Whenever there's a blind item about a closeted celeb, it happens. Name after name after prominent name gets knowingly thrown around until, no matter who the item actually refers to, you're left wondering: are all the big stars gay?
Of course it doesn't matter. In a perfect world, everyone would shout their true natures from the rooftops and it would have no effect on their careers. Sexuality is fluid. None of us really thinks we'll end up with a star if by some chance he's attracted to women. (Twilight might possibly be the exception.) Which is why it's weird that lists of closeted stars are still a big deal; don't we work on the assumption that just about everyone in Hollywood is, at the very least, bi? Certainly if you spend any time at all on gossip blogs you're quickly informed that everyone knows that he's been semi-out for years or their marriage is a sham or my friend's friend saw him at a gay bar and it's an "open secret in Hollywood."
It's no challenge, in this day and age, to come up with a list of A-List male names who've been linked, for whatever reason, to a "gay rumor." The much bigger challenge is to find someone that hasn't. So, more by way of intellectual exercise than anything else, we tried to do just that. And it was not easy. The criteria were: a leading man with plenty of exposure and no shortage of gossip coverage. An Internet search and a survey of three of the most knowing insiders I know (who summarily dismissed three of the original list with divisive hoots and scant evidence) had to return nothing substantive, and I say nothing substantive because come on, this is the Internet. ("I recon he is a secret gay. he looks it when ever i have seen him outside of a movie," did not disqualify Harrison Ford.)
In fact, here are the only names we could come up with:
...and I am anticipating at least one of these will be "debunked" before the day is through. (Also, one of them is Mel Gibson.) Now, perhaps you will notice, as did we, that the majority of these guys are on the older side, which leads one to wonder: is this just due to a difference in media and gossip, a new lack of privacy, or something else? Of course, of all those around whom rumors swirl, some are probably gay, others bi, some completely straight: rumors take hold and you can't shake them (just ask Richard Gere.) Hollywood has always been an industry of appearances and subterfuge that has propagated the obvious falsehood that all the beautiful people in movies are not merely heterosexual but deliriously happy nice people between scandals.
The question is, will we ever get to a point where these rumors will stop swirling because people simply don't care? Because being gay in Hollywood has lost its stigma and there's nothing to be gained either by hiding it or using it as an insult? Or because there are no more "secrets" to reveal? Because the current "system" or whatever you want to call it, has resulted in something of a boomarang effect. The world is rife with suspicion and innuendo and we all feel we're being manipulated. As a result, we don't believe anything - unless, that is, an authoritative stranger says it on an unregulated web forum. This isn't Old Hollywood where the studios kept people in a state of deliberate ignorance; it's an uncomfortable in-between in which the same standards apply but there's a pretense of honesty. People have a right to privacy and to do what they want, but at the same time, it's worth noting that, if the above exercise is any indication, we don't believe everyone's straight anyhow. And, more to the point, we're still going to the movies.