Joseph Gordon-Levitt Refuses To Say If He’s Gay Because We Shouldn’t Be Asking

Joseph Gordon-Levitt attending Toronto International Film Festival September 2013Sometimes 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.”



At the time, during the video, Joseph didn’t respond to the implication, or clarify his sexual orientation one way or the other, and he explains that in the Out interview, saying:

“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 /

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    • Olivia Wilson

      I love him so much!

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        He’s a wonderful creature.

    • Amy

      If he’s gay, he’s gay. If he’s straight, he’s straight. Honestly, I really don’t care either way. As long as he’s happy, his fans will be happy. And who ever said I can’t oggle a gay man? I do it all the time (I’m talking about you, NPH). But, if he wants a private life, let him have it. He’s lived so much of his life in the public eye, he deserves parts that are private.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Seriously! He grew up in the limelight, so give the kid a break. He’s already much kinder to these intrusive forces than I would be, in his place.

    • Arlene S.

      I just love him, and I always have since I saw him in (500) Days of Summer! And I will continue to love him and pine for him whether he is gay or straight. I think that a lot of people are thinking this, and this is my opinion, because no one really knows anything about his past relationships. I have never seen any pics of him with anyone, male or female. He is a successful young man, multi talented, and brilliant in every way, so why would it matter what his orientation is? People are just curious creatures, hell even I wouldn’t mind knowing! But whether he is or isn’t, I will still love him and respect him! He will let us know if he wants, on his own terms, when he’s ready.

      • annejumps

        There are pictures of him with Lexy Hulme, his girlfriend at the time a few years ago, out there. But in recent years he hasn’t gone to events with dates.

      • Alexis Rhiannon


    • Toby1

      Good for him. And it shows he is confident enough to not give a damn what the press and their paparazzi goons and their dumb-ass followers think. None of your business. Move along.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Exactly. Love it.