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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is It Possible To Be Gay In Hollywood?

Rumors have circulated that a star would be on the cover of The Advocate and finally announce himself as gay.  I knew who it would be, he has been toying with the idea for years.  Sean Hayes may not be the huge star that you thought it would be, but in my book this makes him a star.

In a world where people are so close minded that people have to actually put on a show to keep a job in this business, this is a ray of light. Though a small one, Hayes should be thought of as brave man.  No matter whether you are a working actor or a has been, it takes a lot of guts to come out of the closet.

I would hope that this little movement would actually make people see that coming out as gay isn't the nail in your coffin.  Look at Neil Patrick Harris, he will always be known as Doogie Howser M.D, that smart kid that somehow became a doctor.  He was forced out of the closet by a certain douche bag, but he took lemons and made lemonade.  He soared to success as a womanizer on How I Met Your Mother and the gay label has not affected him at all.  Would he have been considered to play Prince Of Persia or a lead in a romantic movie?  No, and that is what keeps major stars from coming out.

It has nothing to do with the actual star.  Most of us want to come out, want to leave an honest life and not lie to the people that have pretty much made our careers, the fans. But a lot of us have dreams of being a HW success and coming out about our sexuality puts a limit on our success.  Many stars have come out, but not one star that you have waited for or suspected.

Just once, would it be possible for an A-List star to admit that they are gay and still maintain the same amount of success?  Let's say hypothetically that Tom Cruise came out.  Would you still go to see his huge blockbuster with him saving the world, acting all macho and kissing girls?  Or if by some chance, Jake Gyllenhaal came out as gay.  Prince Of Persia would never have happened with him because the gay image would be in people's head.  Not only that, studios would never use an outspoken homosexual as one of their action leads.  It's unheard of and if you ask the studios, never going to happen.

And now that stars have put so much effort into putting the image out that you expect, if they were to come out as gay it is possible the backlash could ruin them.  If you have always seen them with a woman, or a girlfriend, or even if they have kids, learning that this whole time they were gay, would ruin your perception of them.  They would have to admit that everything you believed about them and saw, was a lie. 

In general, it's not just the stars fault, nor does it lay on the studio's shoulders.  The studios still believe middle America is the consensus and that the world isn't ready for a gay movie star/action hero.  But everyone's image of gay is so strewn that people have no idea and think of all gays as rainbow riding fairies.  I have news for you, gays come in all shape, sizes and personalities.  And it makes you think why we should label ourselves to begin with.  We are human, all of us.  Isn't that enough?

We have asked you who you thought of as "Definitely Gay" in HW.  These are the popular answers:
  • Taylor Lautner
  • Tom Cruise
  • Jensen Ackles
With these being 3 of the most popular star right now, give or take a little with Jensen, it seems everyone has their mind made up about them already.  Tom Cruise has been thought to be gay for his entire career, which has not made the slightest bit of difference when it comes to his box office income. 

Seems to me that Hollywood should realize that no one is stupid.  We think of a lot of our stars as gay anyway, but we still go and see their movies.  It's called acting for a reason and as long as the movie can entertain us, we will go and see it.  But if the movie is shit, gay or not, it's going to bomb.  We need a A-Lister to come out and start a revolution.  Any ideas?

46 comments:

MizV said...

GB,I would like to see a few A-listers be true to themselves, if that is what they would like. But if they're happy, I guess let them stay in the closet and continue to be assured they will get those leading man roles (and vice-versa for the women).

Anonymous said...

lets hope the studios will soon realize that a new generation of moviegoers don't care about a star's sexual preferences. In case, Cruise staying in the closet is now working against him.

sueizzy said...

Great post. It is however, unfortunate that some stars have to pretend to be who they are not. I cannot imagine what they must go through at the end of the day. But, alas, they have to earn a living like everyone else, too bad it is at such a high cost. As far as some alledged top star coming out? I think their true fans would stick by them.. like u said, it is acting after all, and it would be nice if they would leave work at work and not carry it into their personal lives. Kudos to Sean Hayes!

