For years now, funny guy Michael Henry has explored LGBTQ culture with lots of humor and creativity.
His latest short film takes a different tone as he addresses the inner demons many gays battle in regard to body image and eating disorders.
The video begins with Henry staring into space as images of fit, lean gays attending a fun and frolicsome pool party float by.
Henry is there as well, but wearing his t-shirt and shorts as he chills in the pool.
We follow Henry’s silent observations as he ponders burgers, fries…or fruit? Or not?
He double-taps on InstaHunk after InstaHunk as he eats alone in the dark. Potato chips and his bedroom mirror bedevil him leading him to utilize the one escape route he knows.
As the images come faster and faster, time rewinds until we land on the view of a West Hollywood billboard that succinctly sums up Henry’s message without uttering a single word.
The 100 second video is striking in its embrace of silent storytelling. And for someone who’s made a name for himself knowing how to crack wise as he spoofs gay culture, it’s clear the topic at hand is important to Henry.
“I wanted to make this film with the sole intention being that you’re not alone,” wrote the writer/director in an Instagram post. “Millions of men have disordered eating behaviors and gay/bisexual men are at an even higher risk.”
Studies have shown that among men who have eating disorders, 42 percent identify as gay even though LGBTQ people only make up about 4 percent of the U.S. population.
During a perfectly socially-distanced afternoon in the park, funny guy Michael Henry has a question for John Hartman about the men he’s attracted to.
Before Henry can get to the question, though, we find out Hartman has an ‘issue’ with oversharing on a range of topics including erectile dysfunction, never tipping bartenders, and flatulence in libraries.
Henry is specifically curious to know if men’s confidence is a turn on for Hartman.
“The reason why I ask is because a good friend of mine told me his number one turn-on when it comes to men is confidence,” explains Henry. “And I thought, ’No, no, no, no, no, no.’”
But Hartman lands on the other side of this spectrum: “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, dummy. Who doesn’t love a confident man?”
Apparently, not Henry. Which leads Hartman to flip the script and ask, “What do you like then? Insecure, emotionally damaged men…like you?”
The discussion quickly turns into a pros and cons comparison of confidence vs. vulnerability. Henry finds men who are sure of themselves in work and life just fine, but really digs guys who are insecure about those things, too.
“Weirdo – I don’t want to hear about his insecurities,” says Hartman. “Don’t tell me you’re uncomfortable with your bald spot or your weight gain. Own it!”
“Nothing makes my d*ck more limp than a guy whining about his misfortunes,” he adds.
Hartman admits he’s drawn to a more stereotypic kind of guy as he rattles off qualities like “assertive,” “sturdy,” an achiever of “big things” with a deep voice, a beard and a three-piece suit…although now the conversation is more about masculinity and not confidence.
Obviously, attraction is more than a simple ‘this’ or ‘that’ equation. But Henry raises a valid question about how and what gay men find to be a turn-on.
I have to admit I’ve said for years confidence (not cockiness) is a definite turn-on for me.
Let me know in the comment section, readers – where does confidence land on your dating spectrum?
Michael Henry and Jeremy Howard are enjoying a perfectly social distanced walk in the park when they come upon a couple of “homiesexuals.” You know, the guys who like to “push the limits of their friendships together” on social media.
To Henry, the hot straight dudes on Instagram or TikTok who show off their wares for clicks and follows are “gay baiting.”
But all Howard sees is just “a straight guy who takes videos with other straight guys in homoerotic situations for gay men’s attention, validation, and social media engagement purposes.”
Henry translates that as “following a TikTok trend” but Howard is a bit more generous.
“I think that what they are doing is showing that being gay is interesting, cool, and trendy,” says a clearly enthralled Howard.
Henry wonders if that’s basically a form of cultural appropriation, but Howard disagrees (until he doesn’t).
“They’re just privileged people who are co-opting queer culture for their own use, benefit, and financial gain,” explains an increasingly moist Howard. “And it helps that they are so hot.”
Clearly, a point is being made here. We all know there are lots of gay men who follow certain InstaHunks for the momentary eye-candy. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Sometimes, though, finding out one of these hotties is straight and clearly playing to the gays for their own gain (more followers = more endorsement deals) can burst a bit of the Insta-Illusion.
Tell us what you think, readers. Do straight social media figures who play up to queer men make a “joke” of the community, or are they “destigmatizing straight men being affectionate with each other?”
Or a combination of both?
By the way, Henry adds a disclaimer on YouTube: “The men playing the straight influencers (Franko Stevens and Bryan Anderson) are actually partners who live together which is why I felt comfortable having them be in close quarters with each other.”
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we know many folks may be making plans with their special ‘someone,’ but for others it can be an annual reminder that a ‘love connection’ hasn’t happened just yet.
Funnyman Michael Henry was all set to shoot a hilarious “Quarantine Cruising” video skit with his buddy Terry (played by drag queen Meatball) but Henry is in a pensive mood
“I just want to know why I’m nobody’s Valentine?” wonders Henry aloud with a quivering lip.
With perhaps slightly less tenderness than Henry was expecting, Terry responds, “Oh my god, it’s just a silly holiday, you stupid b*tch!”
Henry goes on to share that he’s never actually had a Valentine: “Never had a boyfriend, never been in love.”
