a chair as a full pint of beer was shoved in my groin, soaking it. I then had to drink a yard of ale (three pints in a yard-long horn-shaped glass) with a bucket in front […]

I Love You, Jim Carrey

Watching the exhilarating ‘l’amour fou’ movie ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ recently I found myself falling in love with Jim Carrey all over again – after several years of taking him for granted. So much so I forgot he was there all over again. The role of Steven Russell the gay con-man is one he was born to play. It’s a return to the Jim Carrey of The Cable Guy – his best and most overlooked film until now. But a bit more grown up, […]

That Lady Gaga backlash is so tired already

The Gaga backlash, which recently found itself a leader in Camille Paglia, was inevitable. It’s also misguided, argues Mark Simpson (Out Magazine, Sept 24 2010) My bitch is better than your bitch! And she wore that dress before yours did! My bitch would kick your bitch’s ass! This is the kind of thing the older generation — my generation — has begun to say ever more loudly about the younger generation’s first bona fide superstar, Lady Gaga. David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Grace Jones, and—crossing […]