Anonymous said...

Another out actor that is doing well is John Barrowman... too bad he isn't in the US! I would totally see him in a Bond movie!!!

Lola said...

It would be great if people could just be who they are. I'm straight but I don't have to run round telling people that fact. Sean Hayes never admitted he was gay, until now, but did he ever really hide the fact either? People should just live their life being true to themselves as best they can. It would be so refreshing if gay people could just be gay and hold whatever job they are good at without judgement or fear of failure or repercussions.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see how studios would react to someone who's already had success playing lead romantic/action roles. Will Smith, for example.

I'd also love to see a group of stars come out at the same time and throw everyone for a loop.

zoe_el said...

I hope I see the day when sexual orientation makes no difference in the career of a movie star. Unfortunately, I think we're still a generation away from this because the level of prejudice against gay people is still frighteningly high, even (especially?) in America. It's interesting to see that the TV stars are leading the way, and I hope this trend continues, not only for the sake of gay actors but also so that full civil rights are eventually accorded to all human beings.

Cap said...

You bring up a lot of great points. It's a hard decision to make, for many reasons.

What I would really, really like to see is someone who has enough money that they never have to worry about working, say Tom Cruise hypothetically, come out and make the announcement. Their career may take a nosedive, but it will help pave the way for people who aren't as established in their careers.

When you get down to it, it's a personal decision and I can't blame anyone for choosing an easier road by not saying anything. It's one I've been down myself.

Anonymous said...

this is one of your best posts, babe. I love it. Ever think about writing professionally?

Anonymous said...

Coming out is hard enough when your career isn't a factor.
There are many out gay men like me who used to live married to a woman and with children.
There are many more who just remain in the closet living unauthentic lives at a terrible internal price.

Anonymous said...

BB, you say revolution and you know I'm ready! And ideas? I have ideas when you call them out of my head and heart and soul. Yes, this is how much I'm loving you today!

What if for a whole year, all movies were gay stories? Every director, every actor, every studio all working on that common project. It'd be so cool.

Sometimes we demand too much from certain stars and even from certain parts of the audience... But if we could agree on a worldwide level and do this... it would be perfect. It would invite people not just to buy a ticket and sit in silence for two hours. It would be an invitation to participate in a huge, collective work of art! Who would turn down an invitation like that? Who wouldn't want to participate in changing history?

If every film in every theater was a gay story, people who aren't so keen on the idea now could get a chance to see these stories for what they are. Could see actors for what they are. Art for what is is. And life for what it is.

Call me naive, but I truly think something like this could bring all of us closer. And honesty makes better societies. No matter where we live, we know we need that.

Kathryn said...

I had to walk away for a bit after reading this because I couldn't quite keep from crying. It's sad that HW is no different than a lot of other parts of this country in that you can not get hired or get fired based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Yet, HW is seen by the "outside world" as soooo liberal.

I'd love to see people be able to come out and just be happy. Without fear of reprisal, shunning, blacklisting or being attacked. If HW led the way, more power to 'em and you. As for would I watch? If the story is good, HELL YES! As much as I love playing the "who's sleeping with whom" guessing game, it's not the end all, be all of who a person is. There, my $0.02 and I managed not to get too political.

BobNYC said...

Gay actors who have created a married persona will never be able to come out. So if Tom Cruise were gay, he would never be able to acknowledge the lie he has lived. Personally, I think that when Tom Cruise insists: "I am not Gay" he's really saying "I don't want to be Gay." But who cares?

Anonymous said...

I must say, best post I have read in awhile from any website. I do a lot of reading and this story touched me. Excellent job, Gossip Boy

Anonymous said...

A group outing of actors sounds like an awesome idea.

AsstGeek said...

I have to agree, great post. It's a hard subject, because, as you wrote, how many people are willing to risk their careers to stand up for their principles?

