From the Mailbag : The Celluloid Closet

A couple of weeks ago we received this letter :

I’m not caught up on Secretly Timid… and you may not want to explore the following topic as a blog… I don’t think I could do it justice because I’m not a gay man, but I think it’s an excellent topic to explore.

There’s been an explosion of Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a result of Inception.  I am not seeing that as much with Tom Hardy.  My question to you is… do you think, even as open as we have become in society and acknowledging there’s still far more to go, that his common sense and honest approach to exploring his sexuality, has led to a quieting down of his role in the movie?

I’m asking because before I saw the movie, I saw Ellen Page everywhere and Marion Cotillard, as well as Robert Fisher, Leo, and JGL, but hardly any mention of Tom Hardy.   I know Ellen Page has questions of her sexuality, but a lipstick lesbian is sort of a turn on to straight men and less threatening to mainstream as a gay man.

I mean, let’s face it… even as accepting as Hollywood may be, they still have to play to Middle America and Red America, and so, while gay may be acceptable as a “role”, but gay actors do still have to be pushed back into the closet, as well.

Our listener (who I hope is now all caught up) is referring to this interview with NOW magazine from this past July. Here is the meat (no pun intended) of the interview :

But asked if he’d ever had any sexual relations with other men, the broody actor said: ‘As a boy? Of course I have. I’m an actor for ****’s sake. ‘I’ve played with everything and everyone. I love the form and the physicality, but now that I’m in my thirties, it doesn’t do it for me.

This admission caused a mild stir in the tabloids. So, are we to believe Hardy is bisexual? I don’t think so. I interpret him saying “it doesn’t do it for me” to mean that he identifies as heterosexual. I know plenty of gay men (myself included) who have had sex with women and still identify themselves as gay men. Why can’t the same be said for straight men? Also, he explains that this happened when he was younger which is a natural time for sexual exploration. Let us also not forget that Hardy is European, and Europeans have less hang ups when it comes to sex. If you ask me, I think American men have had similar experiences and have chosen to keep mum about it for fear of being labeled “fag.”

I believe that Hardy didn’t make the same rounds on the media circuit like Gordon-Levitt, Page or DeCaprio because Hardy isn’t a household name…yet. Cillian Murphy (drool) was also absent…so perhaps it was more of a regional thing…or maybe Hardy was working on another film. I don’t know the ins and outs of Hollywood, but I thought actors were contracted to do press, so perhaps Hardy wasn’t contractually asked to appear on Leno or Kimmel.

One thing I do disagree with the listener on is how “accepting” Hollywood is. It isn’t. A lot of my friends are actors, and I know some whose star is on the rise and are privately gay. They cannot come out of the closet. Sure, we can honor Neil Patrick Harris and his husband…but he didn’t come out publicly until he reached a level of success where he was o.k. either way.

Lipstick lesbians are accepted in our society- the Portias. For Ellen to be accepted she has to appear asexual. More butch lesbians are a dime a dozen on television, and most lesbians I know fall under this label.

The listener does bring up a good question. Why are gay men viewed as “threatening?” By “gay men” I am insinuating that the reader means “flamboyantly gay men.” Sadly, the flamers are also discriminated against within the gay community. I know too many gay men who pride themselves as being “straight acting” or “masculine” or even state that they hate our flaming brothers. I remember being at a bar arguing with another gay guy because he thought Adam Lambert was doing a disservice to the gay community by being so flamboyant. I don’t know why butch lesbians and flamboyant gay men are treated the way they are by our society, but I applaud them for having the courage to be themselves.

To bring this discussion back to Hardy…I think he is a great actor and easy on the eyes. He will be a household name in the States soon enough.

This was really a great letter and I am interested in reading your response as well.

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And please let us know what you think by commenting.


Episode 17 : Just Enough

To the cast’s amazement, Ms. Diane was on time. This week’s episode is chock full of creamy goodness. The quartet discuss the most dramatic exit ever to grace the interwebs, a criminal who prefers to squirt his DNA on his victims, the worst person in the world, and one politician’s affiliation to a secret society. It should be noted that a cast member may or may not be affiliated with the same secret society.

Today’s featured song is “Miss Marylou Carreau” by Mason Proper

Episode 13 : Bang Bang!

In today’s episode Jon, Diane, Paul, and Jill discuss a number of different news stories. These stories include the murder/suicide involving the mayor of Coppell,  GPS being used to stalk, irony at a anti-violence barbecue, and a chastity belt made for your man (def NSFW.) Also, Jon calls Jill the “D” word and Paul and Diane compare Facebook friend requests.

The featured song for today’s episode is “Smoke” by Liz Phair.

Am I being a Dick?

So I am slowly getting back into twitter (handle: jonleehart). I follow way too many celebrities…and one in particular is working my nerves hardcore: Sherrie fuckin’ Shepherd.

I know, I watch The View. I got hooked when Rosie was throwing her weight around, and now Joy throws just enough sass to keep me watching. Elizabeth makes me want to slit my throat (although sometimes she surprises me) and Whoopi is just a snooze fest. The show is always better when Babs is gone…and well, Sherrie was always annoying to me.

The annoyance started way back when she said that she didn’t know whether or not the Earth was round. It continued when she voiced her concerns about a woman’s right to choose. I don’t know whether or not she is pro or anti- choice…but given her history with abortions some things she has stated has made her appear hypocritical.

The annoyance factor hit a high note a couple of weeks ago when she and D.L. Hughley started to spread false information about men on the “down low” spreading HIV to their unsuspecting girlfriends. (This all spawned from a discussion regarding gay men being banned from donating blood. The point that was trying to be made was that if black women are contracting the virus at a growing rate should that demographic be banned as well). Anyways, this tumbled down to downlow gay men spreading HIV to their girlfriends.

The problem here is not gay sex or straight sex. The problem is unprotected sex. The problem with Ms. Shepherd and Mr. Hughley is that they not only failed to acknowledge this, but they also failed to acknowledge the various other ways the virus is spread (hello needles.) And ABC’s refusal to correct this sucks monkey balls.

Back to the twitter…well the past couple of days made me realize how often she twats…she twats about busting her ass…about eating dinner with another celebrity…about going to the salon…about being celibate…all day she twats. Today she twatted about how over 3D movies and complained that the only movie theater playing the movie she wanted to see (the non 3D version) airs after her sons bedtime.

I couldn’t control it. I twatted back “There are bigger problems in this world.” I don’t know if she will read it…but the force and speed at which I struck the keys sounded nice and relieved some of my frustration.

So, am I being a dick?