Queer/Race

Behold, We Have Another One!

Posted in Uncategorized by saimaanika on April 8, 2010

**I just want to say that this is a topic that I have been looking at since I was in high school and it is not in any means a way of saying that “oh, I was shocked when I heard these celebrities coming out.” My saying that so and so should have come out when he/she figured out his sexuality for a while and when rumors are already flying about their sexuality and that they are hypocrites comes from my lifelong motto of “saying true to yourself” and I feel that “faking it” to others is a violation of your self worth.**

So, the other night, I was at my computer (which is my lifeline: I know, what a clichéd phrase)  and my mother walks really fast from the kitchen and tells me, “ Enrique Iglesias is gay!” We’re huge fans, can’t you tell? Then, she says “the people on the radio said that he didn’t come out before because his people said that it wouldn’t be good for his career” and I was like WHAT THE . . . . !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so sick and tired of hearing that sentence that he/she didn’t come out before because it would harm their career. We have heard about so many celebrities and their saying that. This issue has been pestering me quite a lot lately and hearing about Enrique was the last straw. I need to find out about the mindset behind this. This is ambiguous to me and it needs to be given more attention too. Hence, this blog is the “Look over Here!”

I don’t think this is just me. Remember the guy who did the “Leave Britney Alone!” (yeah, you remember!) video, well here he is again talking about the issue.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPj7N7W9S0I

I’m not queer, hence my comprehension and knowledge about the LGBT concepts, issues,  facts is only blooming, however shouldn’t people be true to themselves and embody their true sexuality when they figured out what it is. If they are proud and confident of their sexual orientation, shouldn’t they freely and openly talk about when they find out instead of waiting for several years to the point where people eventually just constantly gossips about your sexuality because they can sense it. If it is your career that’s stopping you from coming out, then maybe you shouldn’t be in an industry that blocks you from being yourself (sexual orientation is colossal aspect of one’s identity in my opinion). Also, people have gossiped for so long about their sexuality and “suspected” their queerness that when the celebrity announces their sexual orientation, it’s just stating the obvious at that point.  

Let’s take a look in the mind of these celebrities. Let’s just get to the nitty gritty, these celebrities come out only when it will lead to success to their career. They have lived their main 15 minutes of fame, it’s been a while since they were  on the front cover of the magazines (or even in a magazine), and it is the “perfect” opportunity  to come out with their sexuality so that they can make a few fast bucks and be the center of attention for a while. Seriously? I mean these people are supposed to be our idols and they always say phrases, such as “be true to yourself.”

With people like Enrique, Ricky, and Lance Bass (I used to be all gaga over him when I was younger), I feel like “they just pull it (true sexual orientation) out of their back pockets” (as Chris Rocker says in the video above) at a time when their careers are at a stand-still (or their 15 minutes of fame is over or stalled) and all of a sudden getting public and media attention after the announcement as well as some fast bucks because of public appearances or publishing books, etc, isn’t that saying that you’re a hypocrite and that you are not true to yourself.  

My mind constantly harkens back to the question, are they true to their sexuality? How in the world was it okay to be someone who they weren’t before they came out? For instance, Lance Bass would sing bubblegum pop songs about falling in love with girl for his love-crazed female fans and women would be all over him in the music videos. He let girls dream of him and fantasize over him thinking that he’s straight, as he portrayed to the media, and he wasn’t appalled by that since he wasn’t attracted to them? When he came out, he did mention that he was gay for many years and that his family and friends (including Britney Spears) knew about it. I rather die than pretend to be someone completely different while I’m another person inside. 
According to http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20061532,00.html, “He took years to really think about how he was going to tell everyone,” says his close buddy Fatone, 29. He knew for years!! And all that time he faked it. I just don’t know . . . 

For Enrique, ever since I was 8, I have had the most embarrassing crush on him and of course I still would be his number fan after his coming out, but if he was honest to himself and to us about his sexuality from the time he knew for sure, which must of been several years ago, then I would have the utmost respect for him and even though he is queer and I’m not, of course, I wouldn’t have any shame in being one of his biggest fans and still have the biggest crush on him.

