If you read only one blog full of ranting and raving about sports (local and otherwise), movies, TV shows, miscellaneous pop culture, life and other assorted flotsam and jetsam, make it this one!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Gays (And Others) Can Be Snarky

This pic spoils a moment from the recent Muppets movie.
If you still haven't seen it, as Scott Rolen once said,
"Sorry about your luck."
I can't help but be both amused and a little disappointed at the reactions to the news media's running of the story that actor Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" is gay. Now, he didn't make some big announcement about it. He didn't hold a press conference or do an interview with some gay publication. The information was made public in a New York Times profile of the actor, who's about to hit Broadway in "Harvey." Parsons previously did a stint on the stage in "The Normal Heart," a play about the rise of AIDS in the 1980s. Here's what the Times revealed, almost at the end of the story:
“The Normal Heart” resonated with him on a few levels: Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship, and working with an ensemble again onstage was like nourishment, he said.
That's all. But because he's never actually revealed this in an interview or talk show appearance or whatever, the rest of the news media is running "Jim Parsons comes out" stories. And that's understandable, even if it's sort of a misleading headline.

The reaction I've seen on my Facebook and Twitter feeds has mostly run along the lines of "Who didn't know that?" or "When was he in the closet?" -- again, I understand it, to an extent. It's been talked about and rumored and even assumed. But there's also, to me, an undercurrent of "This isn't news -- why is the media bothering to report this?"

Well, it IS still news and, more importantly, it still needs to be said by people such as Jim Parsons.
Unless a famous person "makes it official," so to speak, there are still going to be misguided, deluded individuals who will refuse to consider the possibility that their favorite star is gay. Some will hold on to their fantasy that they can one day meet said star, have that star fall in love with them and then marry and run off and live happily ever after. Others, with their religious beliefs tainting everything, may think that such a nice, clean-cut young man (by the way, Jim Parsons is 39!) couldn't possibly be one of those nasty, nasty queers.

And there's that little matter of semantics: whether someone is openly gay who hasn't actually made it official. I believe that you have to make it publicly known to be truly considered "out." Even if a gay actor dates men or lives with his boyfriend, and all his friends and family know it, if the media doesn't actually report on it then  to me he's not "out." No matter how much we may consider him "one of ours," it's just not complete. Jim Parsons is now out. Anderson Cooper, to cite a prominent example, is not. Like it or not, no matter how gay he seems, he is not out. And that's fine. It's his choice and his life.

And in a day and age where, despite all the progress that's been made there are still many evil, repulsive, hatemongering politicians, "religious leaders," etc. trying to destroy us, every single famous person who goes on the record is a good thing. So no matter how obvious it is, I'm still happy that Jim Parsons put it out there once and for all.

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