Friday, January 4, 2008

It's Not Me It's Those Pesky Gay Rumors

In a desperate quest for supposedly scandalous stories, the supermarket tabloids frequently come up with "gay"-themed material, quite often of the "this is really dumb" variety. The National Enquirer recently ran a story about how the actress Kirstie Alley blames lesbian rumors about her for a "rotten love life." According to her -- or at least the Enquirer -- no man will date Alley because he figures what's the point -- she's gay! Alley blames the gay Village Voice columnist Michael Musto for years ago intimating (without naming anyone) that Alley and her then-husband Parker Stevenson were involved in a sham marriage to hide the fact that one or both of them was gay. (Stevenson appeared in The Hardy Boys TV show and in the first film version of A Separate Peace, which many people now see as essentially a gay love story, as author John Knowles finally acknowledged. This, of course, does not mean the actor is gay.)

First of all, I don't know how wide a readership Musto has, but with the steady stream of gossip being generated day after day, year after year, I doubt if this blind item made much of an impression. For heaven's sake, there are straight-identified people these days working in gay bars and they manage to get dates with the opposite sex, so it makes no sense at all that Alley can't get a date because of these years-old lesbian rumors. Maybe it was because until recently she was pretty fat and there are "superficial" guys out there who won't date a chubby gal. Maybe off-screen she's too much like the neurotic, annoying characters she's played on TV.

I don't know, but somehow it seems like we gays are getting blamed for something else that isn't our fault.

As for Alley, I thought she was funny on Cheers. I thought Veronica's Closet was essentially unwatchable and Alley barely bearable in it. I thought she gave a surprisingly good dramatic performance in the remake of Village of the Damned, but generally is better at comedy than drama.

Maybe it's not that guys think she's gay. Maybe they just find her -- like a lot of actors and actresses -- a little overbearing?

Just possible, isn't it, perhaps?

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