Let’s take a look at the top headlines on this glorious Friday, starting with David Hockney, who just broke a record in the world of art auctions. And everyone’s talking about Ezra Miller and his recent Playboy photoshoot, but did you see what he said about his polyamorous lifestyle?
In other news, Disneyland has some competition with the opening of a new water park in Shanghai, Empire actor Jussie Smollett has made news for not wanting to have a white boyfriend on the series and a new study shows that when it comes to sham gay conversion therapy efforts, parents really need to be better.
From David Hockney to Ezra Miller, here are the day’s big gay headlines:
1. David Hockney Breaks Record for Most Expensive Art Sale for a Living Artist (Art)
At a Christie’s auction in New York City yesterday, one of openly gay artist David Hockney’s most well-recognized paintings, “Portrait Of An Artist (Pool With Two Figures)” sold for $90 million USD, breaking the record for most expensive piece of art by a living artist. The piece of art previously holding that record was Jeff Koons’ Orange Balloon Dog for $58 million. The painting itself is pretty gay as well, depicting Hockney’s former lover standing at the edge of a swimming pool while another man (Hockney? Someone else?) is fully submerged in the water. It’s an iconic image that’s deserving of breaking records!
2. Shanghai Opens New Aquatic-Themed Park Cheaper Than Disneyland (Travel)
Shanghai is already home to a Disneyland theme park, but now it has competition in the form of a new water park called Haichang Ocean Park. The park — which cost $800 million and took five years to construct — includes live animals (sharks, whales, polar bears, penguins), three animal theaters for dolphin shows, a roller coaster, the “world’s longest rapids ride,” a fake volcano, mermaid bay and zoo-like exhibits about sea creatures. With day tickets around $50 USD, the park is officially cheaper than a day at Disneyland and is expected to draw millions each year. Read more here.
3. Empire Star Jussie Smollett on Why He Didn’t Want a White Boyfriend for His Character (TV)
While on a recent episode of the SiriusXM radio show The Clay Cane Show, openly gay star of Empire Jussie Smollett spoke of not wanting his character to have a white boyfriend on the show, about a family’s music industry empire. Smollett says it was important for him to showcase a loving relationship between two black men, which is a rarity on network television.
“There was talk about Jamal having a white boyfriend and I said, ‘Fuck no!’ Not for any reason except we have a responsibility and we have a such a beautiful opportunity to show two black men in a relationship together, in a healthy relationship,” Smollett says. “But it was important to say, and that wasn’t anything against white men. It was just a thing of no, no, no, no … this is what I hope, this what I want to see, this is what I wish I had seen as a kid, because if I had seen certain things as an adolescent I would have had a much different understanding of who I am in an earlier space. I do think that is important to show.”
4. New Study: Gay Conversion Therapy Usually Begins at Home (Health)
The new film Boy Erased has put gay conversion therapy into conversation around the world, and a new study is pointing out the key role of parents in the sham attempt to change a person’s sexuality. Having surveyed white and Latino LGBT teens, the study found that more than half of them “experienced efforts to change their sexual orientation during adolescence.” And those teens whose parents tried to change their orientation (as opposed to those with parents who let them be) had more-than-doubled rates of suicide and depression.
And while it’s not surprising that conversion therapy as a teen has a negative impact on a person’s adult life, researchers were surprised to see that it impacts income as a young adult and even “restricts their educational attainment.” In the United States, only 14 states currently outlaw gay conversion therapy.
5. Ezra Miller Opens Up to Playboy About His ‘Polyamorous Molecule’ (Celebrities)
While the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actor had previously opened up about his decision to ditch monogamy, it’s in his new interview with Playboy that queer actor Ezra Miller opens up about what he calls his “polyamorous molecule,” which he casually refers to as “the polycule.” “I’m trying to find queer beings who understand me as a queer being off the bat, who I make almost a familial connection with, and I feel like I’m married to them 25 lifetimes ago from the moment we meet,” he says. “And then they are in the squad — the polycule. And I know they’re going to love everyone else in the polycule because we’re in the polycule, and we love each other so much.”
Among the other things Ezra Miller told Playboy: His first sex dream was at 4, and his first sexual partner was in elementary school, when he and a friend would “jerk each other off” while interacting with his friend’s mother’s lingerie, Kama Sutra and old issues of Playboy.