If the revolution is going to start, it's going to have to start with the non-romantic roles. Would it matter if dark, tortured the Dark Knight was gay or straight? So, to that end, if Christian Bale came out, would it really damage that role?

The romantic leads of this world might have to stay closeted for a while...but as someone above me wrote, baby steps.

Next comic book character...let's go GAY!

Tina et Mathieu said...

I would love for Jake Gyllenhaal to come out (that is if he's indeed gay). I would still love him and his movies!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but no one will get those roles if they are out of the closet because no one is out of the closet. It's as simple as that, they can't complain about not being a hollywood success if they were out because very
few have tried and no one that was known primarily for film roles. It's having a safe life that is lived behind doors of exclusivity and money.

And yes I think it may cause a stir if stars were to suddenly start their careers as themselves and the whole oh my god is hollywood really this gay? thing will happen but we want to be entertained if you're in a good movie it's a good movie and
people are always going to want the escape from reality. It will slowly become the new normal.

It isn't going to be easy, I don't blame them for staying in their closets and I am so thankful I will never have to be a Hollywood player, but for stars that do
want to live their lives originally I hope they take the chance and they might very well be surprised and get more than they thought was possible.

Give him a few years but I can guarantee you Neil Patrick Harris is going to become an A-list superstar that can do it all
and break down stereotype boundaries

Anonymous said...

Sloppy article, because it's illustrated by fan-made manip picture that isn't even of the actor's body.

If you can't be bothered to find a real picture of the actors you're talking about, what hope do you have of finding real information?

Anonymous said...

the pictures look real to me hater.

AsstGeek said...

Yes, that's a real HUH?? because all of those photos are real. What fan manipulation?

Anonymous said...

The pictures aren't the point here

Anonymous said...

I think studios underestimate an audience's ability to suspend their sense of reality when being entertained, and an actors ability to create the illusion of a character.

Middle-aged Diva said...

The studios are so dumb. Straight people have played gay since theatre began. Men played women. Women have played men. That's why they call it acting.

If Heath Ledger can play gay, why can't JG play straight. So silly.

Studios underestimate the movie-going public. The charade gay actors must put on is sad.

It's even more ironic that so many agents and studio insiders are gay, themselves.

I like the idea of a group coming out all at once. How cool would that be? A group of Alisters. Boy, what a discussion that would be.

But it will never happen.

Anonymous said...

I'm the nonnie that mentioned the collective revolutionary masterplan! But I wasn't talking about gay actors and gay directors. I was talking about EVERYONE. Even actors who aren't gay would be proud to contribute with their talent. I'm not talking about people forming a front against prejudice! I'm talking about all of us working together. I meant a Revolution, damnit.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, HW doesn't lead, it follows.

Anonymous said...

^Oh, cheer up! I'm not saying I believe it's going to happen, but I'm not going to shrug either. Not going to admit defeat that easy. If ever. I think the world is coming to an end, why don't we do something dignified before we go down? If anything, let's be hopeful Let's fill this blog with dreams of how we would like for things to happen! That'll help to make it special. That'll match it's uniqueness. The boy said "Revolution". Maybe we never saw one happening, but that doesn't mean all we can do is s-h-r-u-g...

No way.

Anonymous said...

Love ya, Gossip Boy! From your fingers to HWs ears, your post is timely as I think it won't be long before we reach critical mass on the point. As for me, I would love to see an out gay actor be given an action lead movie, makes no difference to me cos I like hot guys whatever. But the ones to win over are the straight guys probably, and that will be through more open gay integration in the community. Europe, Canada and Australia are so far ahead on this issue, America must follow surely?

MizV said...

