Stop what you’re doing — Russell Tovey is upset.
Last year, the actor ruffled feathers by saying he was grateful for all the childhood bullying that cured him of being “really effeminate.”
Related: WATCH: Fleshy First Look At Russell Tovey’s Gay Football Film “The Pass”
Well, now he’s a year older and perhaps wiser. Or perhaps not.
In a new interview with Attitude, he says he “never meant to upset anyone.”
Things come out the way you don’t intend them to. It was a very upsetting time for me. … I learned from it and I’ve grown from it. … I’ve found you’ve just got to be true to yourself, be a good person and the work should speak for itself.”
Related: Russell Tovey’s Very Revealing Selfie Is The Stuff of Dreams
At least he recognizes that he said something hurtful, intimating that that there’s something wrong with being effeminate.
Well, now that he’s committed to being himself and being a good person, it’s a perfect time to explain how being effeminate is totally great.
Go ahead, Russell, we’re waiting.
I would have more respect for the guy if he had just stuck by what he believed. The “gay community” as a whole has a terrible distain for effeminate men. He was just speaking to his experience and how society views anything less the masculine in men. After all, not a whole lot of gay men find fem-guys attractive. Fem guys are the worst right guys?
“We’re” waiting, Benji Dougas?? Nah. Speak for yourself.
DDstar1me that isn’t at all what he said.. he said, for his career he was “lucky” because his dad forced the effeminacy out of him and therefore was able to cross over in mainstream films.. That is a destructive thing to suggest.. normalizing that type of behavior especially from a gay person is sick. Your whitewashing is just as bad as lgbt overreacting..
And I don’t really see any remorse in this new comment-much like during the original controversy.. saying it was a hard time on him does not equate to an apology.
@truckproductions: He shouldn’t apologize. He meant what he said, and the people demanding he apologize wouldn’t forgive him anyway. Just more people trying to police the way others speak because their feels are too much for the reals.
@Xzamilloh…YOU SAID IT BETTER THAN I COULD.
Sss…da hell up @truckproductions
@Xzamilloh: Exactly! There is always someone out there waiting to be offended by something.
I feel that there is ever a line that can be crossed when something a person who may have at least a measure of influence says can be harmful to other people even when said in the spirit of “saying what they mean” or “being real”.
For my part, I think that in the last few years we have been cultivating a culture that welcomes the most horrendous statements in the spirit of “keeping it real” where “just being honest” becomes a free ticket to say the most harmful and disgusting things. It may be a reaction to the “outraged hurt feelings” culture we have also cultivated, but what I would like to see instead is more of a “speak our mind honestly but responsibly” type of attitude rather than this new gut reaction “say what you want as long as you make it clear that you are keeping it real” free for all that is absolutely no better in my opinion.
Personally, I think the disdain that effeminate gay men face in the gay community is very real, and when a more famous person says something that can come across as demeaning to effeminate gay men, it can sting and it can also, as truckproductions pointed out, contribute to the growing normalization of contempt for effeminate gay men. And its certainly not something that I think is worthy of being defended.
I also think that while there are certainly unforgiving hardliners in the gay community when it comes to a LOT of mea culpas, there are also those who would forgive him.
For my part, I don’t care if he ever apologizes, but I WOULD welcome some sort of clarification on his part that being effeminate is not this god awful terrible thing to rejoice at having avoided being or to ever feel ashamed of being.
“Last year, the actor ruffled feathers by saying he was grateful for all the childhood bullying that cured him of being “really effeminate.””
He didn’t say that at all. Are there any editors or fact checkers at Queerty? Does anyone take 5 minutes to double check things before they get posted?
He said that he was glad to have been sent by his dad to a regular school which helped him develop as a man, as opposed to an arts school which might have promoted effeminacy. That is not the same as saying he was “grateful for all the childhood bullying” or that he needed to be cured of effeminacy. He wasn’t bullied or effeminate. All he was saying is that he was grateful for how he was raised and that he likes who he is as a man. Only in the warped world of “queer” ideology would this be controversial. Only in the bizarre universe of “queer” subculture would a man, straight, bi or gay, need to apologize for liking himself as a man and for not wanting to be effeminate.
Yes bully him into submission because his opinion made you cry. Jesus Christ… being “femme” is not who you are. It’s something you adopted. Not everyone is going to like it.
And FYI femme guys are usually the ones talking shit about masculine guys not the other way around. Masculine guys are usually ignoring femme guys completely which is what sets them off on 18 page tirades about how femme guys aren’t really accepting the fact that they’re gay and are somehow actually still closeted.
The whole “Everybody hates femmes” whining is even more annoying than the “biphobia” whining. Bunch of strawman arguments that never take place in reality.
He shouldn’t even have apologized at all. Just makes the idiots crying feel validated so they can continue crying for attention. Meanwhile they try their hardest to make newly out masculine gays feel like shit for not being bullied into acting like they have a vagina.
@Danny279: Art school teaches males to be effeminate? I wonder how many heterosexual actors that went to drama school would disagree with that idea. Either you are or you aren’t. Chances are, Tovey would have probably turned out the same without his father’s homophobic masculine “training”.
