It’s strange: I thought Australia was supposed to be homophobic. But that’s not the story I read in the Hugh Sheridan release.
Logie-winning Packed to the Rafters star Sheridan says he finally has the courage to tell fans he’s gay – or bi. Or maybe just “human”.
But the best part of this “confession” is the reason he gives for not saying it years ago.
According to Sheridan: “The way it was explained to me is that women wouldn’t want to pay to see a movie or TV show if they knew they couldn’t have sex with the man. main.”
Nor was it a law enacted by homophobic bosses: “The two mentors who told me this were openly homosexual.”
This is why Sheridan hid her boyfriend, even though it “made me angry”: “It took me so long to meet a guy I loved that I didn’t want to hide it.”
And the reason he gives for hiding where his heart was was purely commercial: otherwise, women couldn’t dream that they could sleep with him, thus preventing him from getting big roles.
(On this point, Sheridan hastens to reassure them, “I ended up in a relationship with a girl… Maybe that’s also my way of letting people know that I’m still single.” Dream, ladies. !)
So Sheridan, according to his account, did not face hatred of gays. He just had one dilemma common to all actors: to make sure their public persona wasn’t so overwhelming that the audience couldn’t imagine them as another character.
Could Jane Fonda ever play a kind and caring curator? Could Mel Gibson be taken seriously playing a rabbi? Wasn’t it too awkward for Tom Hanks to play Philadephia gay?
That’s the good news: Sheridan’s obstacle wasn’t that most women hate gay people. They just don’t fantasize about their bedding. I guess the feeling is mutual.
Granted, there are still some homophobes, but they don’t feature in Sheridan’s thoughtful essay on his sexuality, written for Stellar magazine.
Nowhere does he complain that people think gay people are bad, sick or sinister.
In fact, he’s stepped out on promotional shoots for his new show Back to the Rafters. What once seemed an advertising disaster may now be an advertising asset.
That’s not to say Sheridan is exploiting the sexuality he once hid, but the timing suggests that being gay, or bi, is no longer a career killer.
Counter-examples are multiplying, and not only in the entertainment industry (Ellen DeGeneres, Josh Thomas, Hannah Gadsby, Peter Hitchener, Tom Ballard).
Even the so-called macho or conservative cultures have had openly homosexual prime ministers and presidents (Ireland, Serbia, Sicily).
But to me, the clearest proof that homophobia is now a social disease is the failure of some on the hypocritical left to destroy broadcaster Alan Jones by appealing to the homophobes they imagine crawling over Sydney.
In 2006, ABC reporter Chris Masters wrote a taxpayer-funded hitjob on Jones called Jonestown, clearly assuming that exposing Jones as gay would turn his “Struggle Street” audience against him.
As Masters said in his book, heavily promoted by the Sydney Morning Herald: “The lie (sic) Alan Jones maintains is, I’m sure, more to preserve a dishonest power base than to protect life. private. ”
Even more disgusting, Masters on television played on the sick stereotype linking homosexuality to pedophilia, making baseless innuendos about Jones’s early career as a teacher: “I’d be amazed if you could conclude that” There is no connection between the disguise of his sexuality and this constant habit of playing favorites. ”
What, only gay teachers play favorites?
Good news. This shameful attack failed. Jones’ audience doesn’t care. He continued his unbroken run as Sydney’s most popular broadcaster until his retirement this year, and is now a successful and respected colleague on Sky News.
Of course, I don’t know for sure if Jones is gay. But maybe he agrees with Hugh Sheridan: why reduce your being and your complexities to one label?
Sheridan says he doesn’t mean he’s gay or even bi: “Right now, ‘human’ is the word that suits me best – it’s inclusive and ever-changing …
“I recognize more than ever our pressing need to celebrate our common humanity.” So true.
Some people say you are who you are. But when it comes to character, you are what you do.
Gay or straight, black or white – who cares?
BLOG WITH BOLT
Originally published as shown by Hugh Sheridan, being gay is no longer a career killer