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Sunday, August 19, 2007


The Unremitting Shock of Undisclosed Gayness

When closeted celebrities get outed after their deaths, people freak out. But why? I'm always surprised at those who are surprised by such things. Sure, the mainstream media gets squeamish about queer subjects in general. But if you didn't know by now that Merv Griffin was a polesmoker, you weren't paying much attention for the last 40 years. (By the way, Charles Nelson Reilly? Also a 'mo. Yes, grandma, who would've thought.)

Many will argue, in these cases, that "it doesn't matter." But that's bullshit...Griffin could have done a lot of good in the world as an advocate, but he ducked the responsibility of leading an honest life with integrity. That was his choice, but it was a cowardly and selfish one, and whether you agree with it or not, it certainly did "matter."

What is true, however, is that it doesn't matter...now that he's dead. Now it's just gossip. It's trivial, it's inconsequential, and it demeans all gay people when the media uses homosexuality as titillating after-the-fact scandal. If Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and others didn't have the guts to say he was gay when he was alive, it serves only prurience to reveal it now. And when people are "shocked" in decades to come at "revelations" about Queen Latifah, or Ricky Martin, or Vin Diesel, or Clay Aiken, or Jake Gyllenhaal (yeah, I said it), what a "surprise" it will be...and what a wasted opportunity.



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