Skip

I'm looking at YOU, Anderson Cooper
May 31, 2007 9:09 PM   Subscribe

As Wolfdaddy put it last time we did this: "Yeah, like we didn't know that already." - So as the Glass Closet gets a tad smaller, might we be rapidly approaching that long hoped-for "tipping point" where those inside the glass no longer feel the need to play word games and dance around who they are, instead of standing up to be counted?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher (63 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
If we reach the tipping point, does that mean we'll stop seeing news items and posts about who is or isn't gay or straight or trisexual?

Because that'd be great. Indicative of a nicely well adjusted society.

And this is news? The man is so light in his penny-loafers that when they tried to immortalize his footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater it didn't leave any marks. No, it's true! Go look for yourself. No footprints!
posted by loquacious at 9:28 PM on May 31, 2007


The main link is intended to be the Musto column, actually. Pierce is background.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:31 PM on May 31, 2007


"Yeah, like we didn't know that already."

Exactly. I sold DHP and his partner some speakers a couple of years ago, and they were making no attempt to hide their couple-ness. Not going out of their way to be noticed either. Kinda like it should be, just living life.

One of the nicest guys I met in that job actually. We had tons of 'celebrities' coming through our shop, and the folks who didn't care whether you recognized them were so much nicer than the ones who did OR didn't want to be seen...
posted by pupdog at 9:32 PM on May 31, 2007


Wait. RuPaul is a man? A GAY man?
posted by ColdChef at 9:36 PM on May 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


ummm, who cares?

Seriously, who cares who anyone fucks, or should be fucking, or should be fucked by.

Grow up!
posted by Eekacat at 9:37 PM on May 31, 2007


Wait, Jodie Foster is gay? GODDAMNIT. Ok, now I care.
posted by loquacious at 9:39 PM on May 31, 2007




Hold on, is Jodie Foster gay or does Out just want to think she is? Because if she is, I need to seriously and immediately re-think some of my priorities in life.

[this is an emergency]
posted by psmith at 9:41 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


The part I found interesting was not, as people seem to be focusing on, who the people were, which is why they weren't even named in the FPP, but the fact that these self-outings seem to have been occurring pretty rapidly in the past year, with people who have been in the spotlight for decades prior to now. Have things really changed so much in the last year or two? Not that I've noticed.. so why the sea change? Or is it just a statistical blip.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:44 PM on May 31, 2007


John Hinckley Jr.'s going to be pissed.
posted by Stan Chin at 9:44 PM on May 31, 2007


Oh shit. Hi loquacious. This preview button, it vibrates like I dream Jodie does?
posted by psmith at 9:44 PM on May 31, 2007


instead of standing up to be counted?

Hey that's noble! Once I get my number, will I have to pay for the tattoo, or will that be provided?
posted by nervousfritz at 9:50 PM on May 31, 2007


John Kenneth Fisher, I understand your intent and I apologize. Please understand you've just unwittingly caused the psmith boudoir to go defcon 2.

To put it in context, Alexei de Sadesky has just seen the Big Board and we're in General Ripper mode over here.
posted by psmith at 9:53 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hold on, is Jodie Foster gay or does Out just want to think she is?

Jodie Foster has been one of the most well known closet (but-not-really) cases of the last few years. Out.com is not making this up.
posted by rkent at 9:55 PM on May 31, 2007


Anagram for David Hyde Pierce:

YEP. I DID CRAVE HED. (so close...)
posted by ColdChef at 9:55 PM on May 31, 2007


Yes, we have indeed reached or are about to reach the tipping point. Gays in America are finally going to get civil equality in the next few years.
posted by LarryC at 9:56 PM on May 31, 2007


I'll believe that when I see it.
posted by trip and a half at 10:19 PM on May 31, 2007


Wait, there was a point at which David Hyde Pierce was thought to be straight? Was this perhaps during his lesser known "pre-natal" phase?

The only thing I wish Takei would come out about is his real voice, because that nasal, octave-too-low, da-DAH, da-DAH, da-DAAHHH thing he does is not how he normally sounds.
posted by adipocere at 11:03 PM on May 31, 2007


the fact that these self-outings seem to have been occurring pretty rapidly in the past year

It's no so much a recent spate of "self-outings" as it is a recent spate of news items referring to "partners" or "sightings", which then forces the celeb mentioned to issue a "yep, I'm gay" statement. I'm not saying that these aren't far more gentle outings (more "nudgeings", really) than those from back in the days of rampant and vitriolic outings, but none of the people mentioned here woke up one day and decided to come out to the press. The press outed them.
posted by tzikeh at 11:05 PM on May 31, 2007


Eekacat writes 'ummm, who cares?'

