hollywood's closet

People Forgot to Mention Anything Gay About ‘Sexiest Rising Star’ Matt Bomer


Now that the whole gay world knows Matt Bomer, star of USA’s White Collar, is a happily partnered-with-kids ‘mo, it’s lovely to see People magazine name him 2009’s “Sexist Rising Star” in the same issue Adam Lambert hits the sexy list. This superlative means Matt is hot, but not a big enough celebrity that anyone knows him for his real name, and not the con-man character Neal Caffrey. Funny, then, that in celebrating Bomer’s sexiness, People opted not to mention that Matt is “in a relationship,” as they did with other actors. And instead of focusing on Bomer’s, say, first kiss with a guy — or any kiss with a guy — they get his first kiss with a girl story: “My first kiss was in the fourth grade with a girl named Darcy on the end of a diving board. We were on the swim team together.”

But don’t think for a second that People doesn’t know about Bomer’s sexuality. These puff pieces are carefully scripted press-friendly blurbs to help raise a star’s profile — and actors’ teams actively lobby to get their clients featured like this.

Curiously, before People‘s issue went to press, AccessHollywood.com named Bomer their “rising star.” And they opted for much gayer copy:

“If that opportunity ever presented itself again, it would definitely be something I would be interested in,” Matt said, adding he would trade in his suit for spandex. “I would love to do a comic book role.”

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  • Joseph


  • terrwill

    Please until Ellen, Lance, and NPH the staff of People didn’t know how to push the three letters “G” “A” & “Y” together on their keyboards………..

  • James

    Dreamy – In homophobic hollywood/america a rising actor must still be somewhat careful while on the rise, unlike the music biz – was there ever a doubt about Mr. Lambert? Matt Bomer is a breath of fresh air, excellent actor, and will be a good gay entertainment role model unlike the closeted stars we are all aware of and the Clay Aikens of the world.

  • Cam

    There is a complete agreement in the gossip press to never report on gay actors. Portia DiRosi was reported as publically making out with women before she ever dated Ellen, but until she dated Ellen, none of the magazines would ever mention her sexuality even though she had no issue with publically kissing women. Same with Neil Patrick Harris. He would publically be walking around holding his boyfriends hand, he was on a top ten show and yet not one magazine ever reported it. H-Wood pretends to be liberal, but they treat being gay as being shameful.

  • Taylor

    I’d say give him some time. As long as he’s not bashing gays, dating fake girlfriends or suing everyone who calls him gay I don’t see a problem. Let’s focus on his work not his sexuality.

  • FakeName

    Terriwell sez: “Please until Ellen, Lance, and NPH the staff of People didn’t know how to push the three letters “G” “A” & “Y” together on their keyboards…”

    Sure they did, you just had to be dead of AIDS first. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20091996,00.html

  • terrwill

    FakeName: What a scary freaking walk down memory lane that article was……but if you read the article they never state that Hudson was Gay. People magazine has had more beards on its covers and in its pages than a Orthodox Jew convention………….

  • FakeName

    The sentence “Hudson, who was gay” doesn’t appear in the article but: AIDS = gay in 1985 so by saying he had AIDS People said he was gay; the article mentions his “coming out”; Armistead Maupin is quoted about the importance of Hudson’s coming out to the gay community; the article acknowledges that Christian and Hudson were living together. With no one being out back in the day this story was easily the equivalent of a Lance/Ellen/Clay coming out story done today.

  • James

    Cam is correct on Hollywood treating gay as shameful. The last rising star (I think even a People Sexiest) to shout out his sexual orientation early on was I believe Rupert Everett and we see where he is now. So Matt and your handlers – you are handling your acsession perfectly. Establish career first – your personal life is no one’s business.

  • *J_C*

    why should i care thats him his living in a glass closet so why push it

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    @ Cam

    Exatly and Queerty know this. It’s called ‘showbiz’.

    People not there-don’t seem to realise that……or care

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    @ CAM Posted: Nov 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    From that post…

  • scott ny'er

    wtf. how is that gay copy? Being a super hero is gay? Wearing spandex is gay? Really, WTF?