"Lola: It would be great if people could just be who they are. I'm straight but I don't have to run round telling people that fact. Sean Hayes never admitted he was gay, until now, but did he ever really hide the fact either? People should just live their life being true to themselves as best they can. It would be so refreshing if gay people could just be gay and hold whatever job they are good at without judgement or fear of failure or repercussions."
and
"BobNYC: Gay actors who have created a married persona will never be able to come out. So if Tom Cruise were gay, he would never be able to acknowledge the lie he has lived."

You are both so right on the money. I love reading blog comments that are intelligent and insightful - this is coming from someone who tried to do that on another post on this blog and got ripped a new one :/ So, might I just say I thought there were awesome points made by both of you in particular. :o)

Anonymous said...

"BobNYC: Gay actors who have created a married persona will never be able to come out. So if Tom Cruise were gay, he would never be able to acknowledge the lie he has lived."

Unfortuantely that now applies to Jared as well. I was wishing and hoping he would call it off and take the higher road. But no, he sold out really quickly to Hollywood. Makes me lose interest in him to be honest, much more keen when Jared and Jensen were all happy just living together AS IF they were best friends.

Anonymous said...

^Why make it so personal? They're not the first or the last -apparently. And why would you lose interest? It's other people's lives you're talking about and one assumes they, like everybody else, try to live it the way they can. Have some sympathy -even if you think you know what would be better for them.

Vis said...

anon 4:12 brings up an interesting point. When a core fan base loses interest due to a star living a lie instead of being themselves... it reenforces the idea that the gay rumors have damaged the star instead of understanding that it is the lie/beard that turns us off. I'd rather we reached a point where this issue was a non issue and actors didn't have to beard or come out. They could just live the lives they want in private and do the work they are talented enough to get.

Maybe I'm odd but I don't feel that $10 bucks to see a movie entitles me to know whose pubic hairs are in whose teeth.

AsstGeek said...

Vis, I love that comment and want to steal it.

I think the new model has to be the one people like Zach Quinto and NPH have followed: they don't have beards, the don't run around telling anyone their sexual preference (because, honestly, whose business is it, unless you're having sex/planning to have sex with them!), and they just live their lives. If they fall in love, they introduce that person into their public lives.

Hey, I wish most of the straight actors out there would act like that. Who needs to see EVERY fling played out like a long term relationship?

I don't care who Jen A is banging/not banging, and don't need to have it paraded on every website and supermarket rag.

AsstGeek said...

Oh, and GB, more blogs like this, please, with the very intelligent discussion that has followed it!

Anonymous said...

Why can't sexual preference just be kept private? Until John Mayer blabbed that Jessica Simpleton was a freak in the sack, you just didn't hear much about straight people's foibles. Leave it behind closed doors and ACT. If you're a crappy actor, don't blame being gay. If you're a good actor, you can make the audience believe anything, including that you're actually interested in the woman with whom you're locking lips.

Anonymous said...

I'm not totally buying that Jared is gay. Jensen gives off that vibe more, I think. I don't know ... it's just too bad that we have to speculate about this kind of thing. It really shouldn't matter. So any actor who has the stones to come out is making it more acceptable. Maybe one day HW will finally get it.

Anonymous said...

Middle America doesn't decide who wins an Oscar...

Middle America doesn't decide who gets to make a movie...

My point is that the industry has their OWN power to make the change...to create the environment to allow HW peeps to be who they really are.

The change must come from the INSIDE of the industry and God knows that statistically, there are enough gay/lesbians within the industry to make the change. In my opinion they choose NOT to. Maybe it's fear. Maybe it's laziness. Maybe it's both.

I find it highly hypocritical that an industry that is traditionally very liberal on both political and religious fronts, would also make (pressure) their own to be someone they aren't.

Anonymous said...