Given that the whole world seems to care what party Paris Hilton went to last night, or where Tom Cruise is going to take a shit tomorrow, then it's pretty clear that who a celebrity is or isn't fucking is going to be pretty high up on the global interest agenda.

If *you* don't care, then why not just ignore it and move on to the next item that *does* interest you?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:52 PM on May 31, 2007


Yes, we have indeed reached or are about to reach the tipping point. Gays in America are finally going to get civil equality in the next few years.

I sure hope the pendulum starts swinging the other way, LarryC. The state referendums and all-around bashing from the right the last few years are not signs of a healthy, equality-focused society.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:07 AM on June 1, 2007


So David Hyde Pierce is gay? That's nice. The important question is when is he going to reprise his role as Sideshow Bob's brother.

And after reviewing that CBS slideshow, I have a terrible fear that I was the only person in the world who didn't know that Fred Schneider is gay. Please tell me that this came as news to somebody else as well.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:41 AM on June 1, 2007


It takes a lot of strength to turn the most interesting thing about yourself into the least interesting thing. Cheers to DHP for finally standing up for who he is and letting everyone who ever wondered or cared (not me) to just get over it.
posted by litfit at 3:05 AM on June 1, 2007


You know why people feel like they have to hide their sexuality? Because a set of mistranslated, plagarised Bronze-age myths are still being misinterpreted by a powerful cabal of pig-ignorant homophobes.

Just thought I'd clear that up.

p.s. Chuck Palahniuk came out, too.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:08 AM on June 1, 2007 [5 favorites]


Exactly. I sold DHP and his partner some speakers a couple of years ago, and they were making no attempt to hide their couple-ness. Not going out of their way to be noticed either. Kinda like it should be, just living life.

Well, quite. Which is why the language of "standing up to be counted" makes me a little nervous - how many of us feel the need to disclose aspects of our personal lives that are not immediately obvious to our employers, or people we happen too encounter briefly when not around our partners? David Hyde Pierce is in an interesting position, of course, where his main employers are TV executives, who probably do not care about his sexuality, except inasmuch as it affects his relationships with his, and their, other employers, the viewing public and the advertisers who sell to them, who might. Is the US in the same place as the UK, where an openly gay man can play an openly bisexual supporting hero in the most popular early-evening, family-oriented TV show in the country? I don't know if that's a meaningful comparison, really.

So, personally I don't think that anyone should need to conceal their sexuality, or indeed advertise it, unless it makes them happy to do so. I appreciate people, in and out of the public eye, who are open about who they are, and respect the choice they have made. However, I don't think it's entirely fair to say "just come out, already", unless you have first ensured that the person in question will, as a result of your efforts, not be disadvantaged or made the recipient of prejudice or mistreatment as a result of their having come out. There's also the issue of personal and private space - should a transperson be compelled to "come out"? Is not doing so playing word games or dancing around, or just not making one's entire identity a public property? Trickier than it looks, possibly.
posted by tannhauser at 3:12 AM on June 1, 2007


Whenever I see something about who is and who isn't gay, it weirds me out a little (and that's no small feat). It's like running around and asking people how often they masturbate. "C'mon, the community of compulsive masturbators is counting on you!" I don't see anything wrong with masturbation, but I'm also not keeping track of who likes to jerk off most.
posted by Eideteker at 4:44 AM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


And if you don't see the parallel, please hire a publicist and have them issue a press release announcing that you masturbate three times a day, next to a smiling glossy of your face, and see how long you keep your day job.
posted by Eideteker at 4:46 AM on June 1, 2007


Most of our jobs don't involve hiring publicists or releasing press releases about ourselves as a general part of managing our interaction with the working environment, though, do they? So, relating this back to context, as long as you don't do it over your boss or mother-in-law, your question has no real impact on how you fit into society or are treated by it. It may not be necessary for being gay to be anything other than a descriptor of the gender for whom somebody feels sexual desire, at least in some cases, but right now it is, and has a large number of concomitant attitudes and assumptions, treatments and subsequently issues like whether one will be professionally or personally disadvantaged by revealing or not revealing these details of one's romantic and sexual construction, or what sense of obligation to your community you may think exists to be visible.

