Sholem Krishtalka


I was going to write a beautiful, hopeful essay based on this clip.

Pedj & Kelly, “Besoin de Rien, Envie de Toi” (2006)

It would have been quite something: weaving together the joys of karaoke, gay marriage and the beauty of Paris in one breathtaking essay at the end of which, the reader would walk away renewed, fulfilled, perhaps with the merest hint of a tear welling up in the corner of their eye.

Pedj y kelly est ce que tu viens pour les vacances

But no. Because you know what happened? I did some research. And it turns out, these two shirtless French hunks, these adorable boyfriends named Pedj and Kelly, whose entire life I had imagined for myself based on these clips (nuzzling in the soft morning light, sharing wicked glances at each other before spontaneously breaking into chanson in the middle of Rue de Richelieu) are not in fact named Pedj and Kelly. And they’re not, in fact, boyfriends. They’re not even, in fact, gay! (They are in fact French, though, which makes up for nothing).

They’re not even all that gay-friendly. Their website is careful to reiterate (three times, just in case you weren’t counting) that they’re straight. Pauvre bébés. Heaven forfend the videos that you posted where, hunky and shirtless, you gaze adoringly into each other’s eyes and caress each other’s chiseled features should prevent you from getting some tail.

When the hell is GLAAD (the most bitterly ironic acronym ever invented, PS) going to lynch these two? Oh, that’s right, they won’t – if their track record is any indication, they’d give these pigs an award. Because that seems to be what the gay media is all about these days: shouting hosannas at every straight actor who plays a homo on screen. A straight man is paid umpteen million dollars to kiss another dude (and maybe spoon with him), and gay magazines put him on their cover, and slobber on about what a courageous ally he is. 

Meanwhile, of course, any actor who’s actually gay is so shit-terrified of sabotaging their career by coming out that they never do; or they do when they’re too old to be a sex symbol, or when scandalous gossip threatens to do the job for them. And then, the gay media put them on their cover and slobber on about what a fearless specimen of political engagement they are. And don’t get me started on poor, misguided Adam Lambert, whose silly, nascent career is quickly being dismantled by the FCC while GLAAD is hemming and hawing and hoping that network television will still take them out for drinks and maybe invite them up to their place afterwards.

Uh…I appear to have gone off topic. Ahem. Well, what I suppose it all boils down to is that Pedj and Kelly are cock-teases. That is all.

-Sholem Krishtalka

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Sholem Krishtalka is an artist currently living in Berlin. His work has been shown in Canada, the US and Europe. Exhibitions include “Them” (Perrotin Gallery, New York) and “Sex Life” (SAW Gallery, Ottawa). His writing has appeared in Canadian Art Magazine, Bookforum Online, C Magazine, CBC Arts Online (among others) and in various artist's catalogues. For more Sholem Krishtalka, click here.