  • Marcus

    James, Rupert Everett’s career didn’t falter because he came out of the closet, neither will Bomer’s. People already know he’s gay, so what’s that point? Follow NPH’s two-sentence statement and go back to work.

    Everett got himself into trouble because he and his handlers made unforgivable careers decisions. Plus, he’s not at all that great to work with. People need to stop using Rupert as a cautionary tale to not come out. It was well over 10 years ago.

    As long as Bomer makes good career choices, the sky is the limit.

  • BJ

    Pleeeese, the guy is OUT for Christ’s sake. Just how “out” does a person need to be to satisfy some homophobic gays. Is this going to turn into another saga about being out enough like Anderson Cooper?

  • Daniel

    I agree the People’s entry on him makes him sound hetero.

  • Marcus

    And that was their intention, Daniel.

    No, only hetero–but single as well.

    Some of their readers would be surprised, if they didn’t know already, that he has not only a boyfriend, but is raising THREE children.

  • NOexcuses

    If Bomer is out and proud, he should’ve made it known to PEOPLE and request that he be treated like any other person and written about his gay partner, but alas, it’s all carefully scripted. Shame on both of them, for playing the same dirty game…

  • alan brickman

    he’s hawt..more shirtless scenes are a given…

  • Suburban

    I just saw White Collar for the first time Sunday morning and not only is he very cute but as my boyfriend mentioned ‘chiseled’. He or his manager and/or agent is concerned about one thing…his career. I’m guessing he leaves that part of his life out of any press he does, he’s afraid of being typecast.

  • James

    Of course most people know he’s gay, especially here in Hollywood, where he is not ‘new’ news. However caution is still required unless he wants a career of potential typecast. He has the advantage in that he already is the lead in a show that appears to be a hit. The sky is the limit for Matt as long as he continues to make the well thought out decisions required to negotiate the path ahead. He’s doing a great job so far. The trick will be to avoid the homophobic casting end of the business as well as homosexuals that expect him to be a gay poster boy. Once again, his personal life is no one’s business.

  • Daniel

    Not to point out the obvious, but if his personal life is no one’s business, what is he doing being named in a “sexiest” category of a national magazine? He’s not in the “best looking” or “most muscles” or “best hair” category, he’s in the “sexiest” category, as in “someone whom many people desire for sex” – you don’t get more personal than that. How dumb does he think folks are? Seriously.

  • Taylor

    I don’t get the point. I think he’s a very sexy guy no matter if he’s gay, straight or whatever. But I don’t want to have sex with him and it sure doesn’t mean he owes me an explanation about his sexuality. It’s the people who make it all about sex or sexuality not Matt.

  • James

    Taylor – perfect point.

  • Brian

    Like Anderson Cooper, Matt Bomer (or his agents/handlers) may make some decisions based on what may be best for his career at this moment. Is that so wrong — being cautious about one’s livlihood?

  • Cam

    No. 21 · James said…
    Of course most people know he’s gay, especially here in Hollywood, where he is not ‘new’ news.

    In that I have to disagree. Rosie O’Donnell tried to use the same excuse later on saying “Well people knew I was gay already.” ….No Rosie, gays and lesbians knew, people in Hollywood knew, but the viewers of her show sure didn’t, and that was very cynically manipulated to stay that way. Hopefully this guy’s show hits, I will be interested to see who he brings to the Emmys. ;)

  • Jeff


    The LGBT community doesn’t need Matt Bomer and Anderson Cooper as poster boys if they are not interested in pursuing such a role, since we already have Daniel Choi, Matthew Mitcham (lucrative endorsements be damned), Rachel Maddow, NPH, Ellen and Portia, Luke MacFarlane, Chad Allan, Robert Gant, Cheyenne Jackson, et al.

