QUESTION: Aaron Rodgers — Innocent Gay Gossip Or Homosexual Witch Hunt?


In case you’re still getting over that New Year’s hangover and haven’t been online, this past week has been ALL about rumors of the potential gayness of hunky Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The Fame Driven reported on some online hints and shenanigans by his “personal assistant” Kevin Lanflisi, the news was picked up by several mainstream outlets, and got so intense that Rodgers was pretty much forced to “come out” as straight.

Gay gossip is fun, but at some point it can cross the line into a witch hunt that perverts the message of positivity and empowerment that coming out is supposed to represent.

So we pose the query to you, Queerty readers:

Was Aaron Rodgersgate simply a matter of innocent gay gossip or a homosexual witch hunt?

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  • balehead

    One of the worst examples of “Gay-stalking” of Straight masculine guys yet…..

  • Franco C.

    Gossip is usually pretty toxic. It’s based on false assumptions and rumour. Not sure how that can be misconstrued as innocent. I believe how Queerty handled this story was wrong, especially when they started to attack his father and the “model” girlfriend. It lacked decency, kindness and compassion. Raise the level of conversation, don’t wallow in mud.

    I wrote a piece about bullying and then becoming the bully myself last year. I’ll include the link if you care to read it. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/when-i-was-growing-up-gay-even-my-teachers-had-fun-tormenting-me/article14577963/

    The writers at Queerty need to think before they hit that publish button. Not always, but in this case, I believe they jumped the gun and were unfair to everyone involved in this story.

  • aces1218

    Another article about him. Just leave him alone at this point.

  • Cam

    It is only a “Witch Hunt” if you think that being gay is something shameful and insulting.

    People asked similar questions about people like Ben Cohen and James Franko and I never saw it called a “Witch Hunt”.

  • balehead

    It was shameful…..and it cost Gays a lot of Allies….

  • MikeyMike

    @Cam: LIKE!

  • Tackle

    The analogy to Ben Cohen & James Franco is foolish. Both Ben and James both deliberately titillate and gay men. They seek out and court the gay community, and don’t seem to mind the speculation that’s thrown at them. James seems like he actually gets off on it. But Aaron has already stated that he is not gay.And yes, still the harassment. This type of behavior only plays into the sterotype about gay men wanting and lusting after straight men..I sure don’t. No wonder why many straight athletes feel uncomfortible with a gay or gay teammates.

  • CCTR

    @Cam: agree

    Let’s not forget Tom Cruise, Ryan Seacrest, John Travolta, Queen Latifah, rumors constantly circulating about them

    Professional athletes particularly NFL stars are put on “super god” like pedestals of heroism purity and perfection by so many and for many gay and straight folks alike being a closeted gay may just doesn’t mesh with that idea…probably the reason Queerty and other such sites have milked the story and rumors so much

  • ouragannyc

    It wasn’t clear to me if Kevin Lanflisi was part of the “outting”.
    Nonetheless,in this intance, gossiping and witchhunt are one and the same.
    The only instance where outting is necessary is for a homophobe.

  • CCTR

    @balehead: any allies lost over this were not really allies

  • krystalkleer

    and how does this have to do with hsi paycheck and play’n? seriously !

  • Bee Gaga

    @Cam: Totally agree. You never here omg these people think I’m straight what should I do. Let’s stop harrassing this person and calling them straight. No, any gay person of someone mistakes us for straight we’re not going to be like *gasp* how DARE you! I’m gay dammit! I really really really like men and these rumors about me and women are disgusting. Like NO one has ever said that in the history of gaydom. The only way, like you said, that it’s a “witch hunt” is if people find that there’s something wrong with it.

    Reporter: BeeGaga has black hair, but these stories and pictures we’ve shown have him with BROWN hair. Clearly he’s been lying about his hair…
    Me: Omg stop harassing me, the rumor of me and brown hair is disgusting and rude to my character I said I had black hair all my life! You people are so mean.

    Get over yourselves

  • Ridpathos

    Regardless of if being gay is shameful or not, voraciously stalking a persons private life in order to forcibly label them is something I would call a witch hunt. I’m rather embarrassed by these “ubergays” who think they represent the majority of the gay population and who follow almost every stereotype to a militaristic degree and try to get others to follow it as well.

