BOYS FOR RENT – THE LATE 1990S RETURNS WITH A VENGEANCE TO GAY HOLLYWOOD
Written by Michael R. Barnard, filmmaker.
Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood
The past is coming back to haunt several people in Hollywood. The last years of the previous century—the late 1990s—are being relived by victims, abusers, and those who were merely in the environment of that time. Those were days when teenage boys wandered the streets of Hollywood willing to, or coerced into, trading sex for stardom or survival or both.
New lawsuits filed recently allege traumatic sexual abuse of minor boys at Hollywood sex parties of that era, trauma that has led to suicidal despair for victims. Those named in the lawsuits include powerful Hollywood directors and executives, most famous of whom is Bryan Singer, director of “The Usual Suspects” and several X-Men movies, including the current “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” (Those accusations are dissolving in a sea of lies and contradictions by the accuser; see “Judge Scolds Hollywood Sex Accuser for Lying in Court.”)
Hollywood is, of course, a state of mind more than a literal neighborhood. (Hollywood fought a losing battle to become a city separate from Los Angeles during that same era.)
In the late 1990s, the streets—particularly Santa Monica Boulevard—were filled with boys, many under 18, seeking older men for money and maybe stardom. There were two distinct territories: the Hollywood end of the boulevard, essentially La Brea Avenue to Vine Street, for boys hanging out on street corners trying to turn tricks in order to pay for food and shelter, and the West Hollywood end of the boulevard between La Brea Avenue and Robertson Boulevard.