Who’s the Gayest of Them All?
Gawker went where we probably wouldn’t go: into the weird world of outing. The blog hasn’t technically “outed” any celebrities lately, but a recent post asks if there’s anyone in Hollywood who we think is kinda, sorta, most likely batting for the lavender team. Oh, we think we know who they are. But is it responsible to say so?
The post – fluffy as it may seem – actually leads to some important questions about whether you believe the hype about famous folks – and if being in the public eye automatically makes your sexual preference anyone’s business?
The latest breakup rumors of Philly native Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith have once against sparked even more rumors about their own relationship – an innuendo that’s offended lots of people (we hope because in Hollywood long-term relationships are about as rare as a successful Woody Allen film and not because people are horrified to think of either of these two as, well, gay). We’ll give naysayers the benefit of the doubt because outing – or coming out – is never a simple decision, especially when your livelihood is based on peoples’ perceptions about you.
One argument in support of outing suggest that well-known gay folks have a chance to be role models for young people, and to show to the world that it’s okay to be gay and wildly successful. Makes sense, right? But the argument against it could be: Why should an actor, for example, parade his or her personal life in the public when it’s really about the craft? Is it really an artist’s obligation to come out when sexual orientation may have little to do with one’s professional life? And is it ever anyone’s obligation to be a role model? Let’s face it, not everyone’s cut out for the job.
The post goes on to list a few very famous folks – like singers Queen Latifah and Kenny Chesney, actors Ellen Page and Gerard Butler, megastars like George Clooney and Ryan Seacrest. They’ve all set off someone’s gaydar along the way. But unless you know any of these folks on a personal level (few of us do) is it really fair to cast suspicion simply because someone may keep his or her private life private?
Gawker is asking folks who they think is gay in Hollywood and politics. We’d like to step it up and ask what you really think about even having this conversation. Is outing ever a good idea? If so, why would you want to know which celeb bats for which team? Is this really just about gossip or making actual strides for LGBT rights?