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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

An actor has returned to the closet

So, there's an actor, an action movie actor, who may be on of the next big things and he's rapidly reinventing himself and his image. Especially he's de-gaying it. See he has been in productions before as an openly gay man, he's been interviewed in gay publications and called himself and openly gay man, said he'd have to be himself, said he'd have to be open and wouldn't hide and even did interviews on the kinds of gay porn he likes

Fast forward and our boy has made it, he's becoming successful aaaaand the gay is gone. He's being linked to a woman romantically, his wikipedia page has been radically edited, he's no longer taking interviews from gay publications (according to his management team anyway) and his manager refuses to comment “on his private life” no matter how public he'd made it before.

I'm not going to say his name and I'm not going to provide links. I refuse to identify this man. While, emotionally, I cringe and am saddened by this, logically I more than know the cost of being open – and it is his right to be closeted if he wishes to be so. I do not approve of anyone being outed against their will unless they're attacking us. If he turns round and starts spewing homophobic bullshit, then yes, he's fair game – until then hands off, even if he has been out before. We know being out of the closet can damage any career – and it most certainly can damage the career of an action movie star. We know that being gay on this career path is going to hurt him – it's wrong and it's enraging but it's true and I don't think we can blame him for facing harsh reality. I'm not going to blame him for deciding not to try to be the trailblazer – because for every trailblazer there are no doubt 10 who burn out and die. I'm not going to say he has a duty to us GBLT folk to sacrifice himself or make his life so much harder so we can get some great representation. Yes, it would be great – but the cost and the pain of that are far too much to ask of someone and certainly too much to demand of them. If he chooses to come out, I will hail and support him. If all this is just his management “protecting” him and he slaps them down then I will praise him. But I won't make demands of him, he doesn't owe me anything and I know too well how hard and how painful being out can be to insist anyone out themselves.

No, let's put the blame where it is deserved. On the film industry, on society that says a big action manly man simply has to be straight. On the continued prejudice against GBLT leads – and yes, some have made it, but they've made it despite their sexuality as an extra hurdle to vault – and they haven't made it as manly man action stars.

Blame society on this one – because here we had a happy, joyfully out gay man, out and proud and refusing to hide who he was and he's been pushed back into the closet. And that's really really sad.