Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly daydream-y, I imagine living in a world in which we don’t constantly hound our famous people on their sexual orientation, when we can admit that that particular element of their lives has absolutely nothing to do with their careers. I’m hoping it’s less far off than it seems, but until the moment comes when there isn’t a stigma attached to it, I’m glad we have people like Joseph Gordon-Levitt to help us navigate.
In a recent interview with Out Magazine, JGL was asked about a short film he made ten years ago called ‘Pictures Of Assholes’, in which he films the same paparazzi who are trying to film him. In the film, he asks them about their motives for doing so, and after refusing to answer for a while, they admit that they filmed him because he was with a male friend:
“We saw a young star with another guy, and it’s implied that there’s something going on. The whole gay thing — it intrigues people.”
“That would be really tacky—they would win if I had to clarify.”
For me, that response is perfect. We shouldn’t even be asking stars about their sexuality in the first place, because that’s none of our business. You wouldn’t ask a non-famous stranger, or even a new friend or acquaintance that you didn’t know that well, so why do you feel you’re entitled to the information when it’s a celebrity? Why do you feel the need to invade yet another aspect of their life when there are already so many aspects of their privacy that they can’t control?
I agree that it’s a great thing when celebrities do decide to come out publicly, because it sets a great example for young fans who might be struggling with their own identities, but just because some people do that doesn’t mean it’s not a choice. These people don’t owe us anything, and it doesn’t matter either way, so why is it so important that we hound them until we finally get the answer that we want to hear or that we’ve believed all along?
That’s what I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt is getting at, and why I respect his response so much. I’m sure he knows his deal, and that his family does, and his friends, so arguing with a camera-toting stranger on a dark street corner in 2003 as if there’s something wrong with the implication that he might not be straight could not be further from productive.
(Image: Dennis Van Tine / Future Image / WENN.com)