How come people are so obsessed with gay Hollywood? Doesn't anyone care about lesbian Hollywood?
—I.G., Ithaca, New York
In show business "being gay is the last great taboo," explains top entertainment publicist and gay activist Howard Bragman.
And here I was thinking the last taboo was fat. I suppose there's some other reason why Hollywood boutiques carry only smalls and extra smalls.
"No, Leslie," Bragman says. "We do have a couple of fat people in Hollywood."
Fine, fine. The last taboo is being gay. Being lesbian, though, not so much. Lesbians, of course, remain the playthings of the straight man's hackneyed fantasy—girl-on-girl action and all that—so anytime a Hollywood actress wants to come out of the closet, it's fine by most men and, therefore, by default, most of America.
Guys can just add the newly announced lesbian to their lineup of imaginary women eager to go straight only for them. Or they can just sit back and imagine the lesbian making out with Portia de Rossi on a pile of marshmallows, and everything remains A-okay.
However, there remains no such condescending tolerance for gay men. A couple of gay actors have made big strides among mainstream fans: T.R. Knight, Neil Patrick Harris.
But for the most part, Middle America still wants to roust gays from their vile dens of sin and expose them to the white-hot yet still ever-loving light of Jesus. Americans want to know who's gay so they can hate those sumbitches, or at least know who to pray for. And so, Bragman argues, "people question every relationship, people question everything now."
This B!tch has her own quasi-related theory.
I wonder if it isn't so much the gay part that obsesses people but the possible secret about being gay. People love celebrities, but they also hate being lied to.
Fans write to people like me whenever they sense something dishonest about a star—a lie about a pregnancy, a hookup, a breakup or a sexual identity. They feel like they're being played in order to make some rich person richer, and they don't like it.
Either way, Bragman predicts America's attitude is ripe for change. Within 10 years, he says, a male A-list star will come out as gay.
"It's the holy grail" for gay activism, Bragman explains. "But until that happens, there will still be this big mystique."