family ties

3 of the Best Celebs With Gay Siblings. And 3 Of The Absolute Worst

It was hard not to get misty as Colin Farrell‘s recently expressed love and admiration for his gay older brother, Eamon. Of the bullies that used to regularly beat and taunt Eamon, Colin said, “They missed out because they saw him as a threat – not as a testament to the kaleidoscope and diversity of this beautiful world.” Awww (no really, awww)! Farrell has always been tight with his bro, but how many of our own family members would go so far as to issue a press release praising us in support of an anti-homophobia campaign? (How many of our own family members even know how to issue a press release?) So we started searching for other celebrities who support their gay siblings and found just as many bad pairs as we found good. Let the love and hate begin!

TWO HOT HEROES: Scott and Chris Evans

On the surface, it might seem that Fantastic 4 actor Chris Evans might have an uneven relationship with the gays. After all, he unwittingly outed his brother, Scott, in an interview with a soap opera website. Then he told The Advocate that he won’t go to gay bars with his brother, fearing a snapshot of bad publicity. He also donned bad drag as Milo Ventimiglia’s backup singer for 2000 TV series Opposite Sex and played a sociopath who rapes a teenage boy in the film, Fierce People.

Nevertheless, Chris is slated to play bisexual literary hunk, Jack Kerouac, in the upcoming film Kill Your Darlings and has said of gay marriage, “It’s mindboggling and appalling that human beings are being denied civil rights in this country… I have to believe that in 10 years we won’t be having this conversation. We’ll be having another one, because we’ll always find someone to persecute.”

His younger and openly gay brother Scott doesn’t mind Chris’s aversion to gay bars, saying, “People have trouble minding their own business when it comes to that sort of thing… It was nerve-wracking to tell my brother [I was gay]… Chris has been my best friend for so long, and he is someone I looked up to. I don’t know why I thought it was going to be such a problem. When I did tell him, looking back on it, it was one of the easiest things I had to do. It’s almost funny.”

According to Scott the two aren’t competitive. Chris went straight from high school to acting; Scott completed college. The two work in different realms and support each other very much. If anything Scott has his own acting career to focus on as Officer Oliver Fish in ABC’s long-running daytime soap opera One Life to Live (though it remains to be seen how long that character will last).

Scott is the second openly gay actor on daytime TV (following The Young and the Restless’ Thom Bierdz) and he broke ground in daytime television with his openly gay kiss and actual gay sex scene. However Scott’s victory may soon end because of declining ratings and its potentially alienating effect on so-called “mainstream audiences”.

Scott said, “I cannot believe it’s 2009 and we are still referring to people as a ‘gay’ community and a ‘straight’ community instead of a ‘human’ community. That people are still denied rights, it’s beyond my comprehension.”

DRUGS NOT HUGS: Madonna and Christopher Ciccone

One would expect that The Queen of Pop (who The Advocate once called “the biggest gay icon of all time”) would have a fabulous relationship with her ‘mo bro, Christopher Ciccone. After all, she’s always loved her gay fans, has regularly spoken against AIDS in her album and public life, has encouraged gay love between Jews and Muslims, and has spoken out against Prop 8 and Romanian homophobia in her recent concerts. Plus, she was one of the the first celebrities to openly flirt with lesbianism herself in her coffeetable book Sex.

But they got off to a questionable start: Madonna gave her brother, his first joint, ecstasy pill, and visit to a gay bar. They both lost their virginity in the backseats of cars to guys named Russell and shared a guy named Johnny. And early into her career, Christopher served as Madonna’s assistant, dresser, backup dancer, stylist, and artistic director. He even appeared in her 1980’s videos for “Everybody” and “Lucky Star.” But, according to Christopher, his sister started cutting him out of her life. Retaliation: His tell-all memoir Life With My Sister Madonna. They’re barely even speaking anymore.

In his book, he calls her “a spolied daddy’s girl”, “a raunchy boy toy” (both descriptions that would probably delight her) and says she’s a callous tightwad who treated him like a doormat. She made him sleep on her roach-infested floor, stiffed him for the cost of expensive art purchases he made for her video, and refused to help him attend her 2000 Scotland wedding to Guy Ritchie.

