Sunday, April 06, 2008

Advocate for Popeye

Cheyenne Jackson, of Broadway's Xanadu, is this month's cover story of the Advocate. Besides being tall, handsome, tall, handsome, tall, & talented, Cheyenne is a strong & positive gay voice on Broadway & in Hollywood. The full article talks about his Pacific Northwest upbringing, his publicist's reluctance towards Cheyenne's being out, & other fun Broadway tidbits, but the opening paragraph tickles me in just the right way:

“I’ve actually never talked about this before because it’s a little bit twisted,” whispers Cheyenne Jackson across a corner table at Sardi’s in New York City, where a caricature of his handsome head has just been added to the restaurant’s estimable walls of fame. “The first time that I knew I was gay -- I think I was, like, 7 -- I was watching this Valentine’s Day Popeye cartoon episode that would play every year. There was this scene where Popeye was captured by Brutus, tied up with no shoes or socks on, and Brutus starts tickling his feet. I remember getting a little boner, and I didn’t know what it was about that scene that was creating that, but I knew that it was something naughty that I couldn’t tell anybody, and I definitely knew it was something that made me different. But every year, I couldn’t wait for that episode."

I love "the moment I knew I was gay" stories. They're unifying with an underlying sense of universality, as well as typically full of kinky dirty fun. While mine wasn't as boner-inducing as Cheyenne's, I'm sure it revolved around a well-choreographed kick line, an attractive chorus boy, & his well-intentioned yet overly compensating dance belt.

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