GB you make some good points. But really it's the people that run HW that are hypocrites. It's OK for the studio head to be out, but not the movie star. I also think that part of the homophobia is from middle america. You know, the good old boys in the cornfields and the housewives in Kansas. A movie is a piece of fiction. If an audience can suspend their belief long enough to watch Tom Cruise jump onto a moving train and keep running or Jake G. look for a dagger that takes him through time, they can't suspend their belief long enough to believe the boy loves the girl? I also think that most of the public believes whatever crap they are fed from PR firms to tabloids to a point. Looks at the endless photo ops Reese Witherspoon arranges. She is constantly trying to sell the "America sweetheart/wonderful mother/strong woman/caring charity Avon woman" crap. Does anybody other than the fat and bored housewives believe that crap? But yet that's the mentality that prevalent in HW. Everything is fake.

Anonymous said...

HW's not at the mercy of middle America, though. It may let middle America think that so that middle America feels some sense of agency and tunes in, but HW has been in the business of shaping public perception since it started. If HW wanted to turn an openly gay star into a leading man, it could do it quite easily, I think, because the public has no idea how much its opinion is shaped by what HW puts out there in the first place. It doesn't have to change minds, just think up a good PR strategy. But that costs more money, so why should it? It's not laziness, I don't think, or even bigotry on the part of the suits, it's just the fact that HW NEVER likes to spend more than it has to doing anything.

Interesting three stars to choose. If Cruise is gay he's so far in the closet he couldn't come out if he wanted to. According to this site, Taylor Lautner may be fighting anyone who wants him to beard. Which puts Jensen somewhere in the middle with two months to go until his wedding. Interesting selection indeed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you up there!

HW has been in the business of shaping public perception since it started.

Easy to see, guys! Never bumped into the cultural supplement of your newspaper and read about how our sense of what a romantic relationship is is totally shaped out after what we see in HW movies. It may be even painful to admit it if you see yourselves as the leading men and ladies of your own lives. But the truth is the truth. And HW gives us a clearer picture of our being in the world (sometimes, not necessarly correct) than we could figure out by ourselves. That's its place in society. It could change us in anyway it wanted to.

And no, it wouldn't need to be as drastic as changing people's minds. In the majority of cases, i don't see people being downright homophobic. I bumped into some pisspoor blog just days ago. There was the photo of an actor mentioned in this blog and then you could leave your comment. The third person who stopped by said "Too bad he's gay tho". And the next ten felt compelled to say "Oh no, he isn't", "Tell me he isn't, please", "Anybody saying he is gay are lesbians". Yes, that's what they said. But you could still see those weren't strong opinions at all. That was just people being lazy. Waiting and almost asking to be told different.

HW should take that step. It doesn't and probably won't due mainly to laziness as well. Like this isn't really a big problem to begin with. So why bother? I think being dignified and allowing others to live in dignity as well as promoting the importance of living in dignity for everybody is a big thing, actually. And if you have the power to do it and don't, in spite of it all, then, IDK, I feel like talking to a brickwall.

And that leads me back to the awesomness of this blog. See, GB, we can think! We can talk to each other! Thanks for the chance you gave us today! Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Jared gives off gay vibe for me more then Jensen. I don't know why Gossip Boy dont write about Jared. I am sure he has some secrets from his past.

tonilost said...

There couldnt possibly have been anyone who didnt already know Sean Hayes was gay, was there?

Anonymous said...

I love this site! So many kindred spirits! Jake G. could do it... there is a whole core of open minded women (plus the gays) who would keep his career alive. If he came out, I feel like everyone would celebrate! At this point, it's still a fantastic possibilty. We love you Jake! Millions know by now. You do realize that your famous because everyone thinks you are gay? Right?

Anonymous said...

I think Jake G. has what it takes to come out, still be successful and change Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

I just wish that the stars that want to come out would be allowed by their "team" to do so. Not every gay star wants out of the closet.

Anonymous said...

Being gay is about a sexual preference so I am a firm believer in the CLOSET I don't want to know generally speaking. I am too visual and I prefer not to know in most cases. I wish people would keep somethings to themselves that being one of them. I do hope Jensen is not gay but I have no doubt he WON'T come OUT. His whole I am private thing is wrapped tightly around him; that is just the way it is.