Hollywood Celebrity Buzz
Ross von Metzke | July 24, 2006
Did I miss the �National Coming Out Week� Memo?
Tabloids have been attempting to out celebrities for years. From the 60�s when Tab Hunter, Rock Hudson and Cary Grant were constantly being hounded by the press at every turn, to the 90�s when tabloids dug up photos of stars like Chad Allen and George Michael in �compromising situations� and splashed them all over the county like it was some sort of unforgivable flaw.
And sadly, not much has changed – I�m sure The Globe would pay a killing for a pic of Tom Cruise stepping out on Katie for a roll in the hay with some sweaty escort. Queen Latifah and Jodie Foster having a �power� lunch? Who wouldn�t die for that video? And if someone could finally stumble on proof nailing Clay Aiken�s gay ass to the wall, well then – not much would change actually, because the gays never really did rally behind that one.
The only real difference between gay now and gay a decade ago is, when a star does choose to talk publicly about his or her sexuality, it�s no longer the career kiss of death it once was.
Consider the two very different celebs who went public about their sexuality in the media this week.
First up, Nelly Furtado. Following in the footsteps of Pink and Angelina Jolie, Furtado told reporters earlier this week that she is, indeed, bisexual.
Unlike Jolie and Pitt, Nelly didn�t come to this revelation making out with a buff actress in a nightclub or going down on a costar. She read about human sexuality in a book about Chinese medicine, which she says claims that all people are bisexual to balance their natural energies.
Something clicked, and now the �Promiscuous� girl has expanded her horizons to include ladies.
�As humans we have both male and female energies,� she told the UK gay mag GUS. �I believe Kurt Cobain�s statement that, in the end, everyone is gay. Everybody should have the freedom to experiment. I believe sexual experimentation is part of human history.�
Not that we really care where she came up with her ideas. It�s just nice to see we�re adding quite a menagerie of young, attractive, talented women to the roster of girls who�d do girls.
Across the pond, Darren Hayes, the lead singer of Savage Garden who�s been enjoying quite a bit of success as a solo act of recent, made it official by announcing he was gay and had married his boyfriend of two years in a civil union.
Not that there was really much doubt – the British press has been grilling Darren about his sexuality for years, but the response has always been that Hayes simply refuses to talk about his private life period.
That all changed when the singer enjoyed what he says was the �happiest day of his life� by tying the knot with boyfriend Richard Cullen.
Writing to his fans on his Web site, Hayes started by saying, �I very rarely make comments about my private life.� He then announced the nuptials and commended the British government for embracing what he considers to be a �basic civil liberty�
"I'm proud of who I am, and after what felt like an eternity, I'm finally in a place where my heart is secure and content,� he said. �And I can finally make sense of all of the searching."
Of course, not everyone is quite so eager to make a major declaration of their sexuality. The buzz around Aiken continues – even after pics of him on a gay Webcam, the transcript of that chat and now a rumored photo of him making out with a married man have been leaked to the press, he�s keeping mum.
Heck, even a trio of girls sued him for misleading America with his alleged �straight� persona. Now if that doesn�t say your core fan base is out to get you, I don�t know what does.
But the star the media firing quad has turned its attention to most recently is �NSync-er Lance Bass, who just two weeks ago was allegedly caught canoodling with Amazing Race star Reichen Lemkhul over 4th of July weekend in Ptown. Gay gossip Perez Hilton has been trying to out Lance for months, but their shirtless romp in the most popular gay haunt on the East Coast pretty much sealed the deal.
Of course, not that the press hasn�t been alerting America of the �warning signs� for years. I remember, not so many moons ago, when the strongest evidence Lance Bass was gay was his unnerving desire to perform live with Shania Twain and Celine Dion while still with �NSync. After the band broke up, he agreed to a Mystic Tan live on Access Hollywood. Then came the appearance with Kathy Griffin and her gays on My Life on the D List.
Tres gay, no?
And finally, just last spring, he started popping up places with Reichen � first with that girl from The Sopranos out and about with them to make it look a bit less suspicious. Then alone. Then supposedly, someone snapped a pic of the two shirtless at a slumber party of sorts. And now, they rang in the 4th with thousands of sweaty gays, no girls far as they eye could see.
Is Lance gay? The evidence is no longer circumstantial, but it doesn�t make it right!