How am I supposed to believe you when you have been lying to yourself, to you the most important person, for all these years?    

Take Lady Gaga, she talks about queer issues in her music from the start and is somewhat open about her own sexuality because I notice that in more profession interviews such with Barbara Walters (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16tRGakjiYY), she is more explicit about her sexuality, but vague and ambiguous when participating in more laid back formal interviews and takes time. Like one she took on Fuss (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiYM-OzG6yw).

I appreciate the honestly about your sexuality from when you know it because it is a true expression of yourself and you should be able to present your sexuality proudly in public.

I feel like instead of gay people, we  usually have non-queer and bisexual people aspects of discussing queerness through music, movies, and other forms of art spotlighted, or not, in the media rather than gay people (except for very few celebrities such as Adam Lambert, who I believe stated his sexual orientation basically from the start).  

I may come off as monotone and leave no room for the element of surprise or mystery, but when it comes to something as imperative as sexuality (a predominant aspect of your identity because one’s sexuality represents leads to other aspects of identity.  

At the end, I just need answers from these celebrities (would love to meet them someday not just for an autograph, but to be able to ask these questions and I expect a good answer). How could they live with themselves all this time? They had to lead their lives in obscurity until that stand-still in their career arrives and then that was the “only perfect time” to tell everybody. I need answers.

Am I exaggerating?

Does someone agree with me?

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2 Responses

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  1. cpeverley said, on April 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Instead of being angry with Enrique Iglesias and Lance Bass for hiding their “true identities” from you and from the world, why not take a look at the ways in which society forces them to do so? You ask, “if [celebrities] are proud and confident of their sexual orientation, shouldn’t they freely and openly talk about it when they find out instead of waiting for several years?” but I’m wondering what in American (or, in fact, global) culture would suggest to these people that homosexuality is something to be “proud and confident” about. Nothing that I can see, really.

    You also point out that, “if it’s your career that’s stopping you from coming out, then maybe you shouldn’t be in an industry that blocks you from being yourself.” Congress is debating right now about the passage of a bill protecting people from being fired because of their sexual orientation. I can think of very few careers in which there wouldn’t be negative consequences– whether if it’s in the esteem of your coworkers, your chance for a promotion, or even your ability to keep your job. You’re right, the entertainment industry is not exactly gay- or lesbian- friendly. But if celebrities fled the industry in protest, where exactly would they go? Education? Many parents take their children out of school because gay teachers might teach kids that it’s “okay to be gay.” Medicine? Many people wouldn’t “feel comfortable” around a gay doctor. Business? Being gay could interfere with your chances of getting a loan, getting investors, or getting good retail space, and many costumers would be hesitant to frequent any establishment that they’re afraid has a “gay vibe.”

    I don’t think anyone— “in” or “out”— would disagree that it’s awful to “pretend to be someone completely different while [they’re] another person inside.” Unfortunately, the sad reality is that to be successful—and sometimes, even to survive—it might be necessary.

  2. erobert8 said, on April 19, 2010 at 1:11 am

    When I first read your post, I full on agreed with you about Lance Bass. He was of course, always secondary to Justin Timberlake, but I was “that girl” that lusted after him in elementary school and then was shocked to hear about his public admittance to being gay in my high school years. It was a little embarrassing to know that I had “wasted” my attentions on someone who clearly would never return the favor (you know, in the rare chance that he would fly over to Montgomery County, Maryland and fall magically in love with me.)

    What really caught my attention though was the comment that cpeverley made regarding how American society would respond to him coming out while he was still in NSYNC. Honestly, I do feel that record sales would have dropped for them and they may have not been as successful as a boy band if his true identity had been revealed. I mean, look at what happened with the Dixie Chicks when they told their fans that they didn’t agree with President Bush’s stance on the Iraq War. A boycott immediately sprung up and various country music stations refused to play their music as well as fans rejecting their once loved musical group.

    However, on the other hand, there is the great NPH, otherwise known as Neil Patrick Harris. He’s the star of the TV sitcom How I Met Your Mother and despite being openly homosexual, the show is thriving! How can there be such a loss of translation in acceptance between the TV and music industries?


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