It also amazes me how gay men still get caught up in this whole appearance of masculinity compared to their straight counterparts that just ARE masculine and somehow manage to go to art/drama school or cosmetology school and still, amazingly, turn out masculine.
Obviously what he said was ignorant and hurtful. Anyone with a brain knows that feminine gay men face societal challenges that masculine gay men don’t because not only do we live in a homophobic society but we also live in a sexist one so as long as femininity/female like is equated with being weak then it goes without saying that men who are naturally effeminate are going to face some problems. I mean the whole reason his father felt the need to ‘toughen him up’ was for that very reason. Effeminate gay men and men who couldn’t hide who they were because they were seen for exactly what they were without question were the backbone of the gay civil rights movement. When Tovey makes comments like he did he spits in the faces of the people who were literally beaten and/or killed for him to have the opportunities he’s had.
His comments were really tone-deaf. Especially when there are boys that are gay and don’t live up to the masculine ideal that end up getting tortured by ex-gay therapy that is forced upon them by their homophobic parents.
God that man irritates me.
@Captain Obvious: then take heart because he never did actually apologize.
He merely intended that by skipping art school he avoided learning to wear such a flamboyant sassy façade that is a gay construct a lot of us become. Frankly, it doesn’t sell. Sorry girls. He just wants to be employable. I love him.
Really Mary Doogan, back in the day we rebelled as screaming queens.
I hate him.
I think his statement about being true to yourself pretty much covered things.
There are things that you think and things that you say out loud and things that you think, but most definitely do not say out loud to the press.
I don’t think an apology is needed. Say what you mean.
I’d also like to add for all those making the ludicrous comments about effeminate gay men choosing to be effeminate, ones core personality isn’t a choice in the same way that sexuality isn’t a choice, and whether you are feminine or masculine is part of your core personality. The only gay men not being themselves are the gays who deliberately choose to act in a more masculine manner and there are many of those around.
I remember reading how Rock Hudson once said he took voice lessons to make his voice deeper and said in an interview that he “trampled the little girl inside him” so that he could pass as straight in Hollywood for the sake of his career. Over 60 years later, closeted gay actors are still doing the same. Is that healthy?
Russell’s comments may be seen as him just expressing his opinions to some but the wider ramifications cannot be ignored. He’s basically reinforcing the widely held belief that there is something wrong with a boy who is effeminate and it should be discouraged.
“It was a very upsetting time for me.” Boo hoo. If you can’t deal with backlash over stupid comments, keep your mouth shut.
@CarlIsle: “He’s basically reinforcing the widely held belief that there is something wrong with a boy who is effeminate and it should be discouraged.”
That belief is widely held because it is right. I only wish that he had reinforced it. He would have rendered a public service.
As for the rest of your dumb comment, people are affected by their environment and the behavior of the people around them. Hang out with drug users, you are more likely on average to try drugs. Hang out with dieters, you are more likely to be weight conscious. Hang out with sports enthusiasts, over time you are more likely to get into sports. Hang out with effeminates, and you are more likely to mimic their debased conduct. Tovey is glad that he went to a regular school with regular guys and today is a man and not a failure at being a man.
Imagine if a Black actor said he was glad his dad made him go to an all-White high school because that forced all of the “Blackness” out of him so he could fit in better with Whites and be accepted. That Black actor would be branded a self-hating sellout, and rightly so. Tovey needs to be just a little more “real” and really apologize for his hurtful comments.
If I wanted to fuck a femme person, I would rather fuck a woman, at least they have a real pussy.
Ugh not this attention wh*re again!
@Danny279: It’s really sad that you feel that way. I hope you are really young and haven’t had much life experience. That would be the only excuse for your ignorance.
@CarlIsle: Nope it’s a bunch of bull. I say this as someone who was an effeminate little boy. I got that way because at the time I preferred being around females and felt awkward around other boys without knowing why.
I picked up their behaviors from being around them too much.
My dad then did what a father was supposed to do which is pull me aside and teach me how to be a man to protect myself from that. He should me how to behave in a masculine way(and I refuse to be hyper masculine because neither extreme is appealing). I thank him for that everyday.
Behaving feminine is a choice. It’s not who you are. You pick it up because you want to and whatever challenges come with that you’re dealing with because you like the way you are and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just know the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily have to jump for joy and welcome you with open arms behind it.
I know all too well what it’s like to be “different” because I live in a country where my skin is considered different and I can’t turn it off so save the lectures. I get stereotyped instantly, far more than a feminine man does, and I handle it. THAT is not a choice.
I’ve seen so many people online whining that being feminine is picked on by gay men which is a total crock. In real life feminine behavior is practically pushed on all newly out gays like a drug and enforced by elder gays in pretty much every major city. Masculine gays tend to look elsewhere to meet like minded men because we never seem to fit into that specific mold that urban gays love so much.
There’s a reason niche groups like bears exist. It’s to find masculine men. Feminine men have never started any group because they dominate every public aspect of what it means to be gay. People automatically assume that gay means feminine because most of their exposure to gay men has been through feminine gay men. Save all the bs the proof is already in our faces. Feminine gay men have had the most support and exposure for decades. Now that masculine gay men are getting attention the tears fall.