Time magazine called his book, a “jumble of reheated anecdotes… less about Madonna and [more about being] condemned to living in her considerable shadow.” Entertainment Weekly gave it a C-minus. How could it have been more scandalous than a cone-bra-clad gay icon masturbating in a Catholic church?

But Christopher’s not all bad. He’s also directed gay icon, Dolly Parton’s video for “Peace Train” and sells swirly paintings of naked men at his website Though the boy could certainly learn a thing or two about good marketing from his sister.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD: Anne and Michael Hathaway

Anne Hathaway, the beautiful Audrey Hepburn-esque starlet, appeared in a handful of gay film favorites like Brokeback Mountain, The Devil Wears Prada, and most recently Alice in Wonderland. She even played the gender-bending heroine Viola in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in New York’s 2009 Shakespeare Festival.

Anne’s always been a big fan of the gays. She’s close with Queerty‘s former editor Andrew Belonsky and spoke with him about the challenges of being gay early in our beginning.

Luckily for us, she gave up her dreams of becoming a nun early in life after discovering her older brother, Michael’s homosexuality. In 2008, she accepted an HRC Ally Award in which she made a beautifully modest speech stating, “When my brother came out, we hugged him, said we loved him and that was that… We don’t actually feel that’s there’s anything ‘alternative’ about our family lifestyle.” She said that being openly supportive of gay rights isn’t bravery, it’s merely human decency. “Love is a human experience, not a political statement.”

In fact, her entire family converted to Episcopalianism after her brother came out and her brother Michael ended up marrying the first boyfriend he ever brought home.

THE BASHER AND HER SODOMITE: Laura and Curtis Ingraham

Laura Ingraham is “an articulate and telegenic” conservative political commentator, the most listened-to nationally-syndicated female talk show host, and author of the books The Hillary Trap, Shut Up & Sing: How the Elites in Hollywood, Politics…and the UN are Subverting America and Power to the People, a book about the “pornification” of America (released on September 11, 2007).

She began her illustrious career as the first female editor-in-chief of Darmouth University’s independent conservative newspaper The Dartmouth Review. According to her faculty adviser Jeffrey Hart she held “the most extreme anti-homosexual views imaginable,” even going so far as to avoid a local restaurant for fear that its gay waiters might touch her silverware or spit in her food and give her AIDS. During her tenure as EIC, she sent an unannounced reporter to gay student meetings and published a transcript with names of attendees in the paper. She characterized a campus gay rights group as “cheerleaders for latent campus Sodomites.”

GLAAD has called Ingraham one of the most Anti-Gay Voices of 2008 for using transgender people “as punching bags.” She questioned how parents of a transgender youth “aren’t embarrassed” by their child, alluded that being gay is a “bad choice”, and said that the Transgender Leadership Summit is “killing the culture” (something military veteran and trans-blogger Autumn Sandeen took great offense at). Even Bill O’Reilly has referred to Ingraham as a “blind ideologue” and a “Kool-Aid drinker.”

In 1997 Ingraham experienced a barely registrable change of heart when her estranged brother Curtis came out. In a 1994 essay in the Washington Post, Ingraham said:

In the ten years since I learned my brother Curtis was gay, my views and rhetoric about homosexuality have been tempered—not because Curtis proselytizes on gay rights, but because I have seen him and his companion, Richard, lead their lives with dignity, fidelity and courage. … Knowing what they had been through together made it sound antiseptic, almost an insult.

Nonetheless, she still says that she will always be against gay marriage, even though actual marriage would have made it easier for her brother to visit his dying lover.

Ingraham said that until her brother’s ordeal she didn’t understand the urgency for AIDS funding, the problems gay couples face with insurance and the emotional strain of continuing discrimination. But doesn’t a commentator have a responsibility to find out about such things before venturing an opinion, even if it means looking outside your own tribe?

Responding to a column written by pro-gay RINO, Meghan McCain, Ingraham called McCain, “just another Valley Girl gone awry” and “plus-sized.” Meghan retorted by telling Ingraham to “kiss my fat ass,” something that makes me want to kiss Meghan McCain’s fat ass.

Bonus bitchy story!: In his book Blinded by the Right–the Conscience of an Ex-Conservative, gay “right wing hitman” David Brock said that he used to be BFFs with Ms. Ingraham. Together they snorted what they thought was cocaine but was actually cat tranquilizer. Drugged-up Igraham crawled on all fours through a crowded dance floor to where Brock had passed out in the men’s bathroom. Later, she set him up on a blind date with gay journalist Matt Drudge. Drudge showed up in a sporty red compact car with a dozen roses (yawn), stepped on the feet of someone Brock found attractive and told that person to “back off.” Brock called Drudge “a scary date.”

