Most gay comics either play stand-up shows to tiny audiences or mince about as caricatures in mainstream movies, doing more harm than good. In a 2007Vanity Fair piece, the provocateur Christopher Hitchens infamously claimed that women aren’t funny (although he did give a pass to Jewish women and “dykes,”), a theory that was quickly debunked not only in rebuttals inVanity Fair but by the success of films like Bridesmaids. So where is the Bridesmaids for gay men?
Unfortunately, there isn’t one. Gay men in film have historically fit into two roles: the best friends of the female protagonist (The Devil Wears Prada,My Best Friend’s Wedding), or the victims of an untimely death, usually from an AIDS-related illness (Philadelphia) or a hate crime (Brokeback Mountain). If they are kept alive for two hours or manage to evade certain doom for a few seasons, gay men frequently appear as flaming queens—sassy, fashionable, and slightly sociopathic.
“I think Hollywood script writers have just recently discovered the phenomenon of the masculine gay man,” says Adomian, who was a finalist on Last Comic Standing in 2010. “There are a lot of people who are beginning to feel comfortable being themselves and not fitting into the straight narrative, but they may not follow the standard gay pattern of going to the White Party, dancing with their fabulous asses, and having a witty repartee about Judy Garland. I mean, I love Judy Garland, but I also like Johnny Cash. There are a lot of people that don’t really fit into boxes that have been established for them.”