  • DistingueTraces

    Seriously stop putting up pictures of the poor assistant.

  • ggreen

    Gossip is news in a red dress and hooker heels running a 1/2 mile ahead the “real” news.

  • ZaneStuart

    Sure we all hope a current NFL player comes out (and for you shallow people if he’s hot then all the better), but this story was just stupid to begin with. The main stream media articles a few months ago about the coming out in the NFL that didn’t happen really didn’t help. It just got all the gossip mongering queens panties in a bunch. Then they – and Queerty – crossed the line into hunt territory.

    You can’t wish a straight man gay.

  • Cam

    @Ridpathos: said… “Regardless of if being gay is shameful or not, voraciously stalking a persons private life in order to forcibly label them is something I would call a witch hunt.”

    Well the dictionary wouldn’t agree with you.

    “witch-hunt also witch hunt (wchhnt)
    An investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.

    So unless you think being gay is shameful, subversive etc… and this man has “Differing Views” and that is why this is being done, it actually isn’t a witch hunt.

    Once again, was it a Witch Hunt when people said that Anderson Cooper was gay? He was, and no it wasn’t. It also wasn’t a witch hunt when people said that James Franko was gay, he wasn’t. He just handled the questions better.

    Again, the fact is, the only people that would be upset by this are the people that think that being gay is shameful and needs to be hidden.

  • sportyguy1983

    There is nothing innocent about gossip. It shows that you find your life so boring that you must start talking about someone else’s life. Coming out is a personal decision. It is not up to anyone else, but the individual to make that decision for him/herself. Think back to before you came out and if you thought it was innocent if people were talking about your sexuality before you were ready to admit it publicly. It is pure nonsense to say anyone owes it to the “community” to come out. Mind your own business.

  • MK Ultra

    Whether it’s Tom Daley or Aaron Rodgers, the gays here act like 13 year old girls with an obsession for OneDirection or some shit like that.
    “Don’t talk about my Daley, or I’ll kill you, bitch”, “Leave Aaron Alone!!!!”
    It’s really pathetic and gross. This is celebrity gossip. Queerty isn’t hard news and don’t claim to be. Get the fck over it.

  • mjwatts

    I definitely think there’s something wrong with calling speculation about someone’s sexuality a “witch hunt”. As others have pointed out, that implies there is something shameful or scandalous about maybe being not straight. However, I don’t like overly criticizing potentially closeted celebs for denying their sexuality or not coming out. Coming out is a personal decision, and there’s a billion and one reasons someone in the media may choose not to.

  • ZAGay

    @Spike: Dude, you have a serious Tom Daley addiction. However, if that thumbnail is of you, you can do whatever you like. Carry on…

  • Dixie Rect

    I think its queen drama perpetuated by this Kevin person. Maybe he’ll be on Queerty’s bad gays of 2014 list.

  • the other Greg

    How many teenage suicides are caused by football players? There’s your gay witch hunt. Many of us, when we were in high school and younger, were beaten up and tortured incessantly for years by football players.

    This was merely for being *perceived* to be gay (many teenage bullying victims are in reality, straight).

    See any irony there? Considering the way the adult AR has responded so far, it looks like he was part of the problem as a kid. He’s probably gay anyway, but even if he’s not, there’s not really much of a comparison.

    Cam has good intellectual arguments on this subject, but for a lot of us it’s much more visceral, even resentful.

    And if I were undecided on this (or probably any!) subject, I’d only need to look at how certain idiot posters line up: Dixie Rect, sportyguy1983, balehead, jimbryant etc.

  • sportyguy1983

    @the other greg So basically it is okay to harass Aaron Rodgers with gossip because of what unnamed football players did to you in high school? Good to know people deserve things based on what others have done and not on our own action. Talk about idiot.

  • the other Greg

    @sportyguy1983: As Cam & others have said, IF you think being gay is something shameful and insulting, you might think it’s harassing him. I’m surprised you didn’t say he’s being “bullied,” as some posters have actually declared.

    “unnamed football players”… what’s your point? AR is a CELEBRITY. There are different standards with a celebrity, not only in mainstream &/or gossipy reporting, but in the legal system.

