Losing a Teenage Dream
New York magazine|December 6-19, 2021
Before I came to Hollywood, I was confidently queer. Years of mixed messages in the industry changed that.
Colton Haynes
Losing a Teenage Dream

Squeal for me, piglet,” I said. “Want me to feed you your food?” ¶ The voice on the other end of the phone moaned. ¶ “You want to get fat for your master, little piggy?” I continued. “You like that? Now oink for me. Tell me how much you love your owner.” ¶ It was 2006, and this was my first job in Los Angeles, as a phone-sex operator. It wasn’t how I had planned on making it in Hollywood, but it wasn’t a bad start—to be 18 years old, new in town, and earning enough money to pay my bills. I dipped in and out of dinners, shops, and meetings to take my calls. Standing on Santa Monica Boulevard outside a CVS, I growled into my cell phone to a caller, “You want me to fatten you up like livestock getting ready for slaughter?” I kept it up as passersby eyed me strangely. “Time for your Geritol.”

I could never understand why so many of these guys had a thing for farm play. But I could sell a farm scene: I was from the Midwest, a little town in Kansas called Andale, northwest of Wichita. I thought it was weird that my phone-operator job had nothing to do with the way I looked, since that was the only thing about me that had ever been affirmed—mostly by much older men. My first serious relationship, if you could call it that, at 14, was with a man in his 40s who worked in the area. I began go-go dancing at a gay bar in Wichita that same year—fake ID in hand—after sneaking in one night with a few castmates from my community-theater program. I felt at home there. The thumping of the beat rattled the club, and from up on the box, all the men looked like wild animals. We danced in cowboy hats, low-rise boot-cut jeans, and no underwear, sweat trickling down our abdomens toward our shaved crotches.

This story is from the December 6-19, 2021 edition of New York magazine.

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This story is from the December 6-19, 2021 edition of New York magazine.

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