    Perez outed Mr. Bomer, Greg in Hollywood and boyculture published the infamous kissing pics, Queerty followed up on the story and confirmed that Mr. Bomer had been involved with the other guy in said photos. Afterelton contacted Mr. Bomer’s reps, their request for an iinterview was declined and their inquiries were met with a “No comment.” All Mr. Bomer had to do was issue a succinct statement like NPH’s and move on with his life. He didn’t. It gave rise to the impression that Mr. Bomer was somehow hiding the fact that he’s allegedly gay.

    I dispute the assertion that the general public knew Mr. Bomer was gay prior to the rise of this story. I doubt that the general public, with the exception of the LGBT community, is even aware that Mr. Bomer’s allegedly gay now. Ironically, the story never made it into the mainstream media or tabloid press although it has filtered into the fashion blogs – COACD and Fashinfags.

    The “People” profile was a misleading puff piece designed to mislead “People’s” readership (especially the female readers) into assuming that Mr. Bomer is single, straight, etc. The profile didn’t have to reveal Mr. Bomer’s first kiss with a girl, nor did it have to reveal the fact that he’s ostensibly a gay man raising kids with his partner. All it had to do was acknowledge the fact that he’s in a relationship. Most, if not all, of the other profiles indicated the status of the men featured: single, engaged, married, in a relationship. By failing to do so, the editors at “People”/and/or Mr. Bomer/and/or his reps gave rise to the erroneous impression that being gay is somehow shameful, damaging to Mr. Bomer’s career and something to be hidden at all costs. Wouldn’t it have been revolutionary if Mr. Bomer had issued a succinct, NPH like statement and then subsequently have been designated “Sexiest Rising Star?”

    Angela Jolie, reknowned actress, beauty, major movie star and philanthropist has never denigrated or hidden her lesbian relationships. She certainly has never attempted to portray herself as the girl next door or America’s Sweetheart. The fact that Ryan Reynolds is married has never prevented his handlers from marketing him as a male sex symbol. The same with his wife.

    Mr.Bomer is a terrific actor, “White Collar’ is a great show and I wish him continued success. I just find it sad that Mr. Bomer and/or his handlers have chosen to react to this story in the fashion that they have.


  • Cam

    No. 27 · Jeff

    Well said.

  • Taylor


    I completely agree on the double standard concerning the handling of gay vs straight celebrities. I wish it would be as common to have gay people talk about their relationships in the same way straight ones do and interviewers asking the same questions. But you can’t change people’s minds and a whole industry in a flash. You are right about Ellen, NPH and other success stories, but we will probably never know how many gay folks lost (leading) roles because it was assumed too risky to sign them.

    I also agree the People interview was a bit strange, as if they tried a little too hard to make him appear straight. I’m a straight woman and I think they should give us a little more credit. We are able to enjoy a good looking and talented actor for what he is … an actor. Not all of us want to seduce and/or marry him. No kidding.

    And since you mentioned ‘the only gay in the village’ Matthew Mitcham, I think the casual way he handled it was great. He has earned my respect and I will root for him whenever he’s competing because I think he’s a brave, talented and good guy. However one of his team mates chose not to come out in public although ‘everybody’ knew he was gay too. It’s a personal thing which road you take and I’ve never heard Matthew Mitcham complain about gay people handling things in a different manner.

    So I think we should do the same. These people don’t hurt anyone by not talking about it. And they sure don’t make me (or other straight people with a brain) think being gay is something shameful or a dirty little secret, just a personal thing.

  • RM

    I’m pretty sure you meant “sexiEst” rising star. With an E.

  • jeff reichenbacher

    Dear Cam and Taylor,
    Thanks Cam.
    Taylor, did you know that the Australian gay community had to collect donations for Matthew’s partner to attend the Olympics since the applicable authorities only pay for spouses and immediate family (his mother)? Did you notice that during the televised reportage of his upset victory no mention was made of his out status or the fact that his partner was in attendance? Did you also notice that the commentators had no problem babbling on about prior romances, girlfriends, boyfriends,etc. of straight athletes who didn’t even win any medals in various competitions? Are you familiar with NBC’s half-assed response to complaints about the same from the LGBT community? Have you read the interviews with Matthew Mitcham regarding the lack of endorsements that have been offered to him?

