Being Out In Hollywood Still A Risk

As Ellen and Portia walk down the aisle and Neil Patrick Harris escorts his boyfriend to red carpet events, it would seem that being gay in Hollywood has become quite common. And, more importantly, acceptable.

While that’s certainly true in a relative sense – can you imagine Rock Hudson doing the same? – the NY Times ran an article this weekend on the challenges facing out actors in Tinseltown.

…For most gay actors, Hollywood is not a warm and fuzzy episode of “Will & Grace.” Today, it is certainly more acceptable to be openly gay. But these actors must still answer wrenching questions: Just how candid do you want to be? Would you be happy appearing only in comedies, or being pigeonholed as a character actor? And what does the line “You’re just not right for the role” really mean?

Openly gay can still mean they would rather not talk about it. Most gay actors are mum in public or on the set, even if they don’t hide their orientation in private, actors and others in the entertainment industry said. Although most may no longer participate in charades — the “girlfriend” on the red carpet, for instance — many adopt a don’t ask, don’t tell policy.

Why? For both men and women, being openly gay, at least for now, means giving up any hope of superstardom.

That’s not true for Ellen, sure, but that doesn’t mean she’s using her celebrity to help the homos. This picture, taken on Sunday, comes from a “Yes on Prop. 2” event that Ellen and Portia hosted. Proposition 2 is for the rights of farm animals. Though she’s spoken out against Proposition 8, which would overturn gay marriage, Ellen has yet to donate or raise money for the cause.


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  • Mark Wickens

    “That’s not true for Ellen, sure, but that doesn’t mean she’s using her celebrity to help the homos. [….] Though she’s spoken out against Proposition 8, which would overturn gay marriage, Ellen has yet to donate or raise money for the cause.”

    Sounds to me like she’s using her celebrity to help. And it sounds like she’s done something that will help more than what most people are able to do.

  • Alexa

    Do we know she hasn’t donated? Maybe she did but wanted it kept private. And I agree with Mark, her speaking out about it and simply getting married herself is really helping to raise awareness and will hopefully get more people to vote.

  • John

    They have lists of those who donate. It has been on several other blogs that her name does not appear.

    I don’t think Ellen can be excused for not donating financially to the fight to defeat Prop. 8. She has plenty of money and she actually got married here in Califoria.

    The only thing I could think is she’s a tightwad, and that’s no excuse. Someone send her a crowbar to open her wallet.

    Why doesn’t someone ask her directly?

    P.S. Thanks for making her failure to donate a more prominant issue. I’m pretty annoyed with her.

  • Smokey Martini

    I also agree that her marriage is beneficial to the cause. Given that Ellen has become one of America’s “sweethearts” for a number of stay-at-home moms and their circle of friends, anyone who campaigns to take away her right to marry (and, essentially, be happy with lovely Portia) will be considered a “meanie.” Hiss-boo to them! No votes there…

  • ling

    I was at the event last night. And while she was mainly there for YES ON PROP 2, she spoke to everyone in the beginning from the State and also made sure to say ‘AND NO ON 8’!

    She has spoken about it on her show. In the press. All of the mentioning she has done would’ve cost millions of dollars and NO ON 8 got it for free.

    Give her a break! She is doing more than 99% of people out there. Actions speak louder sometimes.

  • Insideguy

    Her access to the media is far more valuable than any money she could donate. She is subtle and not in your face about gay acceptance. Who are we to tell her how to handle it. People who are hacking her have no real idea of who Ellen Degeres is in reality. They have a very Recpublican/Christian right attitude about their beliefs, “my way is the only way.” For years activists ranted about Lily Tomlin not coming out and yet had no idea she was a major funder of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in its early days. That privacy was by her own choosing.

    Maybe Ellen is doing the same, and maybe she isn’t, but we have no reason to be dissatisfied by her use of her time and money. Growing up she wanted to be a veterinarian, animals have always been important to her so, of course, she is going to want farm animals protected too. How many of us are giving money to that cause?

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