It seems our hero has friends who fall in love “so easily,” so he’s been pondering, “What’s wrong with me???”
Henry reveals that his oneness isn’t for lack of trying: “I’ve dated, I’ve played games, I’ve had games played on me…I like guys so much that I’m crushed and heartsick when they don’t like me back.”
Cue Terry with some more stone cold advice deduced from his own romantic history (which apparently includes a boyfriend stealing his passport, but, another story…) which ultimately concludes with, “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
While it seems sad, Terry does manage to slip in some of those ‘quarantine cruising’ jokes in including a truer-than-true Florida joke and something about an unfortunate glory hole mishap.
As usual, Henry delivers a spot-on snapshot of what many in LGBTQ culture might feel around this time of year without being preachy or heavy-handed.
If it’s any comfort, though, I can admit I went through all of Henry’s dating woes well into my 30s before the universe sent me hot hubby Michael. I always consider those misfires lessons in learning to appreciate hubbs when he finally arrived.
Hit play for a well-deserved mid-day brain break. Happy Friday!
• Yahoo News: Ryan Williams, 24, was beaten until he lost consciousness by Brandon Forrester, 19, in 2019. Forrester pleaded guilty to causing bodily harm and was sentenced to a nine-month term. But due to the COVID pandemic and “previous good character,” his sentence was suspended and was allowed to walk free. “After court he started laughing at my mum’s face, he showed no remorse,” said Williams.
• Instinct Magazine: The U.K. has experienced a record number of HIV tests recently and many attribute the increase to the popular new AIDS-era drama, It’s A Sin. HIV advocacy group Terrence Higgins Trust says there has been a “four-fold increase” on HIV Testing Week stats compared to earlier years.
• YouTube: Funnyman Michael Henry (top image) throws a wrench into plans to shoot a ‘quarantine cruising’ clip with his buddy ‘Terry’ because he’s down about not having a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day.
• Boy Culture: Matt Rettenmund remembers Larry Flynt, the controversial publisher of Hustler Magazine who championed free speech (smutty or not). Flynt died today due to heart failure at the age of 78.
• The Daily Beast: During an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Wednesday Twitter’s CFO Ned Segal told viewers that Donald Trump will never be allowed on the social media platform.
• The Atlantic: Soon after the November election, a business colleague of Donald Trump’s close ally Corey Lewandowski offered a whistleblower and convicted ex-banker an expensive deal: In exchange for a $300,000 fee up front—plus another $1 million if successful—the two men would push the then-president for a pardon.
• HBO Max: Check out the trailer for the new HBO documentary There Is No ‘I’ In Threesome premiering on February 11. Ollie Lucks is the director of the new doc film that explores his bisexual, polyamorous identity alongside his girlfriend Zoe. Hoping to expand their sexual horizons, the couple decided to open up their relationship before getting hitched.
When funny guy Michael Henry runs into Randy (Adrian Anchondo) on the streets of West Hollywood, it quickly becomes clear that Randy is not up for the coronavirus vaccine.
“I don’t know what’s in that,” says Randy with a shrug.
But Henry points out that not only does Randy smoke cigarettes and buy gas station viagra but he hippy hopped down to Mexico for the super-spreader event known as the Jeffrey Sanker New Year’s Eve White Party – “but you won’t take a vaccine?”
Randy does share that he did all the proper preparing for PV during a pandemic – “Botox, filler, and some juice to make my muscles look swole.”
More stuff Randy puts in his body – but won’t take a vaccine…
Hit the play button below as Michael Henry tries to make sense out of the circular logic.
Which is worse – being called a ‘basic’ gay or being kicked out of bed for not voting?
I have to say Michael Henry’s latest video exploration into the world of the gays had me scratching my head a bit. I know I’ve heard of gays who don’t vote, but do they really exist?
In the video, Clint shares a recent story of a nooner gone bad after he casually mentioned he doesn’t vote, nor does he plan to. Shaken out of his afterglow by the revelation, Nathan throws Clint out of his apartment.
Needless to say, Clint’s indignation over being kicked to the curb falls on less than sympathetic ears as Michael and Chris are just as horrified by his lack of civic duty.
“Would you kick someone out of bed for not voting?” asks Clint with a – pardon the expression – straight face.
Chris and Michael in unison: “YES!”
The democratic duo then goes into all the reasons how not voting serves no purpose whatsoever.
Oh, and Clint also admits he won’t be going out this weekend because he partied so hard at Atlanta Pride he got gout. “What’s the big deal? It’s my right to have a good time in a dark warehouse. So what if it’s a ‘super spreader’ event at the public’s expense?”
In this day and age of Donald Trump packing the courts with ultra-conservative judges whose rulings can shape (or reduce) LGBTQ rights, kicking transgender soldiers out of the U.S. military and arguing at the Supreme Court it’s fine to fire someone for who they love, why would someone choose to not vote? I mean, not even fill out a mail-in ballot?
Michael Henry is, once again spot-on not only on the issue but with his timing as the election is only one week away. Watch the quick video below, then make sure you vote!
Note: For those concerned about coronavirus safety, Michael Henry shares, “Nathan and Clint are in a relationship and we filmed in their apartment.”