April 17, 2005

Reel Men Are Gay


We assume that most actors are gay. Is that because of the primping and preening that goes on backstage, or the child-like aspect of assuming another character? Or is this a relatively recent phenomenon, coming in the wake of learning that such masculine icons as Cary Grant and Rock Hudson were (respectively) bi-sexual and gay? Do we now think that the more sophisticated and/or masculine an actor is, the more he’s hiding that he’s a Big ‘Mo?

I have a rather convoluted and wholly unscientific theory as to why this often happens.

Heterosexuals respond to their opposite-gender star in vastly different ways. As a sweeping generalization, men picture having sex with an actress while women fantasize having a relationship with an actor. In the real world of adulterous affairs, when a guy is caught cheating, he wishes his gal could understand it was just sex. When a gal is caught cheating, the guy gets pissed because he knows it’s about way more than sex.

The Average Jill watches Richard Gere and imagines herself on their Tibetan honeymoon. The Average Joe resents this fantasy and thus says Richard Gere is a big fag. To back up this crackpot theory, note that the story of the gerbil up Gere’s bum started around the same time he was seen, on screen, carrying Debra Winger out of the factory and into romantic iconography.

So the more straight women there are digging a certain actor, the more straight men will say and/or assume the actor’s gay. It’s a form of self-preservation.

I pretty much match the sweeping generalization, except I divide actors up into 3 categories:

AMAZING ACTOR/VERY SEXY
Johnny Depp
James Spader (pre-TV)
John Cusack
Billy Crudup
Ewan McGregor
ENJOY HIS WORK/WANT A NASTY WEEKEND
Matthew McConaughey
Dennis Quaid
Benjamin Bratt
George Clooney
Peter Sarsgaard
Gael Garcia Bernal
Greg Kinnear
LOYAL FAN/LET’S GO STEADY
Steve Martin
Christian Bale
Owen Wilson

There is one special category:
MY IDEAL HUSBAND
Matt Dillon

Oh, it all sounds so superficial silly girl party cute, and that’s the point. But that list also represents some of my very favorite actors who make movies I watch over and over again because they satisfy my soul. I’ve also carried on intricately detailed fantasy relationships with the last 4 names on that list, even while in real-world relationships with real-world men. In fact, the reason I believe the version of Matt Dillon I’ve created in my head is the ideal husband for me is because I’ve “been with him” since 1979. Every guy I’ve ever dated has lost a little mental space to Mr. Dillon. All types of boys and men come and go, but Matt has been a constant. I wish he’d get married just so I can stop pining away for him! Hell, maybe I should get married so I’d quit pining….nah.

I do need to stress the light tone surrounding all this, even when I’m serious. None of these actors need worry that I’ll show up on their doorstep. I have never - nor will I ever - go out of my way to meet any of them. The truth could very well ruin the sterling reputations that I’ve bestowed upon them. It’s all a harmless fantasy world, and from what I hear, they’re all gay.


3 comments:

syzygy0112 said...

Yes, men are actually like this; so totally insecure that they resent even the men that women fantasize about, even when the know that the fantasy is extremely unlikely to come true.

It makes me wonder what parents have been doing to their little boys to make them so insecure....

Anonymous said...

I don't normally read blogs, but I googled matt Dillon and gay, and here you are. I love your take on this. You are so right. I understand about your fantasy life with matt, too. because you see He's been my man since I was 11 and watched The Outsiders. I figured by now he would be married, and when i found out he wasn't my first thought was, is he gay? I like your blog.
Shawna T

Johnny Roy said...

Self preservation? Well, i see that but what about marriage of convenience? Or when you hear from people around the film (Actresses, directors) that a certain actor wasn't impressive at being manly, so they use a double?

The guy can be in denial and wants to hide is sexual orientation all his life. Not saying it doesn't happen with women (Actresses) too though. And we men, fantasize about them too.