    Matthew Mitcham out and proud life is his comment on those living in the closet or being “discreet.” Competing as an openly gay Olympian and risking the possibility of obtaining lucrative endorsements due to the same is a very eloquent comment.

    I never suggested that Matthew Bomer and other celebrities had to out themselves, but once the cat’s out of the bag, why not at least acknowledge the same and then continue on with your life? It’s a bit reminiscent of people who had to hide their religious and/or ethnic backgrounds to avoid bigotry in the past. It’s very sad. Do you really think that Mr. Bomer and/or his people couldn’t have objected to the pap in “People” and insisted that his relationship status be mentioned? Not that he’s gay, just in a relationship. Are you really so naive that you believe that the first time I kissed a girl bs wasn’t a cold. calculated effort to make him appear to be straight? If you were being interviewed by “People,” would you want them to strongly imply that you’re gay when in fact, you’re straight? Why would you want to hide that?

    I also disagree with your assertion that “straight people with a brain” would never think that being gay is something shameful. You are soooo wrong! People can be geniuses and still be prejudiced. Then again, you acknowledged that you’re straight so you really can never fully understand the challenges and discrimination that my community faces on a daily basis. For example, if you choose to do so, you could marry a foreigner and obtain a spousal visa for him to legally reside in the US. I cannot!

    You might appreciate the challenges that we face, and empathize with us, but you shouldn’t presume that: “These people don’t hurt anyone by not talking about it” because you’re not part of the LGBT community and you are quite possibly unaware that there are some very convincing arguments to the effect that an increased, positive LGBT profile (including LGBT celebrities)will help further dissipate the rampant homophobia that the LGBT community faces on a daily basis.

    Have a nice Thanksgiving.


  • Lizcivious

    Back when Matt Bomer played the troubled Ben Reade on Guiding Light, I suspected he was gay. I haven’t seen him in anything since then, but during his GL stint, he had no chemistry with the females with whom his character was supposed to be involved. I even wished that the character of Ben, who was a secretly unhappy gigolo coerced into servicing wealthy, older women while simultaneously dating a teenage girl, would come out as gay. It would have made the character more interesting. In those days, GL didn’t attempt any gay story lines; instead, they turned him into a doomed psycho. I’m sure most women don’t care that Matt is gay and like me, probably have surmised he is anyway. I don’t really care or want to know who celebrities are dating. It’s their business, not mine.

  • Jacquemar

    That’s disgusting that “People” magazine doesn’t even MENTION that he’s in a relationship with another man… I’m glad I don’t subscribe to that magazine anymore; I’d hate to support a homophobic magazine.

  • Ken A.

    I c this is still going on.

  • jason

    People magazine is turd central.

  • Marcus

    Of course People wouldn’t do that, Jac. They work for the Hollywood machine.

    I do have to say this though: I have known many gay men who are raising children. I don’t care how private they were–that wasn’t a hidden fact. They may not tell you anything else about their lives, THEY WILL tell you they are raising children. Especially, in Bomer’s case, he’s raising 3.

    I’ve never seen anything like it. Jodie Foster wouldn’t tell you what time it is, she’s so private, yet she will talk about her children until she’s blue in the face.

  • Ken A.


    How do you know how many kids he has. I have to hand it to anyone who raises kids now adays. Such worries. Not only do you have to worry about their wellbeing, you have to worry about scarey stuff. I’m glad I don’t have any. Spooky.

  • Marcus

    I work for a TV Network out here in L.A.–and I was told that. I thought Bomer was just helping raise Simon’s 2 kids that he adopted before the relationship, but I keep hearing about a third.

  • Ken A.


    Maybe Simon had two kids previous to the relationship but he and Matt may have adopted one together. Kind of hard rasing kids 3,000 miles away, with him in NY and Simon in L.A. Must be hard on that family.

    My take on this whole thing is Matt Bomer right now is career oriented, the People Mag thing was arranged by his publicists or the USA Network or a combination. Most actors who come out are type cast as gay characters, Chad Allen is one. Don’t see him on any regular TV shows. NPH broke out of that, gay in rl but on How I Met Your Mother, still Barney the womanizer.
    I think the reason he’s not saying anything is it just might be to protect the kids.