So, the fascination may be just as weird and prurient, but I think the situation is different.
posted by tannhauser at 4:54 AM on June 1, 2007


I have a terrible fear that I was the only person in the world who didn't know that Fred Schneider is gay.

Damn CBS. We were trying to surprise you!
posted by octobersurprise at 5:30 AM on June 1, 2007


I suppose my feeling is that the more casually out people are, the more people will realize how casually normal it is. Sure, family/friends will have more impact than random celebrity, but if you don't think some people sat back and rethought their prejudices after, say, Ian McKellen came out, or for that matter, Rob Halford, you're mistaken.

I think there is a difference between calling for a public figure to come out and a non-public figure. They both should, IMO, (barring them being in a situation where that would cause unavaoidable and serious repercussions), but the public person, I feel, has a duty to.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:45 AM on June 1, 2007


If *you* don't care, then why not just ignore it and move on to the next item that *does* interest you?
posted by PeterMcDermott


Gee, why don't you just do the same with my comment? Didn't realize you were elected to the Mefi comment police.

I'm also sorry to confuse you Mr McDermott, my comment was directed at the whole outing thing rather than this thread itself, though it is a part of the whole celebrity fascination that makes for such quality media as "The Star", "The National Enquirer" or "Entertainment Tonight". It would be nice if gay or straight wasn't as big of an issue as whether or not Paris Hilton was wearing panties last night. I'll try to make my comments a little less subtle in your interest in the future.
posted by Eekacat at 6:03 AM on June 1, 2007


though it is a part of the whole celebrity fascination that makes for such quality media as "The Star"

(sigh) I should have just not mentioned him at all - this is being seen as a "celeb comes out" post, when that link was added on preview as an offhand example of what I was talking about...
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:12 AM on June 1, 2007


So I guess this means that Kelsey Grammer is yet another Republican hypocrite who owes the bulk of his success to a gay man.
posted by Optamystic at 6:34 AM on June 1, 2007


I have a terrible fear that I was the only person in the world who didn't know that Fred Schneider is gay.

Even when I set my gaydar to 1, I know that Fred Schneider is gay.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:54 AM on June 1, 2007


p.s. Chuck Palahniuk came out, too.

You know, I tried to explain this to all those guys watching Fight Club ... that the movie was STUFFED with cock, and the movie was quite homoerotic.

No one believed me. All they chose to see was the most obvious of teh cock. WHO'S LAUGHING NOW MUTHAFUCKERS!

Oooo, my first namecheck FPP, too. Rawk.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:22 AM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I thought he had officially come out ages ago. He's been active in community events for years.
posted by amberglow at 7:40 AM on June 1, 2007


On preview: I had no idea Chuck Palahniuk was inFight Club was written by Jim Uhls and directed by David Fincher. I don't know if Palahniuk got editorial cock control.

I suppose my feeling is that the more casually out people are, the more people will realize how casually normal it is.

I'd certainly agree with this, but I think it is also worth noting that so far as I can tell neither Neil Patrick Harris nor David Hyde Pierce woke up one day and decided casually to come out. Harris, I believe, came out because he was about to be outed - not by people aiming to compel him to do his duty, but to create saleable news. The decision was made as media management. Now, in a perfect world this would not be something that would need to be managed, but this perfect world does not exist, and I am not totally convinced that people coming out under duress necessarily helps to create it, although if they then are seen to be able to enjoy continued success and are happier as a result, this may well send a message about the advantages of coming out more generally.

Duty is, however, a complex thing. Personally, my comfort level is at hypocrisy - if a closeted gay man or lesbian is, for example, declaiming about sexual morality and condemning homosexuality, it is in my opinion not only right that that person should declare his or her sexual orientation, but if necessary for that person to be outed, because that hypocrisy is hurting people. Somebody who runs a sexual health charity who refuses to discuss their sexuality - a bit kooky, but not really upsetting for me. You could argue that simply by not coming out, a public figure is harming other gay men and lesbians through invisibility, and that's a viewpoint I have a lot of sympathy for. On t'other hand, I can't help but think of Justin Fashanu, whose coming out caused a venomous outpouring of homophobia that ultimately destroyed his career and his life. How far does duty extend? Is it wrong for an individual to choose privacy, simply by dint of that person being in the public eye?
posted by tannhauser at 7:45 AM on June 1, 2007


Sorry, HTML mixup in the first sentence. I think it's still understandable, but there's a missing ".", and then a much more polite introduction to the next sentence. Stupid angle brackets.
posted by tannhauser at 8:15 AM on June 1, 2007


Yeah. Read one Chuck Palahniuk, aside from maybe Choke or Survivor, and it's pretty obvious. I did get my private giggles when the really homophobic guys I knew were so into Fight Club.

