After triumphing for two years in a row, Jake Gyllenhaal is not the winner of our third annual
AfterElton.com Hot 100 poll (see the results for 2007 here and 2008 here). So which out man did take the top spot? If you’re
the kind of person who always burns their mouth biting into that piping hot
chocolate chip cookie, you can just cheat and go here to learn who came in
Here at AfterElton.com, we’re thrilled to announce an out
gay man topped this year’s list – especially this particular man as most of us
voted for him as well. In fact, out gay men snagged nearly 20% of the spots,
including the top three. To be sure, we’ve nothing against our straight male
crushes, but it says something great about 2009 that there are so many out men
to choose from.
What we find almost as interesting is the amount of turnover
amongst the gay men on the Hot 100. Missing from this year’s list are gay faves
such as Tom Ford, Rufus Wainwright, Jake Shears and Lance Bass. But gay culture
is so vibrant that there was any number of out hot guys ready to take those
places, including Olympic gold medalist Matthew Mitcham, Broadway star Nick
Adams and American Idol finalist Adam
While Americans make up the bulk of the list, numerous other countries also landed men in the hot 100 including Canada, England, Australia, Germany and Mexico. In fact, more than a quarter of the list hails from outside of the U.S.
As in 2007 and 2008, actors continued to dominate the list,
taking a grand total of 87 spots, exactly the same number as last year. And gay
men continue to especially appreciate those actors who are willing to play gay,
or at least speak out in favor of gay causes. In fact, more than half of the
straight actors on our list have played gay roles and a number of those who haven’t,
such as Brad Pitt, actively worked against Proposition 8 and other anti-gay
The Hot 100 also continues to demonstrate a healthy amount
of turnover with nearly one quarter of the faces from last year’s poll being
replaced with new ones this year. Speaking of new, this time around we added three new
polls to shake things up a bit: Out Gay Men, Men of Color and Men Over 40. That
means gay and bisexual guys got to say even more about who appeals to them
most, something much needed in our decidedly heterocentric culture.
The highest debut of the year goes to a fellow who made
quite the “splash” last year. Matthew Mitcham’s debut on the list marks the
first time an out gay athlete made the cut, which is another welcome change
when it comes to gay visibility.
As a whole, athletes again only make up a small percentage
of the total, including soccer stars David Beckham and Ben Cohen. It’s
interesting to speculate why more athletes aren’t among gay faves, but given
both the lack of out gay men in professional sports and the fact the homophobia
and sports still too often go hand-in-hand, it isn’t entirely surprising so few
are on the Hot 100.
This year’s list also includes another first: an actual
writer! Academy Award winning writer Dustin Lance Black gets credit for
breaking that particular barrier and showing that, while gay men appreciate a
great smile, dimples and a rocking bod, we also appreciate when that package
comes bundled with brains and talents other than emoting on screen. (In fact,
we can’t tell you how much those of
us toiling here at AferElton.com appreciate seeing a writer make the list!)
The 2009 Hot 100 contains another first as well: our first
politician to make the cut. As if Barack Obama doesn’t already have enough
firsts to fill out his Wikipedia page, he can add first elected official to be
recognized as “hot” by gay and bisexual men.
On the downside, Barack’s debut highlights a problematic and
ongoing issue with the list: its lack of racial diversity. Indeed, coming in at number
40, Barack is the highest-ranking man of color on the list. He’s joined by past
Hot 100 entrants including Darryl Stephens, Taye Diggs and Jensen Atwood. Gael
García Bernal also makes the list along with Wilson Cruz who returns after
dropping off of last year’s list.
But overall, men of color only took only seven spots, down
two from last year. What we said in 2008 about this issue holds true this year:
most of our Hot 100 winners come from television and movies and, even in 2009,
Hollywood is distressingly white (and straight) when it comes to the product
they put out. While the election of President Obama showed that racism is no
longer the issue it once was, it clearly still plays a role in American
Perhaps things will improve on next year’s list. Haaz
Sleiman will play a gay character in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie while out actor Guillermo Díaz will be on NBC’s new
hospital drama Mercy. With any luck,
perhaps we’ll see both of them make next year’s Hot 100.
Speaking of that, it’s time to get on to this year’s winners, so
without further ado we present you with your 2009 AfterElton.com Hot 100! (And to find out who the ladies named hottest check out the 2009 AfterEllen.com Hot 100.)
A special thanks to Ed Kennedy for his help in writing this article.
100. Tahmoh Penikett
Photo credit: kk+/flickr
99. Wilson Cruz
98. Kris Allen
97. Jason Mraz