Acting out

Can closet actors smell our desperation?

Gay acting love-birds Steve Callahan and Matthew Montgomery have added their voices to James Duke Mason’s web-centric Trailblazing Campaign to encourage more queer actors to come clean – Mason is a young, openly gay actor himself and the spitting image of his Hollywood legend grandfather, James Mason Snr.

Not wishing to dampen Mason’s heartfelt campaign, but there is a danger that such eagerness by many in the gay community to have out gay stars makes it into a bigger issue than it should be and might put off actors wary of becoming poster stars for the cause.

And then there’s the inflexibility of many people’s perception – your sexuality isn’t black and white or set in stone, but column inches written about movie stars are.

It’s all too easy for Hollywood actors, encouraged by agents and lawyers, to justify their closet status. If they’ve ever dated a member of the opposite sex, those around them might argue, is it such a lie to deny their gayness? And decisions have to be made quickly when plenty more wannabes are snapping at your heels.

For our part, we wouldn’t mind seeing more mystery, not less, when it comes to movie stars’ private lives, so perhaps a better campaign would be to encourage more actors to be ambiguous about their sexuality, thereby leveling the playing field.

As GaGa knows only too well, there’s no harm in appealing to the widest demographic.