  • Alexandrea Lokai

    MATT BOMER IS GAY.Someone please HELP HIM!!!!

  • Jacquemar

    What “help” does he need Alexandrea? Help to keep strange female stalkers away from him?

  • Ken A.

    This is kind of getting out of hand.

  • Dr Angeleno

    To add to the controvesy, Matt Bomer has undergone rhinoplasty. The tip of his nose has clearly been refined and it appears that the width of the nostrils have been slightly reduced.

  • Ken A.

    @Dr Angeleno could he have been born like that?

    Not only the gay thing, someone had to mention a nose job, whoopee, people just love treading on other’s business.

  • Mimi

    In regards to People, to be fair, everyone’s relationship status isn’t listed. After seeing Mr. Bomer on the Today Show, it’s clear he is being private about his relationship. He was asked several times and didn’t answer any questions. Seems to me that he’s just every private and likes it that way not to mention, he does have children.

    I will continue to watch his show. I think he’s a great actor. I also think that he is in a role that is being promoted as a ladies man and he has to project that image. He isn’t the first actor to go through this type of promotion, he won’t be the last. He comes across as very sweet, almost shy, but friendly.

    He could lose out on roles due to sexuality. I would hope not but he could. There might have been roles that he was perfect but he chose to walk away due to exposure or he was dropped from consideration. If you are going to sell something, you have to make sure your audience is going to buy and USA is banking on women watching because they deem him attractive.

    We are only talking about this because he’s a good looking man.

    In regards to Alexandrea, what kind of help does he need?

  • Mimi

    Dr. Angeleno, if you’ve seen pictures of him when he was younger, his nose isn’t any different. The only thing that different is his weight. He has slimmed down over the years. Watch Guiding Light on YouTube and you can see for yourself.

  • Dr Angeleno

    Thanks Mimi. Matt has had his rhinoplasty procedure prior to Guiding Light. In addition to obvious nasal tip refinement; the lower nose has been reduced with an excision of skin of the nostril floor – known as an alar floor wedge resection. Very slight scarring where the excisions have been made is noticeable to the trained eye in some high definition photographs. Another giveaway is the side profile of the nose. The nostril looks more sculpted and a little rounded, especially when a person smiles. Yes, it certainly does seem that he has also lost weight since Guiding Light.

  • Jacquemar


    I think you’re spot on in regards to his privacy.

    I do think it is a egregious error for an actor to assume that the female audience will not find him interesting or attractive just because he’s openly gay. It is this assumption that has kept most actors in the closet because the industry as a whole truly believes it. Charlie David has had a bitch of time getting roles because he’s out. Hopefully with the growing number of Out actors and performers, such as NPH and Adam Lambert, we’ll realize that it’s just a myth.

  • Darcy

    As we now know Matt is gay (pictures of Matt passionately kissing his ex-boyfriend Mike White are widely circulating the internet). Matt is now living with his partner Simon Halls who is a high powered Hollywood publicist, almost 15 years older than Matt and they are both raising children together. It just so happens that Simon’s long-term client is USA network on which White Collar airs… Coincidence? The whole thing wreaks of insider connections, unethical behavior, disingenuity and PR ‘Spin”. USA network is just as much to blame as Matt’s publicity team. Not the best way to build loyal fans…

  • Ken.A

    Actually the writer of the show called Matt back three times before he decided he was right for the part. Jeff Eastin admitted in video he was unsure if Matt Bomer was right for the part and had to keep calling him back before deciding. So I don’t think there is any insider stuff going on. Over marketing Matt maybe a little over the top but its all for the show.

  • Mista Clean

    Is it possible that he had his first kiss with a girl, despite being gay NOW?

    Unfortunately, homosexuality is often treated like a disease and not a lifestyle. It’s possible that his first kiss was with a girl, and People isn’t just giving conspiracy theories.

