Oct 17, 2017

Jonathan Ke Quan: The Goonies Grow Up

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) gives the whip-wielding archaeologist-adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) a modern-day English-mangling Sabu, the equivalent of the teenage-sidekick in the 1930’s serials.  But instead of a young adult playing a teenager, the gay subtext is minimized by making Indy's sidekick the prepubescent waif Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan, nearly 14 years old but looking around 10).

 Indy and Short Round display a great deal of affection, but always of the parent-child variety: Indy sleeps with the boy in his arms, and holds his hand while they are walking, but he is continually presented as a small boy, lest anyone think that when he says “Indy, I love you” anyone think he means something besides substitute father.  There is no rejection of the homoerotic other, except in a passage in the novelization about the “disreputable careers” that might befall a 13-year old boy on the streets of Shanghai; that is, if it were not for Indy’s intervention, Short Round might have become a boy prostitute.

Jonathan Ke Quan went on to star in The Goonies (1985) as the Asian nerd Data, who buddy-bonds in a rather aggressively physical way with fellow Goonie Mikey (Sean Astin).

And on two tv series: Together We Stand (1986-87), as a Vietnamese orphan adopted by an American family (his brother was played by the gay-friendly Scott Grimes); and the last season of Head of the Class (1990-1991), as Asian nerd Jasper Kwong.

Are you starting to see a pattern here?  Asians stereotyped as mathematical, nerdish, and asexual, so no romantic leads, no beefcake -- but, on the bright side, ample room for gay subtexts.

After playing adolescents with no heterosexual interest and intense buddy-bonding in the martial arts drama Breathing Fire (1991) and the comedy Encino Man (1992) with Sean Astin, Jonathan studied martial arts and went to USC Film School.

Since graduating, his only acting role has been in the Hong Kong movie Second Time Around (2002), which involves Las Vegas, time traveling, romance, and apparently gay characters.

He has also worked behind the scenes, as a stunt coordinator, fight choreographer, and cinematographer. No idea if he's gay in real life or not.

Oct 16, 2017


On those dreary fall days when you realize that beach season is eight months away, and you just want to look at a lifeguard.

Or two.

Or four.

What the heck, just keep them coming until I tell you to stop.  Men only in this line, please.

Ok, everybody else go home.  This interview will take awhile.

More after the break.

The Boy Hooks Up with the Christmas Ghost

Rome City, Indiana, December 1974

The boy sat on the bed, reading about fairies.

It was very cold in his aunt's attic room, so he was under the covers.  A space heater glowed orange beside the bed.  Downstairs, a Christmas party was going on, with his parents and aunts and uncles and friends from town.  Most he didn't know.

But they were all paired up into husbands and wives, male-female couples extending in all directions to infinity.

Even Santa Claus had a wife.

The attic door was open, to let some heat up.  Downstairs he heard talking and laughter, and a song, "Winter Wonderland."

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
And pretend that he is Parson Brown.
He'll say "Are you married?"  We'll say, "No, man,
But you can do the job when you're in town."

Wife, kids, house, job, his destiny.  His doom.

Suddenly he heard footsteps coming up the stairs.  A dark shape that quickly resolved itself into the form of a young man, probably college age, tall and slim with thick reddish hair and very pale skin.  He was wearing a red sweater and jeans.  Oddly, he was barefoot.  The boy didn't recognize him from the party downstairs.

"Can I come in?"

"You already are in."

"Fair enough."  The stranger sat down on the edge of the bed.  "I saw you come up here, and wondered if you were ok."

Bogus!  Why would a complete stranger come upstairs to check up on him?  Why not his mother, or Aunt Nora?

"I'm fine, just tired.  And this is my room. Mine and my brother's while we're visiting, so I can be here.  Are you friends with Cousin Joe?"

He ignored the question.  "What you reading?"

The boy had hidden the book -- his parents disapproved of non-religious books in general, and especially science fiction and fantasy.  "Um...science homework."

The stranger reached up and pulled the book from under the covers.  "Fairies?" he asked in surprise.

"Not that kind of fairy," the boy said, cutting off the criticism,  He wasn't reading fairy tales -- he had always hated Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and their ilk, stupid boy meets girl stories with some flittery things added, shouting that the meaning of life is to be found in feminine smiles.  He was reading about fairies, the dark, sinister figures of European myth, like Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream. 

"Midsummer Night's Dream!" the stranger exclaimed.  "I love Shakespeare.  I used to be a grade-A riot on stage!"  He flounced about the room, reciting:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding, but a dream.

"You look pretty solid to me," the boy said.

"Who cares?  It got you to smile.  Cold up here -- got room for one more, Jackson?"  Without waiting for an answer he climbed under the covers next to the boy and put his arm around him.  His hard bicep bulged against the boy's shoulder.

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.