Monday, March 8, 2010

Its About Time?

I am all for celebrities coming out of the closet. I am also against celebrities being outed by a third party (ala the hateful and vicious Perez Hilton). As someone who was out to most of his friends for a long time, but didn't come out to his immediate family until much later in life, I understand completely. And of course, my immediate family members all basically said "Yeah? And the sky is blue."

Still, it's not an easy thing to do. And I will admit, there are some elderly (75+) and very conservative Catholic* family members to whom I have not, and probably will not, come out. They are happy with the status quo; they don't have Internet access and - quite frankly - its none of their business. They all probably know, anyway, but would rather live in blissful ignorance than admit one of their own was 'one of them.' And honestly, that's fine with me.

Still, it makes me happy when a celebrity finally comes out. One more public voice added to the ranks means one more person whom people admire is gay. And that's never a bad thing. Such is the case with this interview (via) with "Will and Grace" co-star Sean Hayes, in which he finally admits that he is, in fact, gay. My response? "Yeah? And the sky is blue."

Many years ago, while appearing in NJ premiere production of Terrance McNally's Love! Valour! Compassion!, I met and befriended a young actor (now an Out and Proud bartender in San Francisco) who was still pretending to be straight. Most of the cast was openly gay and we all knew that this particular young man was gay, but we said nothing, because it wasn't our place to do so. Several months later, while appearing in a production of Uncle Vanya with the same young man, he came to me and admitted that he was, in fact, gay. My response? "Yeah? And the sky is blue." And his response was "Why is no one surprised?!" Because we all already knew, dear boy. Everyone did. But you had to find that out for yourself.

It's like the end of The Wizard of Oz (could I make a gayer reference?). "You had to find that out for yourself," Glinda tells Dorothy when she finally realizes "There's no place like home." Duh!

Okay - here's the thing; Coming out is a very personal and difficult experience which varies from person to person. Some of us have very positive experiences. Some of us don't. The point is, one should never be afraid to admit the truth, no matter how other people take it. If they don't like it, that's their problem, not yours. Personally, I wish I had come out to my family long before I did. But what's done is done. I guess what I'm saying is that those who love you, love you for who, not what you are.

So please come out, closeted celebrities (Damn! I just sank to Perez Hilton's level). Intelligent fans will still love you and your work. Stupid fans who no longer love you, never really loved you in the first place.

And please come out, closeted non-celebrities. Don't you know there is strength in numbers? The people who love you probably already know, and if they no longer love you after you come out, then they probably never did in the first place.

By the way, my friend Michael does the best Cher I've ever heard.

More, anon.

*Again - I am not saying the Pope is evil - just poking fun at the Catholic Church's antiquated views on the real world.

1 comment:

Shando said...

You guys were so wonderful when I came out!! Thank you and I will always hold those memories dear to my heart =)

From the "Out and Proud Bartender in SF"...and photographer too =)