  • Jacquemar

    @Mista Clean: You missed the point entirely! He probably did kiss a girl back in fourth grade, but he’s obviously gay. “People” mentioned NOTHING about his husband or three kids, and that makes it homophobic!

  • Ellen


  • N.A.

    @Mimi: Mimi, I think you’re totally correct in that he refuses to broadcast his personal life to gain more publicity. I respect him for that, and since it is his life I think his decision should be respected.

  • N.A.

    @N.A.: In addition to what Mimi said regarding his privacy, on the Today Show interview when asked about his Christmas plans, Matt said several times that he’d be spending it with his family, when asked if he’d be spending it with his mother, he again said his family. To me it was clear that he wasn’t saying his mother, that he was saying that he has his own nuclear family, but said it without saying too much. Clearly, at least to me, he was insinuating that he has is own family, is not single, and does not want to give too many details about his private life to the prying nosy paparazzi. After seeing the crap some celebrities have gone through because their lives are too open, I applaud Matt’s decision, but the fact is my opinion does not matter. He has the right to lead his life in the way that fits him, and nobody (aside perhaps from his family and friend) should tell him how live.

  • Robert Johnson

    Hello!!! Anyone recall Neil Patrick Harris coming out as openly gay? And such a great guy with a great career. He has still continued to be successful as a womanizer on ‘How I Met Your Mother’, hosted the Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, and performed that amazing musical opening for the Academy Awards. Harris is living proof that all this hoopla about Matt Bomer is overhyped. Harris owned his sexuality and people respected him all the more for it. Bomer and Harris are only four years apart. There is no reason that Bomer can’t aspire to be as successful as Harris while being openly gay. Thank God for Neil Patrick Harris.

  • matt bomer

    i am gay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • FunMe

    So he is gay. Who cares. Well makes me happy that he swings for my team.

    But really, can’t we just let the guy have a few more hits and then he can come out officially? Come on, he’s only 32. And great that he’s in a relationship!

    I think he is beautiful and seems from the interviews I saw to be a nice guy. Who knows. I hope he is nice, happy and a nice fellow.

    In due time, HIS time, he will come out.

  • Mimi

    Who is the idiot using his name? LMAO

  • Lindsey

    When did he (possibly) adopt a third kid? I don’t know how old it is, but I saw a picture of Simon with two kids. I guess it’s possible it was taken before they adopted a third child. I also heard somewhere that they broke up though. Anyone know if there’s any truth to that?

  • LH

    OMG! Seriously? What kind of homosexual preferential treatment are you asking for if “First Kiss” now has to be “First Gay Kiss”?

    Many gay and lesbian people started out in straight relationships – experimenting with the opposite sex before realizing they were interested in same sex relationships – so for Bomer’s first kiss to be with a girl isn’t surprising.

    As for the relationship status – he seems to want to keep that personal (for whatever his reason is) and maybe People magazine was just respecting his request for that privacy?

    Did you ever stop to think that maybe he’s only refusing to openly state his sexuality (which is so obvious) because it makes him “controversial” in both the straight and gay community – thus offering him more press than what he would get if he was just openly gay? How many articles would you have devoted to him if he openly stated his sexuality? Being a celebrity is a game of strategy – I think this is just part of his.

  • Jacquemar

    @LH: Actually LH, that was a pretty good argument… except for your homophobic opening paragraph.

  • Terri

    On the flip side, for all the actors who publicly stated their sexuallity, WHO CARES? I really won’t miss it if they just kept it to themselves.

    Personally, I have nothing against those who felt that they had to tell everyone, because afterall, it’s really their personal choice. So for those who decide not to dignify an answer to such a irrelevant question, we should respect that choice too.

  • Terri

    On the flip side, for those actors who had to tell everyone about their sexuallity, WHO CARES. Some may say that they can keep it to themselves.

    I’m just trying to make a point. It really doesn’t matter to me whether one tells or not. It’s really a personal choice. It’s their life and the choice should be respected.

  • RichB in PS

    Great fashion sense but in every shot his shoes seems make big feet.

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