  • TomMc

    @Franco C.: *waves from Ottawa* where it is also hella cold. Haha.

    Good article you penned for the Globe, and I hope you don’t mind if I utilize the fact you made note of your Italian heritage therein. Reason I wrote “utilize” is because…

    Consider, if you will, two scenarios:

    1 – One wherein you were teased as a child for being of Italian heritage;

    2 – One wherein you were teased from being of East Asian heritage.

    In the first case, you would have possibly personalized the attach (at least until you got home to have told your family members what the bullies at school said about Italians – and I imagine they would have had very comforting words, or even demanded to speak to the principal of your school to stop the bullies from picking on Italian folks).

    In the second, you would have simply thought the bullies loony. You might have corrected them at first, but eventually decided that anything bigoted they were saying to you about your East Asian heritage was patently false.

    There is, now a third scenario I’d like you to imagine – Okay, actually, you don’t have to imagine it. You lived it, as have many of us. That’s the one wherein you can’t share your ‘heritage’ with your family, nor conclude that taunts about anything not really about you (in this example, being bullied for a supposed East Asian heritage) would be true about you (and hence hurt).

    So then, where am I going with all of this? Most importantly I’d like to offer my sympathy that you were bullied by both students and, at least one, teacher. I’m sorry too that your peer group and/or family could not have helped you through that terrible time. It would be good if you might be able to forgive yourself for that temporary lack of judgement that led you to misbehave towards someone perceived as lower in the ‘pecking order’ than you. As I read somewhere recently though, “hurt people hurt people”.

    Maybe that’s what we were trying to do with Mr. Rodgers? Maybe, having been hurt ourselves, we were trying to injure him?

    I don’t think so.

    We were not chatting about him to exclude him; if anything the opposite. We’d like him and KL to be “on our team”. If we taunted him for being something he is not, then he’ll not have been hurt in any way.

    (Stay warm Franco C., and keep writing – you’re very good at it.)

  • sportyguy1983

    Well, in high school there are different standards. The football players are expected to bully others and the geeks, nerds, gays, dweebs, losers, etc… should expect to be bullied. That is the standard. Maybe not in the legal world, but it is the standard in the school setting.

    Your argument only works if you believe people should be outed even before they are ready to be outed. IT is shameful and disrespectful to people. Someone’s sexuality (or ANY other private aspect of their lives) is their personal truth. It is not your personal truth to express.

    You are a disgrace to justify intruding into people’s personal lives.

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  • the other Greg

    @sportyguy1983: “Well, in high school there are different standards.”

    There shouldn’t be, and you’re a sadistic prick for thinking it’s all fine.

    AND then you get all prissy and pompous about how, oh dear, “someone’s sexuality (or ANY other private aspect of their lives) is their personal truth” etc. – why does that ONLY work for adults, in your view? And apparently only for celebrity adults?

  • jimbryant

    There is a LOT of hidden male-male sexuality amongst American men. This tendency to hide it is one of the reasons why we like to gossip about it. When people hide things, it’s fertile ground for us to speculate.

    I would say that most straight-identifying guys have taken part in male-male sexuality at some stage in their lives. If you ask them about it, they will deny it until they are blue in the face. Heck, men deny having affairs or taking part in particular sex acts with the opposite sex – cue Bill Clinton and “I did not have sex with that woman” – so why should it surprise that many men deny having taken part in same-sex activity?

    We need to understand as a community that, despite legal progress, there is still a huge cultural stigma against male-male sexuality in America and other countries. The stigma is driven in large part by women. Women fear male-male sexuality and its ability to take away her power as a woman. Unless we recognize this and address this, we won’t remove the stigma.

  • sportyguy1983

    And there shouldn’t be a different standard for a football player (or any celebrity). Personal life is personal and is off limit. You are sadistic prick for thinking Aaron Rodgers should live by a different standard than you.

    And FYI, my high school comment is show how ridiculous your “different standard” argument is. You are so stupid you didn’t even realize that. Get off your damn high horse.