@SonOfKings: Gonna assume you’re not black because you have no idea what you’re talking about.
Black people are taught to turn off our slang, use a “white voice” or “phone voice” when interacting with white people, cut our hair in a way that won’t keep us from getting a job(for women get it straightened), and dress in a particular way around white people.
You have no clue. Of all the examples to choose that was the worst one. We have to change everything about ourselves to fit in this white world we’re living in and we don’t bitch and complain about having to do it. Black Americans are survivors. We don’t have a problem blending into our environment as much as possible and that means teaching our kids to behave one way at home and another in public.
We don’t have the luxury of crying because someone thinks we’re criminals if we’re wearing a hoodie or using slang. We just stop wearing the damn hoodie and stop using slang around whites.
@Captain Obvious: You’re using the very same arguments people who claim being gay is a choice. It’s bullshit.
Also, you say your father taught you how to be a real man. That was not YOUR choice, he forced it on you, so you negate your own argument that being either masculine or feminine is a choice.
Who the f&*k are you to say men who do not fit in with your ideas of masculinity should change their behaviour and if they don’t, they deserve all the discrimination to which they are subjected?
@CarlIsle: I know this may confuse you but not everything in the universe is the same. Some traits are innate and unchangeable and others are acquired and changeable. So while it is incorrect to say that people choose their sexual orientation, that has no bearing on whether effeminacy is chosen and changeable. I have seen pitiable men sashay around referring to themselves as “girl” and snapping their fingers. There is no gene that makes them snap their fingers and call themselves girl. It is chosen self-debasement. If you choose to debase yourself, you have no one but yourself to blame when normal men avoid you.
@Captain Obvious: Your buffoonery and coonery knows no bounds. I am an urban, Black, gay male and proud to be so. I speak standard English and prefer a corporate, casual style of dress for everyday street wear. However, I have a stongly African American style of vocal inflection and attendant body language, that is part of who I am. This is not a ghetto thing it’s more of a cultural exoression. When you watch Black, male politicians, pastors, broadcasters and other public figures speak passionately about an issue, you really see that “Black man-ness” come out and take the stage. It’s captivating. Diversity is not about blending in so seamlessly that you disappear. It’s about coloring the standard-issue package with your cultural distinctiveness. Some of the great leading male actors of yesteryear had some notable ethnic expression going on, and some of them were somewhat effeminate by today’s standards. So, I think ethnic expression does parallel some of the gender expression issues we’ve discussed. Stop being such a sellout, you old Uncle Ruckus-acting…
He should have been correcting those horrible dog ears.
Being sexually and romantically attracted to men means just that.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with being effeminate, but what’s the point pretending that effeminate men are not disadvantaged? Have you ever seen personal ads that read “no jocks or masculine types?” Did you really expect Prince Charming to select Robbie?
Sexual attraction isn’t fair, and it’s definitely not PC.
Banging head into wall over and over again omfg do you insensitive neanderthals ever stop proving how limited your empathy and intelligences are?
Get over it already it is so sickening how so many of you consistently treat possessing human emotion as if thats a weakness or frailty yet its actually a positive character quality and unlike half of you it means you actually give a damn about others .
All I ever see from you pretentious individuals are comments mocking anyone who remotely stands up for themselves and treating anyone who is offended as an outcast or embarrassment yet your attitudes and primitive mentalities are whats truly embarrassing.
It is so pathetic how half this community is no better then all the braindead conservatives who consistently discriminate against us and try to infringe upon our rights as Americans….human beings.
Stop with the bullshit about people policing other peoples thoughts it has nothing to do with that it has everything however to do with acting like decent human beings who respect one another instead of rip each other down like so many of you constantly do on this site.
This is ridiculous to continue to watch it never ends especially on this site its absolutely shameful.
The intolerance in these comments speak for themselves regarding men so many of you deem less then due to what so many of you perceive as not being masculine or manly enough.
Id rather be a man with a heart then a man who hides behind a constant insensitivity and delusional superiority .
Feminine Masculine who the fuck cares?!
It doesnt matter because either one loves men there is no difference especially in that regard.
Its your self hates and your obvious prejudices and biases that are the issue not gay men who are more artistic and creative I.E. feminine.
They are just as much a man as you clearly prejudiced individuals are.
Smh same shit different day sometimes its so easy to be ashamed and embarrassed by my own community.
Thanks for once again supplying another reason to feel this way about my own.
@Danny279: “I know this may confuse you but not everything in the universe is the same.”
You seem to be the confused one because your comment clearly indicates you have a problem with comprehension.
I won’t waste my time explaining everything to you, but I will say this to clarify my opinion for other readers: SOME gay men are masculine, SOME are feminine, and MOST fall somewhere along the spectrum. The environment they grow up in may affect the way they express themselves but it does not determine their core personality traits. NONE of us, whether masculine, feminine or somewhere in between, need to change how we are because you think it’s wrong for a man to be effeminate and NONE of us deserve to be discriminated against because we remain true to ourselves and refuse to put on some macho act.
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