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Friday, April 06, 2007

Can We Get Back to Anna Nicole Yet?

Out magazine has been making some headlines over the past couple of days for their "bold" decision to run models holding cut-outs of Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper on their cover for a feature called "The Glass Closet." I'd encourage you to read it because, while I don't agree with everything it has to say, it's at the least well written. I'll quickly summarize in saying that the article is about those celebrities, like Foster and Cooper, who "we" all know to be gay, but won't come out and admit it, why, and why they should. This point is hammered home by the cover image, which I'll say is ballsy in a "they can't possibly sue because it'll either make them look homophobic or even more gay" way. For a magazine for gay people, a pretty persecuted group the world over, this surprisingly smacks of voyeurism and intolerance.

Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster just doin' what comes naturally. Or, not. Whichever. It's really none of our bidness. But, it looks kind of hot in toy form. I'm just saying.

Quick--someone asks if you're gay or not. What do you do? You might say "no," since it could happen to be both true and socially acceptable pretty much anywhere. But the correct answer is "none of your goddamn business," because it's not. For a town with its fair share of gay people and even more people who claim to be tolerant of gay people, Hollywood and the tabloid industry it sustains sure seems awfully interested in who is and who isn't. My question is, "why"? I would certainly count myself as a gay-friendly person, but I also feel that inquisitive urge to know when some A, B, C or Z-list star is caught in a gay bar. My point is that's an urge we should be fighting, because it's disrespectful. It's none of our goddamn business.

I also don't get what the magazine and the author of the article hopes will happen should someone like Jodie Foster or Anderson Cooper come out of the closet. Do they think that gay-bashers and other people intolerant of homosexuality will suddenly be like, "shit, the guy who reads the news on CNN is a queer? Maybe they ain't so bad!" No. The people who really hate gays refer to people like Jodie Foster or Anderson Cooper as "filthy, Hollywood liberals." They EXPECT them to be gay, because to them, anyone living within 300 miles of an ocean is a devil-worshipping sodomite. They don't relate to Jodie Foster. Shit, homegirl hasn't made a good movie since Silence of the Lambs. Have you seen Contact? That shit's boring even in the heartland.

If you want to blow some gay-haters' minds, put a fatty with a Rush Limbaugh cut-out over his face on your cover. There's some circumstantial evidence for his gayness, because no 100% straight man is this attracted to Mary Lynn Rajskub, I don't care how much 24/geek cred she has. Or what about Pat Robertson? He claims to love God a whole lot, and I'll bet if you ask him, God's a dude.

Is it that they think gay people will suddenly feel assured that they have more "spokespeople" for their lifestyle? I'm sorry--being a white, heterosexual male in America, I don't know shit about being persecuted, but I know that if I was, I wouldn't want a movie star or a cable news personality to be my figureheads. They're people with lives--go find poster children someplace else. It's not their jobs to inspire or lead anyone, so Out needs to stop acting like they're entitled to it. Lots of gay people face intolerance every day. Lots of gay people face losing their jobs, their friends and their families if they come out. Are these people any less inspiring because they don't risk losing a multi-picture deal or an exclusive cable contract? Because that seems to be what Out is saying.

I don't know if Jodie Foster or Anderson Cooper are gay, and I kinda don't care. If someday they come out of their "glass closets," good for them. If they're fine where they're at, that's just as good. Sometimes not caring how someone else chooses to live their life is about as tolerant as we human beings get. But I do know that, for now, people like Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper aren't allowing themselves to be pressured by a hungry media and our insatiable, sick curiosity. They're saying, albeit in a much more subdued, polite manner, their personal lives are none of our goddamn business. That's pretty inspiring, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so happy and gay that Steve is back!!!