Friday, February 28, 2014

Ellen Page (still) won't date you

Brain is mush from the inevitable cold-weather-doesn't-cause-colds-or-does-it cold, so I will leave you with a post I'd thought up back when my brain was somewhat less mushy, but have written in the full-on-mush state:

It's often said that gay actors and actresses can't come out because of the legions of mostly-hetero crush-bearing fans. And whenever this comes up, I wonder the same thing: why? Do fans imagine they actually have a chance with celebrities? If Harry Styles turns out to be gay (and I have no opinion on the matter), does that make him significantly less available to the girls and women 12-42 with crushes on him? Does the fact that Ellen Page is an out lesbian mean that you, shlub, no longer stand a chance with her, considering that the presumed-straight-until-stated-otherwise Page also wouldn't have given you a second look?

I understand there's a parallel phenomenon of every good-looking male actor being told to come out already by a portion of his gay male fan base, when this, too, may be wishful thinking... or maybe he's been spotted at whichever clubs and this is known in some circles, circles that don't include my bit of suburban Central NJ. Perhaps this isn't such a thing with good-looking actresses (or does one now say female actors?), what with the female-sexuality-is-fluid presumption. There's always the chance that men would be titillated by an actress coming out; when actors do, their screaming female fans, what, go into mourning?

I suppose what makes me wonder why this is a thing is that my own preferred male celebrities tend to be multilevel unattainable - like, gay or dead, gay and dead, or probably alive and probably straight but not what they were in 1980 or whatever, or Keanu Reeves, or possibly attainable but I've seen them walking around Park Slope and when not onscreen, they're nothing special. (Not naming names, but this could probably be inferred.) Part of this is that I'm married and thus not looking to date anybody, famous or otherwise, but even when single, the list would have been more or less the same. I didn't and don't stand a chance with celebrities, and that's just fine. (Exception: the 1990s B-list sitcom actor, now dating a famous model, who shot me an admiring glance once in Los Angeles. But he was never one of my favorites. This is merely an exception-that-proves-the-rule humblebrag.)

Never-gonna-happen is part of the fun of the celebrity crush, and basically defines it. The leap necessary to imagine that Mila Kunis would drop Ashton for you is so huge that it can't possibly matter what Kunis's sexual orientation is. Once you're using your imagination, you can imagine whatever you please. As long as you're leaving the people in question alone, you can imagine them at whichever age, with whichever taste, that you like.


MikeWebkist said...

I feel it's likely this is a holdover from the dark-old-ages (of, what, 10 years ago?) when the majority of Americans (it was assumed) saw homosexuality as a moral failing. An actor's gayness would be gossip (and unattractive) in the same way as drug use or a predilection for pre-teens.

Being gay doesn't reduce popularity because it makes them less available, but because it makes them less attractive to people who still find it immoral.

Phoebe said...

Why do you think it's either-or? Yes, there are fans who are consciously or unconsciously homophobic. But - and perhaps if I'm in more of a doing-unpaid-research mood later, I'll Google for more examples - there's also the element of, once it's known that (to give the most recent example) Ellen Page is gay, her male fans will be disappointed that they no longer stand a chance. I vaguely remember this with Ricky Martin, possibly even Liberace, although that I can't say I remember firsthand!

What might help you see this is, consider The Beatles. Not gay, but, early on, more married or coupled than was considered desirable. They had to give the impression of being single because of all the crushes.