  • jimbryant


    Personal is personal but many players don’t hesitate to advertise their female lovers, do they? They can’t have it both ways. If they advertise their female lovers and tell the word they are “really, really into women”, we’re entitled to speculate.

  • Tyler100


    I was worried a day would go by without Jim imparting his wisdom. Hooray! The delightful lying virgin troll of Queerty has spoken.

  • jimbryant


    I don’t care about you. I think you’re miffed because I’ve gotten into muff politics.

    I think you fear my ability to make non-PC comments that actually go to the nub of the matter.

    Many gay men don’t have my ability because they are beholden to what I call “pussy complex”. Pussy complex is when gay men compensate for their rejection of the female body by being absurdly pro-female in other ways, such as denying female culpability when it’s obvious to anyone with a kernel of logic.

    Let me just make it clear to all and sundry : keep quacking. I am not resiling, I have never resiled, and I won’t be resiling.

  • the other Greg

    @sportyguy1983: According to the legal system, AR actually does live by a different standard than us mere mortals simply by being a celebrity, a “public figure.”

    This may come as a shock to you, but it’s not a crime to gossip about him. In fact, legally it works the other way around: sometimes it’s a crime to gossip (in print) about ordinary non-celebrity people.

    You act like football players are royalty in America and it’s some kind of horrid *lese majeste* to suggest that just maybe he might possibly be GAY (gasp). When you’re gay yourself! – well that tells us what you really think about being gay.

  • ppp111

    @the other Greg:

    I’m not agreeing entirely with sportyguy but there is, more or less, a social order in high school that has and always will exist. I’m not defending it or excusing borish behavior by jocks but the reality is that kids will always group themselves with people they feel are more like them or have their same interests. Unfortunately, the sports figures will always be at the top of that order and I don’t see it changing any time soon. I agree with you that we shouldn’t tolerate any kind of bullying but there’s only so much as adults we can do, especially when it comes to the ‘other’ kids (nerds, LGBT students, etc). I think it’s up to young people to see the effects of their behavior but for jocks, especially male athletes, it seems that kind of behavior is the standard of manhood. Sad.

  • Tyler100


    The only thing I fear is you diverting attention to yourself and your bigotry when it should be about the topic at hand. Resiling? You used it three times in a sentence, so I assume you just learned that word.

    The only gay men who take issue with men acting effeminate are those who see women as lesser. You hate women and you hate gay men who aren’t butch. And your comments are nothing but lies.

  • jimbryant


    Your comments are nonsensical tripe. I would suggest that you get over your presumable anxiety about others criticizing effeminacy. Just because you might be effeminate, it doesn’t mean you are a protected species. Women use the female card to immunize themselves from criticism. The last thing we need is effeminate men doing it too.

    Can I suggested a well-earned break? How about a trip to the Azores? Think of a one-way ticket.

  • Tyler100


    Lol, jimmy. I’ll take some pity on you because you’re clearly mentally ill. You didn’t even try to deny hating women.

  • the other Greg

    @ppp111: Should we shove Aaron Rodgers’ head in a toilet until he “admits” he’s gay?

    I could say I’m kidding, kidding… but really, there’s the analogy. Real physical abuse of children, vs. some very, very, VERY minor gossip about an adult millionaire celebrity.

  • ppp111

    The stigma against male-male sexuality is almost always perpetuated by straight men. I agree women can be just as homophobic as straight men, and in some cases started by them, but it’s straight men that buy into the stigma that gay male sexuality is dehumanizing or wrong. The issue I sometimes have with straight women is they view gay men as accessories instead of friends (the gay best friend accompanying them to the mall or brunch, etc). Although it’s annoying it’s certainly not done in malice. Straight men, on the other hand, only view gay male sexuality as abnormal because we don’t want the women that they view as desirable.

  • jimbryant


    Your comments are ridiculous and a waste of precious bandwidth. Pressing the keys on your part requires glucose expenditure. Save it for something more serious, like maybe GrindR.

  • jimbryant


    I have never denied that straight-identifying men can be homophobic towards men. However – and you need to note this – these straight-identifying men are reacting in response to how women view males. There’s also a degree of “protecting a woman’s honour” in homophobic responses.

