legacies

Was Michael Jackson Gay? No, But He Wasn’t Exactly Straight, Either

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So there’s a (non-new?) rumor going around that Michael Jackson was a big ‘mo. It’s coming from the mouth — or rather, the book — of Ian Halperin, the same man who claims Tom Cruise is gay, which sort of pissed off Scientologists. (Also: John Travolta.) But calling Jackson gay is like calling Lance Bass an astronaut: It works in theory, but there’s no proof.

Through what we’re assuming is steadfast research, Halperin cites as evidence of Jackson’s sexuality a claim that he picked up a male construction worker in Las Vegas and forced him to sign a confidentiality agreement so they could do the nasty. (Another version of that story claims the guy Jackson spotted across a Vegas casino floor became head of Jackson’s security detail, not his lover.)

Then there are Halperin’s claims Jackson liked to dress up as a woman, which isn’t so much a secret as it is a description of Jackson’s entire wardrobe. Also: Jackson wearing women’s clothing is common knowledge. Besides, dressing up as a lady doesn’t make the superstar gay; it makes him transgender. Or just curious.

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Allegations like these help sell books. Which is what Halperin wants to do with his new tome Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that another person with an interest in selling manuscripts is on hand to shoot down these rumors. She is Diane Dimond, who’s devoted much of her career (15+ years) to chronicling Jackson. She chimes in: “Over all the years that I have been looking into his life, I have found no evidence that Michael Jackson was gay. I have never spoken to any men who have claimed and proven they were Michael’s lovers.”

Which leaves us with this: For as long as we’ve known of this Michael Jackson person, he’s always struck us as asexual. Someone who neither longs for sexual affection from women nor men.

From his post-pubescent disinterest in sex (see: Brooke Shields) and his faux-real marriages (see: Lisa Marie Presley) to his awkwardness discussing sex in front of the camera (see: Martin Bashir) and his means of having children (see: sperm donation and surrogate mother), Jackson never clued us in that he was straight or gay.

He really just existed in this bubble of childhood, where penises and vaginas were punchlines, not objects of hormonal desire. And if we need to get in to the whole child molestation thing — because a post like this one can’t ignore it — the same common wisdom holds true: An adult man sleeping in bed with young children who are not his own is … inappropriate. But the idea that he touched them is flabbergasting, not just because it would mean the world’s greatest entertainer is a pedophile, but because it would mean Michael Jackson had any interest in sex at all.