Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bill's Media Watch: Bisexual Celebrities

The Internet has given rise to lots of articles, posts and message boards about sexuality, gay and bisexual, and when it is celebrity-oriented, as it so often is, it can be awfully un-informative and even ridiculous.

A piece by Trevor Pittinger for PressroomVIP published last year purports to identity many bisexual celebrities. The piece rarely tries to discern if these so-called "celebrities" -- half of which I never heard of -- are truly bisexual or just cop-out artists, but certain things became apparent right away.

First, there are many, many more female celebrities on the list than male, which seems to correspond with which sex most uses the bisexual label in the "real" world.

Second, there are several celebrities who say they are bisexual (and then qualify it) when they are interviewed by the gay publication The Advocate. One celeb stated afterward that she really meant she was only open to the "idea" of bisexuality. Another guy said he was 100% straight that year but -- who knows? -- he might become attracted to a good-looking guy in the next year. [For Pete's sake, by this time he would certainly know if he was sexually attracted to men or not!] In other words, celebs will not come out as gay, but often feel it necessary to come out as bi in the pages of The Advocate or some other gay publication or to a gay interviewer.

Third, some people automatically call themselves bisexual simply because they were once in a  heterosexual relationship. The bi label may fit in some cases, but in many more cases we've got homosexuals living with or married to the opposite sex until they feel comfortable recognizing they're gay, come out, get divorced, etc.

Four, the "bi" label seems safe to some celebs who either aren't quite ready to come out as gay, or hope that being seen as bisexual will make them seem more hip and more appealing, especially to gay fans. Then we have to deal with the reality that there are certainly celebrities for whom every relationship and marriage is more of a career move than anything else. Some of these self-obsessed celebrities -- be they gay, straight or bisexual -- are on the emotional level of eight year olds, and are incapable of sustaining any kind of life-long truly loving relationship.

The most ridiculous thing in the piece -- Celebrity Playground: See Who Swings Both Ways -- is that it includes the "actor" Channing Tatum, but then says that he isn't bisexual, but has simply appeared in some gay-friendly movies! Talk about cop-outs!

There may well be genuine bisexuals in the world, but I confess to being a doubting Thomas when it comes to some of the guys on this list. Few if any of the people in the article are really big names. Only Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City seems put-upon for being bisexual. David Bowie likes it, and others seem to think it's no big deal. [In Saturday Night Fever one character says that Bowie is bisexual. To which another character replies, "Yeah, men and boys!"]

Then we have the politically incorrect but obvious factor that many even essentially homosexual men identity as bisexual because of the "stud" factor -- a man can't be a "real" man unless he has sex with  women. It's "okay" that he has sex with guys because his sexual and romantic relationships are primarily with women [supposedly] -- which he is sure to let us know as often as possible. And this sort of thing happens much, more more often than people realize.

The thing is that the Internet is full of stuff like this that hardly contributes to a serious discussion on gay or bisexual issues. Now, there's nothing necessarily wrong with a light-hearted or comical approach to a piece, but what bothers me is the suggestion that we take all of this at face value. Some people actually buy everything they read.

Finally, one of the celebrities is a comedian named "Andy Dick" -- I couldn't make this up -- and he seems perturbed at the very suggestion that he might be, duh, gay. Fine, if he's bisexual, who cares? But why act as if there's something wrong in being gay? [As I've said before, it's as if it's verboten for gays to be biphobic, but perfectly okay for bisexuals to be homophobic.]

However, I must add that the article is comprised of quotes from other sources, so Mr. Dick and everyone else may have had their remarks taken out of context. In any case, while it may not exactly be an example of great journalism, -- although it's put together as well as any fluff piece I've read --  I've no doubt some people found it fun or intriguing, as is the case with so much mindless crap on the Internet these days. 

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