But, yeah, I live in a state where we passed some kind of "defense of marriage" (gagworthy) amendment. I felt so ashamed I wanted to personally apologize to the gay couple next to me, on behalf of the people in Missouri who aren't stuck in an era of Victorian repression.

Hollywood, and the entertainment business in general, are a different strata of society. What happens in Hollywood, well, it doesn't stay in Hollywood, but it only penetrates to a superficial, checkout stand gossip level. Nobody thinks their vote on some homophobic legal act about marriage (and why does a religious ceremony make a damn bit of difference to our financial and civil rights, anyway) has any correspondence to, say, David Hyde Pierce committing himself in some tasteful, quiet ceremony to his partner of choice.

It will take a long time for acceptance, a very long time, and it isn't as if America has managed to learn any lessons - less than sixty years ago, interracial couples faced some serious legal hurdles, much less social, to their acceptance. Everyone has forgotten about it, including some very prominent Southern congregations who come out strongly opposed to gay marriage.

People just don't learn.
posted by adipocere at 8:18 AM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


As T.R. Knight said: "While I prefer to keep my personal life private, I hope the fact that I'm gay isn't the most interesting part of me."

And really, whether it's Jodie or T.R. of D.H.P or whoever, being gay isn't the most interesting part of them. The fact that this is boring is, for me, a middle-aged gay man, a sign of progress.
posted by Robert Angelo at 8:40 AM on June 1, 2007


MetaFilter: STUFFED with cock, and the movie was quite homoerotic.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:04 AM on June 1, 2007


As Neil Patrick Harris said: "I don’t feel that my job description is ‘advocate.’ My job description is ‘jester.’"

I like what he says more than Knight. Ironic website, though, neh?
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:20 AM on June 1, 2007


I have a terrible fear that I was the only person in the world who didn't know that Fred Schneider is gay.

Your worst fear has been realized.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:22 AM on June 1, 2007


Also, this. YouTube, NSFW language.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:23 AM on June 1, 2007


"Hold on, is Jodie Foster gay or does Out just want to think she is? Because if she is, I need to seriously and immediately re-think some of my priorities in life."

Don't worry— like all lesbians, she just needs a good dicking to come back to the hetero fold.

And maybe that's why Palahniuk's sex scenes are so risible.

Still, and I realize this could be my own weirdness here, I really prefer when gay people I interact with are out. Though I guess this is somewhat a biased sample, in that I'm sure there are gay guys who I've known who I haven't known were gay (either deeply closetted or never came up), but so many of the folks who I know who have come out since I've known them have been totally uncomfortable about everything while in the closet. That squirmy and darting sense about them seems to disappear once they're out, and man, that makes a huge difference in being friends with them.
posted by klangklangston at 10:10 AM on June 1, 2007


I am surprised about Palahniuk, but call me when they get Clooney.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:58 AM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Personally, my comfort level is at hypocrisy - if a closeted gay man or lesbian is, for example, declaiming about sexual morality and condemning homosexuality, it is in my opinion not only right that that person should declare his or her sexual orientation, but if necessary for that person to be outed, because that hypocrisy is hurting people.

In related news -- Reverend Haggard's Alleged Lover Writes Tell-All Book.
posted by ericb at 12:25 PM on June 1, 2007


It will take a long time for acceptance, a very long time...

The trend is heading in the right direction --

American Support of Gays Up Significantly
"American acceptance of gay rights is at its highest level in 30 years, according to a national poll released Tuesday.

A Gallup Poll shows that 59 percent of Americans believe that "homosexual relations between consenting adults" should be legal.

...Support for same-sex marriage also rose to an all-time high. Though supporters are still the minority, 46 percent of respondents believe marriages between same-sex couples should be legally validated.

The most support comes in relation to equality in the workplace, with 89 percent believing that gays 'should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities.'"
"And time is definitely on our side...
Among those 18-34 years of age, 75% say it’s acceptable while 23% do not.

Among those aged 35-54, it’s still 58% acceptable; 39% not.

