How did actor Ben Whishaw, of Brideshead Revisted and, currently, the play The Pride (where he plays straight), get ID’d as a heterosexual in New York magazine and a homosexual in Out? Because this is how famous persons play the press. And how the folks in charge of the press — editors — play their readers.

“Once I swear to God Josh Duhamel, who I have no doubt is straight, caressed my hand during an interview,” writes Chris Rovzar, the gay New York senior editor, in an IM chat with Mike Vilensky (also gay, and who conducted the magazine’s interview with Whishaw). “It’s a thing they do. If a male star is talking to J-13, he’ll talk about how he loves kissing, but not on the first date. Or if he’s talking to Maxim he’ll talk about how he is an ass man. Or if he’s talking to, say, Out, he’ll studiously answer romantic queries with vague, double entendres, so that the editors like Aaron Hicklin can tantalize their readers with the thought that one of their most favorite hot actors might actually be available to them. Gay magazine editors can get a whole lot of mileage out of an actor not denying that he’s gay.”

So true! And Rovzar’s statement also applies to gay websites. Do you know how much mileage we get out of not-so-subtly implying an actor is a homo? Exhibit A here.

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