He has yet to sit down with Larry King. He may never. But he�s also yet to take to a podium and say, �Listen up America. I like Bush � Muffy, not George.� It may just live on as an open secret, and frankly, whether he says yay or nay is none of my damn business. I for one would like nothing more than to loudly proclaim him a member of our team and get it over with, but it�s not my call, nor is it Hilton�s or Larry�s or Star�s or any other media personality, for that matter.
One thing I do know. If he really has snagged Reichen, he�s a lucky fucking bastard!
Moving on to those who will continue to deny the gay rumors to the grave � like Oprah Winfrey.
I for one have never gotten the lesbian vibe from Harpo. For starters, I think if Lady O were gay she�d have come clean by now, and for another, with Gayle King? Home girl has more power than virtually any other woman in the world � she could do so much better.
No, seriously. Just because Gayle and Oprah are joined at the hip, gossip columnists are convinced something must be going on. But Gayle insisted in a statement this week they just have a friendship that goes beyond what Americans know how to define.
And issuing a nice little plug for the ethical treatment of homos, Gayle said in a statement: �The truth is, if we were gay, we would tell you – there's nothing wrong with being gay.�
And how�s this for a surprise: Not EVERYTHING in the media this week is about who�s gay or who�s not gay!
In some corners of the world, it�s just about who can wank the longest.
Yeah, you heard me. Britain�s Channel 4 confirmed Wednesday it will film a documentary of the country�s first �masturbate-a-thon,� in which people are sponsored per minute they masturbate to raise money for sexual health.
The event started in San Francisco (now there�s a shocker) five years ago and continues to take place annually. Traditionally, participants are separated into men only, women only sections with a mixed sex area in the middle, which in my opinion makes it really easy to determine who�s gay and who�s straight (All the gays, stay put!).
The scariest part is the current record. Eight hours and 23 minutes. Now that�s a serious wet dream.
Design Janet Jackson�s album cover!
And finally, in news many a homo will love (I know my editor did, and that�s why I�m being forced to reprint it here in the column (joke � ish) � Janet Jackson is letting fans take a stab at designing her new album cover, the late-September release 20 Years Old. Beginning Wednesday, 33 images of Janet were posted on Yahoo for fans to download and "remix" the photographs to come up with their own version of the new album's cover. Designs will each be assigned a link that users can send to friends and family. The top four scoring finalized, as determined by the diva herself, will win the honor of seeing their work distributed on special edition copies of the album. The remaining 16 finalists will receive Janet's entire album catalog on CD.
Of course, a few rules. No fair going and grabbing a pic of fat Janet. She went through a lot of hours on the treadmill to look her best for these photos, and we want to celebrate her successes. Leave Michael and LaToya out of this, and no fair calling the CD 20 Years Old (give or take two decades).
Actually, the album is not a reference to Janet�s age but rather the amount of time it�s been since she released her career-making 1986 album, Control. Janet has re-teamed with her original collaborators, legendary hit makers Jimmy "Jam" Harris and Terry Lewis, for what she has described as a celebration of what was going on musically back in the day when Control was released.
Bad Ass of the Week
Now � since you�ve been so patient, and we all know patience pays off in the end, how about another pic of the super gorgeous singing sensation Nelly Furtado. After all � now that we know she�s open to the possibility of playing for our team, she�s even hotter.
Hottie of the Week
And finally, I know you�ve been patient. Patient people are frequently rewarded, and today is no exception.
You know, I alwas think about men, got a phone call in which my friend mentioned he was going to Brazil, and it clicked. Since most of the world�s hottest men are from Brazil, why not type Brazil men into Google and see what comes up.
I found enough hotties to fill this section of the Buzz through 2008, but one stood out. Ale Marchi, who was voted the hottest Brazilian model by not one, not two but three blog sites (An honor he slip with someone very familiar to fans of ouir Top Ten countdown, Rafael Verga).
Ale is a model � a successful one. From underwear campaigns to music videos, according to the Web following he�s amassed, he is truly a site to behold. So much so, we had to dig up four, count them four, photos for you.
And so we reach the end of another week on the countdown. Stay cool, enjoy the gorgeous summer days, and remember to take some time out to smell the gossip.
Ross von Metzke is the Editor in Chief of Xodus Magazine and a featured columnist for GayWired.com. His work has appeared in YM, Performing Arts, The San Diego Union Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, Instinct and Gay Web Monkey. Ross lives in San Diego.
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