You have to go to the 55+ age group to find a majority disapproving, and even there the level of acceptance is quite high (45% acceptable; 51% not)."*
posted by ericb at 12:46 PM on June 1, 2007


Blazecock: I sure hope the pendulum starts swinging the other way, LarryC. The state referendums and all-around bashing from the right the last few years are not signs of a healthy, equality-focused society.

Good point, but look also at the states such as Oregon creating a "marriage lite" for gays that is functionally equivalent to marriage. More importantly, look at the polls showing overwhelming numbers of young people--even young evangelicals--who are basically cool with gays.

I think that the future history of the struggle for gay rights in America will say that the Republicans made homosexuality a political issue to shore up their sagging base and that it backfired on them. Despite a few initial successes, the biggest impact of the attempt to demonize gays was to make a whole lot of Americans in the middle realize that anti-gay prejudice is wrong.

It is hard to explain completely, but I think you can feel it in the culture. We are at the tipping point and there is no going back.
posted by LarryC at 3:44 PM on June 1, 2007


Despite a few initial successes, the biggest impact of the attempt to demonize gays was to make a whole lot of Americans in the middle realize that anti-gay prejudice is wrong.

Agreed. Personally, I'm a firm believer in the kind of logic that credits Bull Connor with the overall success of the Civil Rights Movement. There are a whole lot of people who casually opposed integration, until they turned on their TVs, saw litte girls having dogs and fire hoses turned on them, and said to themselves "Dear God... is that the side I'm on?"
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:01 PM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]



I am surprised about Palahniuk, but call me when they get Clooney.


That still makes me sad. He's on our team from all indications but never talks either way (which is what all closetcases do--straight men don't ever keep quiet on their love life).
posted by amberglow at 4:13 PM on June 1, 2007


I say hooray for people being able to live their lives as themselves without a lot of fear and interference, and I hope someday that extends to everyone.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:20 PM on June 1, 2007


And who knows, maybe Clooney's bi?
posted by zoogleplex at 4:20 PM on June 1, 2007


"That still makes me sad. He's on our team from all indications but never talks either way (which is what all closetcases do--straight men don't ever keep quiet on their love life)."

And then there's wishful thinking. He's been married, and both Nicole Kidman and Michelle Pfeiffer have bet him that he'd knock someone up.
posted by klangklangston at 4:39 PM on June 1, 2007


And i know people who have played with him at clubs.

I'll take bi, but don't believe a word that a beard like Kidman says about others' sexuality.
posted by amberglow at 4:43 PM on June 1, 2007


It's just my gaydar going. He's hinky on the heteronormatometer. You know, he's a Dapper Dan man and all that. If amberglow's got my back then we've got him triangulated with the gaydar, the bi femme and the gay male instruments both getting readings. This is scientific.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:07 PM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


totally scientific. : >
posted by amberglow at 5:13 PM on June 1, 2007


Is this the line for volunteering for Ambrosia's scientific studies?

*forms line*
posted by Ynoxas at 8:41 PM on June 1, 2007


Radar knows too: Not even a little gay: George Clooney. How so incredibly not-gay is he? ... (and don't miss the photo caption) ; >
posted by amberglow at 7:23 AM on June 2, 2007


I think the fact that this is not, as far as I can tell, being considered particularly Big News by the mainstream media isa good sign.
posted by kyrademon at 5:35 PM on June 2, 2007


I hope for a day (soon?) when the next Neil Patrick Harris or David Hyde Pierce gets notified by press agent that they have to proactively announce gayitude and the person says--let 'em publish and then when ET comes around and asks them to confirm or deny, they say...who the fuck didn't know this and why the fuck should anyone care?

I mean, I didn't know or care about Harris, and I was surprised but not shocked when the Frasier show had a "coming out" episode & it was Bulldog --the surprise to me was that it wasn't DHP.

My gaydar isn't very good--I think mostly because I gave up caring who was gay a long time ago--but even I knew about Fred Schneider.

And I agree with klangklangston that out-gays are more comfortable to be around because they are not always trying to be furtive.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:25 AM on June 3, 2007


I'm just waiting for the apocalypse so we can see Kent Brockman's list.
posted by condour75 at 6:50 AM on June 6, 2007


Fred Schneider was the first person I ever actually understood outright to be gay. And that was somewhere around 'Private Idaho'.

Sorry, FoB.
posted by mephron at 8:55 AM on June 6, 2007


« Older Pets for the rich   |   Gypsy Punk Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post