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>Ex-gay: Michael Parker vs. River Phoenix

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I have a beautiful story to tell: I love Gus Van Sant but I hated Milk. I thought it was fucking cheesy. That’s besides the point because I love Gus Van Sant when he’s good. And one of the times he was good, really good actually, was “My Own Private Idaho”. There’s this crazy myth that’s probably true about “My Own Private Idaho”. it’s basically my favorite movie of all time, although this myth, which I’m about to tell you, makes me feel a little bit crazy about it, and maybe proves that Gus Van Sant was always kind of destined to be a shitty dude and make a movie like Milk. When Gus Van Sant had originally conceived of “Idaho” and gone through pre-production, he had hired two actual gay male hustlers, both of which were the inspirations for the characters to begin with, to play the leads that would eventually be played by Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix. Gus had, in previous movies, casted from friends. But for “My Own Private Idaho” he really lobbied to get hot Hollywood men to play the parts. And when he did, the two boys that were originally going to be the leads, and were really muse to the whole project, were pushed aside and given small parts.

I guess I don’t blame him, in a way. I l love River Phoenix. But I also really do blame him. It’s nearly impossible for gay people to get parts in movies Gus c’mon throw us a bone!!!! Anyway, Michael Parker was originally going to play Mike, which would eventually go to River, but was instead given a minor speaking role. He’s one of the kids in the diners and he tells a weird story. I wonder where Michael Parker is now. I wonder if he made the dollar he was looking for. I wonder if he’s some straight guy now with a family and a baby and doesn’t talk much about his past. Or I wonder if he’s still a hooker 20 years later. That’s his picture above.

I’ve also included a video of the campfire scene which does NOT feature Michael Parker but features River Phoenix and is probably one of the best, real life things I’ve ever seen made in my life. To me this scene is so much. Like when I watch this scene it’s almost too much for me to handle and I get a bit emotional and the tension freaks me out. It makes me want to cry every single time and I just want to hug River and I love it more than anything else in the world. And maybe the actual hooker, Michael Parker, couldn’t have created something this beautiful because the circumstances would’ve been different. BUT MAYBE HE COULD HAVE. Who knows. HYPOTHETICAL.