    It’s a power play. Women fear men. Women therefore fear male-male sexuality. Women cultivate homophobic attitudes in men because it helps to prevent men from turning away from women and towards men.

    Power, power, power. Almost everything women do is related to power and maintaining an ascendancy over men.

  • ppp111

    @the other Greg:

    Sorry, normally I agree with you but I would hardly think that the internet speculation of a millionaire quarterback can compare with the possible threats of physical violence against kids, especially LGBT students. Aaron has the resources to get away from this ‘witch hunt’ that is supposedly out to get him. LGBT kids don’t have such resources. Besides, when one becomes a celebrity, you more or less have to expect such garbage thrown your way.

  • Ridpathos

    @jimbryant: Why do you even bother responding to him in the first place? It’s obvious he’s nutters and just wants an audience.

  • Ridpathos

    @Tyler100: Sorry! That’s previous post is for you not Jim. Jim is nutters.

  • ppp111


    If homophobia is the weapon that women wield to keep male attention on them, I’m inclined to agree but only to a point. It’s up to men to decide how they react to such treatment. No one is pointing a gun at straight men to tell them how to react to male-male sexuality. I agree with you that there are some women who thrive under the male attention but those women tend to be in the minority. Other women will look upon her with nothing but derision. I don’t know what kind of women you’ve had interactions with but almost all the women in my life have been nothing but supportive of me and my life. I thank God every day for them, especially my sisters.

  • the other Greg

    @ppp111: Right, that was my point to “sportyguy1983” who was disagreeing – he says the gossip is “shameful and disrespectful” (gasp!) but the physical violence against kids is just fine.

  • ppp111

    @the other Greg:

    I see. My bad ;-(.

  • litper

    Please ban the right-wing homophobic trolls (or is he the same person?) – the dog f!cker and jimbryant!

  • litper

    We must OUT the closeted filth. Only homophobic republicans are the ones supporting closets!

  • MadMikenCT

    I think the only thing worse than forcing a gay person out of the closet (a la Perez Hilton) is forcing a straight person to announce that they are straight. How many times will the gay blogosphere leave us with mud on our faces when they jump all over gossip like it’s truth? We make great progress in so many ways and then shit like this happens and makes US ALL look stupid. Let’s make a pact. No more of this. The coming out stories of 2014 happen only when the person coming out does it themselves.

  • SteveDenver

    @litper: Makes one wonder why they hang out on this site… OBSESSED!

  • Ananas

    There seems to be an obsession with publicly trying to out “public figures and celebrities”, which does border on witch hunting and does not offer a very pleasant picture of “gay people” to rest of the world. Why is it necessary for every gay person to go public, surely each person should be allowed to decide for themselves…without a braying pack demanding a person should admit his homosexuality publicly?

  • jimbryant

    The only time you should say something is if a man has had homosexual relationships and then denies having them. You should never go into the area of identity. Identity is fraught with opinion, not fact.

  • Ananas

    @MadMikenCT: I agree, we should respect each individual person to make their own decision, not to force them to “out” themselves.

  • the other Greg

    @MadMikenCT: Seriously??? What’s so bad about “forcing” straight people to announce they’re straight? Most of them brag about it incessantly anyway and shove it your face. Have you really never noticed that??? Do you engage with the world only via the internet? Perhaps you’ve never been outside.

    Holy sh!t – some of you guys have led some really, really sheltered lives.

    @Ananas: (sigh.) Again, again, again… it’s not “every” gay person. It’s celebrities who leave obvious indications that they might be gay. What’s so bad about speculating that they might be gay? Unless you’re a self-hating homo, I don’t get it.

  • TomMc

    Have none of you seen KL’s tweet on 4 Feb 12 and/or 27 July 11 (let alone at least one other)?

    The 4 February 2012 one reads: “Tonight belongs to QB1”, and in the former (27 July 2011) KL scribed: “Finally get my roommate back in GB tonight #QualityFamilyTime”.

    … but that ain’t all…

    KL also ‘chatted’ with Lance Bass (hashtag – one of us) on 12 December 11, writing: “Definitely brought the good vibes to town here in GB. May need them here come playoff time.”

  • enlightenone

    @Cam: Rational prospective!

  • enlightenone

    @TomMc: Will put!

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