Oh boy. This is a tough one for me to write. I haven't seen this much bullshit fly around in a video interview since Merv Griffin started "dating" Eva Gabor many years ago. Even though everyone in Hollywood knew Merv was gay, it was never disclosed in his lifetime the same way Liberace never disclosed he was gay. Neither one wanted to take the chance of coming out and ruining his brand. I understand that, because of the times in which they lived. I could go on with this closeted gay Hollywood list, but that's not the point. The point here is that Empire cast member, Jussie Smollet, did an interview with Ellen D. after rumors started to surface that Smollet is gay. And his response is somewhere in between incoherent, illiterate, and idiotic.
This is what Smollet said, in response to gay allegations:
“There’s never been a closet. That I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don’t have a closet, but I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home. … So that’s why I choose not to talk about my personal life. But there is without a doubt, no closet that I’ve ever been in, and I just wanted to make that clear, but it was most important for me to make that clear to you on your show at this time in the world. And that’s where I’m at.
“So, let’s not read into it in the wrong way when I say that I don’t talk about my personal life, I’m saying that. But it is in no way to hide or deny who God made me. You know? My mama knows. My mama likes me a lot. And, yes, I take her to the Sound of Music sing-along every single year. So, any questions? But honestly, we’re human and we love and we do all that good stuff. So I’m honored for this opportunity and I’m honored to be here with you.”
You really should watch the video to get the full picture. He never stops touching Ellen's hand, and I can't quite figure out the expression on Ellen's face. But I think she handled it well, at least as well as anyone can with an awkward guest who is not that significant, especially when there's that much crap flying around a room.
If he is gay, his ability to remain dead silent on the topic of being gay and still get all the rights he wants didn't come easily, and it didn't come without a price tag. I hope he realizes that one day. I didn't have the luxury of remaining in the closet. As I recall, Ellen didn't have that luxury either. And I find Smollet's glib, obtuse approach to this topic, idiot grammar and all, absolutely insulting to every single openly gay person who has fought for equality in the past fifty years. And I've never been one to believe that forcing someone to come out is wise.
The comments are interesting. It almost sounds as if because he's "cute" he should get a free pass. I wonder how these same people would have reacted if he were fifty pounds overweight and had a face like a mud fence.
Theresa Santai-Gaffney Running Again
This is about as political as I get here, and I'm doing it for a reason. Last year a small town register of wills named Theresa Santai-Gaffney challenged the ruling of Judge Jones when he declared the ban on marriage in Pennsylvania unconstitutional. In short, Santai-Gaffney and Tea Party members went on a full fledged campaign to keep same sex marriage in Pennsylvania illegal. She was shot down in court each time, and yet she and her Tea Party attorney continued until she exhausted every possibility there was to be the biggest loser in Pennsylvania.
Now she's running for re-election and I thought it was important to post about her so we never forget. And those of you who will be voting in her area in the upcoming months should take into consideration that the odds are you are either related to, or know someone, who is gay and who has been fighting for equality. It could be your brother, cousin, neighbor, best friend, or boss. We're everywhere now and we're not going to disappear...in or out of the closet.
It's also important to note that since gay marriage has become legal in PA, nothing at all has changed. The world didn't end, and it's not even front page news anymore. I don't even think this is a Democrat vs Republican issue anymore, especially since so many Republicans are now supporting equal rights for gays. Most Catholics, at least according to polls, support same sex marriage.
Santai-Gaffney is seeking the Republican nomination in the May 19 primary. She was first elected in 2011. She will have competition as Kerry L. Ansbach, 64, of Pottsville, who is the director of facilities and transportation for the Pottsville Area School District, is also running for the position.
There's more here, with a condensed version of her quest to stop gay marriage. Unfortunately, most people don't get too involved in small elections like this and mistakes tend to be repeated time and again. But it will be interesting to see how this turns out. She's already going down on the wrong side of history, and it would be nice to see someone else get a chance at her respected office.
Sam Smith and Homophobia
According to this article, openly gay singer Sam Smith has been out since he's been 11 years old. Unlike Jussie Smollet, Sam Smith has been fighting for his life and our equality most of his life. And he's been honest about it and he's paid more than his fair share of prices along the way. I don't think it's possible to say something negative about a man who has lived such a genuine life.
In his own words:
“The toughest time for me was my first year in secondary school when I hadn’t come out as gay. It was actually the denying of being gay that was getting me bullied.
Guys were asking me all the time, ‘Are you gay?’ I would say no and that would rile them up even more. I came out at the end of year seven when I was 11. That shut a lot of the bullies up.
A bunch of boys from a rival school would shout insults at me as I walked from my home to the train station.
I remember walking to the station getting ‘faggot’ shouted at me all the time.It was the most mortifying thing. Not so much for me. I knew these people were stupid, uneducated twats.
But I was upset as I was with my friends and I wondered if they were embarrassed to be walking with me because people are hurling abuse. I hated the fact my friends had to listen to that.”
Now that's why it's so important to come out, especially if you're in the public eye. Pay attention, Jussie Smollet, you might learn something about pride from Sam Smith. Pride is not just a day for fun and games, and comparing pride in coming out of the closet to your dresser is just plain dumb.
You can read more here.
Small Town Romance Writer
113,000 Word Gay Romance