George Clooney

Mejia / Asadorian / Splash News

There's one thing you can count on when it comes to George Clooney: The diplomatic but forthright actor will always speak his mind.

Case in point: incessant speculation about his sexuality that's never seemed to die down.

Sure, for years Clooney's been dogged by rumors he's gay, and while he's usually shrugged them off, he recently spoke with The Advocate to silence naysayers.

So what did he have to say?

"My private life is private, and I'm very happy in it," he told the mag. "Who does it hurt if someone thinks I'm gay? I'll be long dead and there will still be people who say I was gay. I don't give a s--t."

He stresses, though, that it's important he remains sensitive to how he addresses the speculation.

"I think it's funny, but the last thing you'll ever see me do is jump up and down, saying, 'These are lies!' That would be unfair and unkind to my good friends in the gay community. I'm not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing."

On the contrary, Clooney, whose relationship with Stacy Keibler has made them Hollywood's buzziest couple, actively supports gay rights and marriage equality. On March 3, he'll participate in a star-studded, one-night-only reading in L.A. of 8, Dustin Lance Black's play inspired by Proposition 8.

Clooney told the mag he signed up for the reading because "I felt that it was important to again bring focus to an issue that, in the very near future, we'll look back on and laugh at the fact that it was ever an issue. It's the right thing to do."

Even his bromance buddies, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, have shown a cheeky sense of humor toward all the gay talk surrounding Clooney. Back in 2009, the two pulled a practical joke on their pal at the Venice Film Festival by having Pitt tell reporters that he'd marry Angelina Jolie when Clooney "marries his boyfriend."

The gag later prompted an Italian reporter to strip down to his undies in front of the actor and request a kiss.

Clooney doesn't rule out the possibility of playing a gay character in the future—as long as the script is right.

"I just haven't found a screenplay with a gay subject that felt right for me as something that I could direct or act in," he explains. "I'm certainly not avoiding it. Whether it's about being gay or it just happens to have a gay character, if it's a great screenplay, let's go do it."

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