Is Your Favorite Celebrity Gay?
Are gay celebrities the cause celebre the tabloids would have us believe?
Look up "Kevin Spacey is gay" on Google's search engine and you'll see over 842,000 results.
So, he's handsome, over 40, single and neat, does that automatically signify gay in the mass media?
Do the same search on Tom Cruise and it will turn up almost 600,000 results. Never mind that he's been married twice and has two children (albeit adopted children) from his marriage to Nicole Kidman.
Whether Kevin and Tom like it or not, it appears that if you are famous, your sexuality is no longer your business. Celebrity is sport and celebrity's sex lives are the main attraction. It seems "outing" the latest celebrity on Internet websites is almost as competitive as searching for images of "celebrities without make-up".
In an era where celebrities have their trash dissected and excursions outside their barricaded walls photographed by teams of paparrazzi, and when anyone wanting their 15 minutes of fame is willing to expose their fable of a love-tryst with someone famous, celebrities have become fair game for the tabloids. The popular theory nowadays is heterosexuality is a bore, so if we can't find a story, let's invent one.
But the conundrum is: do celebrities deny or ignore the allegations?
Some, like Matt LeBlanc and Richard Gere, have released statements contradicting the allegations made against them, while others, such as Tom Cruise, have sued and won. "I take no pleasure in having to be here," he said at the time, "But it is the last recourse to counter the vicious rumors that have been printed about me and my family."
Out. . .Or Out Of Work?
Not surprisingly, Hollywood has adopted the classic double-standard when it comes to the issue of being homosexual on the big and small screen.
Today, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, The L Word and Will & Grace are are considered family viewing. Yet given this more liberal approach, ponder the "out and proud" careers of the likes of Rupert Everett, reduced to being typecast as the gay friend, Ellen DeGeneres, whose sitcom "Ellen" was pulled by her network less than a year after she came out, and Rosie O'Donnell, a reluctant gay role model, who walked away from her TV program and namesake magazine.
And consider the plight of Bert and Ernie, forced to publicly declare (albeit by their publicist): "Bert and Ernie, who have been on Sesame Street for 25 years, do not portray a gay couple, and there are no plans for them to do so in the future."
Of course, the tale was as tall as Big Bird, but when the moral majority gets loud, people listen. At least Bert and Ernie's reputation - and ratings - recovered.
Not so Rupert Everett, rumored to have been knocked back as the new James Bond. "James Bond is the most macho guy on the planet, but people would still think of him as gay," admitted a Hollywood agent for the new movie recently.
And I thought actors were paid to act. . .