Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gay Celebrities: Why It Shouldn't Really Matter

Another celebrity has officially come out. To which we tend to say, "Uh, who cares?"

OK, that comes across as really harsh, and it's not what we really mean. Here at Pop Tarts Headquarters, we think it is great that more famous people feel comfortable enough with themselves that they can be openly who they are. It can be so powerful for other gay people to see that they're not alone, and just like celebrities like Kelly Osbourne can help destroy peoples' self-esteems with bodysnarking, gay celebrities coming out can help boost gay peoples' self-esteems and confidence. So...good on you, Zachary Quinto, for publicly declaring your sexuality. Honestly. But really, who cares?

Because we have to ask ... What does it matter if an actor is gay or straight? The whole point of acting is to be someone you are not, so the real personal life of the actor shouldn't come into play at all unless it really affects their ability to do their jobs. *coughCharlieSheencough* Does knowing that Zachary Quinto is gay make Spock's romance with Uhuru any less believable? Does knowing that Neil Patrick Harris has a long-term same-sex partner and two kids make Barney Stintson any less funny? Does knowing that Jane Lynch is a lesbian make Sue Sylvester any less or more of a brilliant character? No, to all three! Know why? Because the personal lives of actors (at least, good ones) don't effect their roles on screen.

Nobody should have to expose their private life if they choose not to. However, it is also important for celebrities to not hide who they are. For example, let's talk about Jodie Foster. In 2007, she publicly thanked her Cydney Bernard, who was long thought to be her girlfriend. But she never talked about it. Frankly, it would have been better if she felt like she could bring Bernard to events, but maybe she wouldn't have even if she were straight and had a boyfriend. Regardless, Foster isn't really closeted, but she's private about her personal life.

Or we could talk about Daniel Radcliffe. He is a pretty private person and no one ever really knows much about his relationship status. There had been quite a bit of speculation about if he had a girlfriend, but it was no secret that he is straight.

The alternative, of course, is something like what Sean Maher told Entertainment Weekly he experienced as a closeted gay man in Hollywood for years. He had to hide his longtime partner - they've been together for 9 years and have children together - and keep his friends from college who knew he was gay separated from his Hollywood friends. And that's just a shame.

In the end, it doesn't matter if actors and celebrities are gay and straight, and with more high-profile people coming out of the closet, we hope that eventually everybody can just be themselves.

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