"At this point, coming out would be the most normal thing [Lindsay's] done in months," Queerty editor Andrew Belonsky said recently. And according to an article in ABC News, if Lindsay Lohan admitted to a relationship with Sam Ronson, it could actually be a boon to her ailing career — it would take attention away from her drug-addled past and her humiliating, fame whoring family. But what if an up-and-coming, sexually ambiguous male star with similar image woes, let's say a Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who's also had several stints in rehab, came out of the bisexual closet? Would it be a career positive, or a career ender? It's more likely to be a career ender, say experts — and according to Jennifer Baumgardner, the author of Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics, it's because women are taken less seriously in general. "It's like, 'So what if they were fooling around?' When two men, who were thought to be straight, have sex, it's perceived as more serious," she tells ABC News.
Another possible reason for the perceived double standards is that men need to exude stereotypical virility to be considered for leading male roles, and while a woman's femininity isn't necessarily compromised by having sex with other women, a man's masculinity can be compromised by his homosexual leanings. "For women," the Advocate's arts and entertainment editor Corey Scholibo says, "it seems that women and, of course, men will still accept them if they admit to experimentation in the past."
The one example of an out actor who consistently plays it straight is Neil Patrick Harris (love him), whose character on How I Met Your Mother is also a cad. But his roles are usually peripheral, and never the lead. Scholibo also notes that the reaction for Lindsay would be far different than if Ellen Page came out of the closet, since she is known as an actress, whereas Lilo is mostly a "celebrity" now.
I think there has certainly been progress made on this front — look at the not-stereotypically masculine stylings of Pete Wentz and his eyeliner-clad, emo brethren — but last time I spent any amount of time around high school boys (or men with high school mentalities), "fag" was still thrown around as a casual insult. I still have my fingers crossed for a Neil Patrick Harris-helmed rom com!!!