Friday, March 25, 2005

Weekly BlogScan—"I am NOT GAY"

Madonna/Brittany kiss
  Madonna & Brittany swap spit.

Think about the social pressures that lead a person to feel the urge to declare publicly, "I am not gay."

This is an era when movies, main-stream media, blogs and school programs celebrate gay choice. Girl-on-girl snogging is part of prime-time TV, and gay marriage issues seem to drive national elections.

Yet you can still strike a nerve by claiming someone is gay.

Tom Cruise as Maverick shares steamy scene with Val Kilmer as Iceman
  Top Gun: "I'll share a steamy scene with you, but I'm not gay."

Celebrities have lots of problems with this issue. We have the extensive rotten.com writeup on Michael Jackson, for example, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. [Caution—the Arnold page contains an artistic nude shot.]

Tom Cruise sued a publisher for $100 million for claiming he had a videotape of gay sex starring the sex-idol, and settled out of court for an apology and a promise that the man would "never say such things again." Retro-Crush has the entire skinny on Cruise's legal declarations as the default blog page.

Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheart
    Braveheart: "It's not a dress, it's a kilt."

There are the shots of Mel Gibson in a kilt, from GQ in May 95, and his "deadly Scottish knife" that seem to have raised eyebrows in some places. Mel was quoted in a Spanish newspaper (El Pais): "Who might think that with this demeanor, I could be gay? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?" (Perhaps it lost some of its anger in the translation.)

Politicians have issues with being outed in error, as well. Ed Koch said nearly thirty years ago:
No, I am not a homosexual. If I were a homosexual, I would hope I would have the courage to say so. What's cruel is that you are forcing me to say I am not a homosexual. This means you are putting homosexuals down. I don't want to do that.
The following year, Oklahoma governor and U.S. Senate candidate David L. Boren had to swear an oath on a Bible that he was neither homosexual nor bisexual. Far more interesting is ex-Governor of New Jersey, James McGreevey, and the WorldNetDaily article headlined, "McGreevey is not gay." Ms. Harvey's contention (no one is really gay) fits better in a blog than in an online journal. But she gets some lateral support from the Classical Values blogspot, which notes that McGreevey's ex-aide (and alleged lover) stated he himself is also not gay.

Bloggers Matier and Ross let us know that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome had to make an "I am not gay" statement in just about every interview during his gay-marriage stint last year:
...especially on national TV—Newsom emphasized that he's straight, married, moderate and Catholic. The point being that even a moderate could support gay marriage—and by way of subtext, also let the world know that Gavin is not gay.

David Bowie
    David Bowie: "Just exploring!"

Sometimes the artist who unwittingly caused a flap needs to step forward on behalf of his creation, as when Stephen Hillenburg told the Wall Street Journal that SpongeBob SquarePants was definitely not gay. Even Phillipino bloggers are with Hillenburg on this (although t0nichi gives eight reasons why the male half of Barbie-and-Ken is gay).

Too bad no one stepped forward with a similar declaration for Teletubbie Tinky Winky. (There was once a blog at Cyberwolves Hosting claiming to have evidence that the big purple Teletubbie was straight, but the site is now defunct.)

There are generic "is not gay" posts all over. Jonathan Rowe, a "libertarian lawyer and college professor", wrote about what defines a bisexual (as opposed to a homosexual), using David Bowie and Mick Jagger as examples. Dr. Joseph Nicolosi defines "non-gay homosexuals: who are they?" (Hint: to find one, look in the closet.)

On the other hand, it doesn't get much more personal than with Daniel Evans, who discovered he had to convince his daughter he is not gay! Hey, kiddo—I'm suspicious, too. Your Dad has a link on his blog to MetroDad. 'Nuff said.
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