GAY AND GAYER: Rosie and Daniel J. O’Donnell

Tart-tounged TV talk show hostess Rosie has given over $100 million in charity to early childhood education, child victims of Hurricane Katrina, and Broadway musical education. She left her Emmy-award winning talk show two months after coming out in 2002 and returned to TV in 2006 as a member of the all-female daytime talk show The View. In just one year on The View, she managed to piss off Donald Trump, Catholics, and conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck with her outspoken criticisms of the Iraq invasion.

In 2004, she legally married Nickelodeon marketing exec Kelli Carpenter in California (they had an awesome sex life, BTW). But they’ve recently split and now O’Donnell’s dating Texas-based artist Tracy Kachtick-Anders, and considering a return to daytime TV.

She grew up on Long Island with her gay brother Daniel J. and he’s no less opinionated or involved in social politics. In 2002, he became the first openly gay man elected to the New York State Assembly representing Manhattan’s Upper West Side where he lives with his partner of 29 years John Banta, director of special events for the Metropolitan Opera. He attends legislative events with Mr. Banta saying, “I knew if I wanted my colleagues to treat me and treat my community with equality, they would have to see John and I through the prism of a relationship.” He and Banta are engaged but won’t marry until it’s legal in their state.

He’s also a hot bear who spends time in Provincetown, Massachusetts and once served as a cover model and interviewee for A Bear’s Life magazine. He said, “As a person of size, and a person who is very hairy, I would often feel uncomfortable going places [with other slimmer gay men].”

While in the Assembly, O’Donnell got the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act passed and twice-introduced the Marriage Equality Act which died in the Republican-controlled Senate. He’s currently eyeing a possible Congressional seat. Between he and Rosie campaigning, all the lezzies and bear daddies would surely vote for him.

Author’s Note: Rosie O’Donnell just barely missed making our top 10 Queer Superheroes list, a glaring omission (though if I had it to do over again, I’d replace Drew Barrymore and Boy George with O’Donnell and Elton John).

THE TERROR TOTS: Mary and Liz Cheney

Mary and Liz have learned well from their attack dog father ex-VP Dick Cheney.

Newsweek called Liz Cheney, “Palin with a pedigree.” During the Dubya years, she held many nepotistic government posts in the U.S. State Department and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (which gave millions to unidentified groups seeking to “further democracy”). She now appears regularly as a cable news pundit extolling the virtues of “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as waterboarding innocent men, depriving them of sleep in cold cells with Metallica blaring, and smearing them in feces.

She calls Obama “an American president who seems to be afraid to defend America, stand up for what we believe in” (by which, she probably means “nonstop torture”) and has called the Department of Justice lawyers assigned to represent the Guantanamo Bay detainees “Al Qaeda comforters.” Gay politi-blogger Andrew Sullivan calls her brand of political engagement “gutter McCarthyism” and is well aware of her potential presidential bid in 2012.

Now for the lesbian daughter. Previous to her father’s stint as VP, Mary worked as PR manager and gay outreach coordinator for the Coors Brewing Company, helping to end a still on-going national boycott of Coors for its discrimination against gay employees and donations to anti-LGBT groups. She got Coors to start donating to Pride parades, The Advocate, queer community centers, arts and cultural events.

In 2004, she helped her daddy get re-elected on a wave of homophobic sentiment as director of VP operations. She held her tongue about her own lesbianism during the campaign amid the Republican calls for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Only in 2006 did she state her opposition to the amendment in her autobiography Now It’s My Turn. As a result, gay sex columnist and activist Dan Savage called Mary “a useless dyke.”

It should be noted however, that Mr. Savage came to Mary’s defense after Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America called Cheney’s pregnancy with her partner “unconscionable.” Savage said, “It’s her fucking uterus, Janice, not yours. And if you keep inserting yourself into it people are gonna think you’re a dyke too.”

Mary, her partner Heather Poe, and their son Samuel David Cheney live in Great Falls Virginia, enjoying a life that her father promised to make unconstitutional.