Sexy Is As Sexy Does
I saw an article online in the OUT magazine about the 30 hottest out and proud celebrities. It was brought to my attention by my friend Ricky, who posted the story on his Facebook page with this message:
“I want to go on record as saying I HATE this article. It’s really enough to be an out celebrity without your hotness entering the equation. Thanks OUT magazine for objectifying these brave people while simultaneously telling us we all should be equal.”
I have to admit that the article offended me, too; and I am not easily offended. This list of the thirty hottest out and proud celebrities is a group of very attractive men, mostly under thirty five, mostly white. One, maybe two, were in their forties; only one was over fifty. Three men of colour. No women.
What the fuck is that?
Now, I know that it is popular to make lists of this nature. When I was a boy Harper’s Bazaar published their list of the ten most beautiful women. For years, now, People magazine publishes their list of the 50 most beautiful people. I can get into it or I can’t It’s fun to make lists. It’s nice to tell people they are beautiful, pretty, handsome, cute.. it is also nice to tell people that they are smart, talented, funny, worthwhile. It can even be nice to tell people they are sexy. Frankly, though, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder; I say sexy is as sexy does. But you can’t argue with smart – people either are or they aren’t. You can’t argue with funny because it is subjective. What I find funny may not be what you find funny. You can tell someone they are worthwhile and they may choose to believe you or not believe you; the point is, it is each person’s opinion, right down to the person receiving the compliment. Hot, though? If you are a politician and you are placed on the hot list what do you say to that? Instead of being judged on your merits of your work or your brain, you are being put on a list that might as well read “The 30 people we most want to fuck.” Let’s just objectify each other during gay PRIDE – but let’s leave out the Pacific Islanders, Asians, Latins, Women and just about everyone else and just focus on gay white males in their thirties because we want to fuck them.
Do you know what I think is hot? Do you want to know what, in the gay community, I think is SEXY?
In January Lily Tomlin married Jane Wagner, with whom she has been in a relationship for forty two years. Commitment to one another is Sexy.
Every SINGLE frame of Nathan Lane on The Good Wife; my crush on him grows exponentially with each episode. Talent is Sexy.
Jodie Foster never giving a formal coming out statement but living her life, on her own terms, even toying with the media about her sexuality, and then marrying a woman after dating for only a year — how romantic. And romance is Sexy.
While continuing to pursue his artistry as an actor, Wilson Cruz serves the LGBT community through his work with GLAAD. Making a difference is Sexy.
RuPaul. Period. He’s a handsome man, she’s a beautiful woman. They are an empire. The RuPaul factory churns out music, books, tv shows, candy, perfume and a new drag superstar every season. Hard work is Sexy.
Melissa Etheridge has created a legacy as a bona fide rock star and a survivor. Being a rock star and a survivor is Sexy.
Tuc Watkins blithely announced on the Marie Osmond show that he was a gay man who adopted twins. Knowing who you are is Sexy.
The smartest and wittiest shit comes out of Rachel Maddow’s mouth, every time she opens it, often at the same time. Speaking the truth is Sexy.
A famous athlete, still in the game, decides to come out, even though it is not a popular choice — that was Jason Collins. Courage is Sexy.
When he puts pen to paper or fingertips to keys, Armistead Maupin writes the greatest stories any of us will ever read. Good storytelling is Sexy.
Jane Lynch can do anything and has been doing anything for years. Then she becomes super famous and she thanks her wife when she wins awards. She is true to herself and she knows what is important in life. Being focused is Sexy.
Portia de Rossi and Ellen Degeneres staying married, in spite of all the tabloid rumours and addressing the rumours and their marriage for their public, to assuage peoples’ concerns shows the strength of their union. Fighting the haters is Sexy.
Ricky Martin. Period. Are you kidding me with this OUT list? No Ricky Martin? He’s a superstar, he is actually talented, he is attractive and he is a devoted father to his children, all while doing this. Being exactly who you are is Sexy.
Wanda Sykes. Funny as hell is Sexy.
Alan Cumming acts, sings, dances on stage, on film, on screen and he has a groovy Scottish accent. He wears kilts on the red carpet. Eating life is Sexy.
Heather Matarazzo has been spotted around Manhattan, being openly affectionate with another woman, maybe a girlfriend, maybe a wife, maybe a date. Being yourself in public, without worrying about judgment or perception, without fear of any sort, is Sexy.
Jonathan D. Lovitz is a growing personality in the LGBT rights movement. He left a thriving career as an actor to make a difference for our cause and for the world. Finding something better is Sexy.
There is a performer, a growing celebrity in New York, named Shakina who is in the process of completing her transformation and she is so beloved that a campaign called KickStartHER helped her fund HER VAGINA. Having friends, family and fans who like, love and support you is Sexy.
George Takei is more popular and active, in his 70s, than ever, before, in his career, after coming out and mastering the social media. Not bowing down to social conceptions about age is Sexy.
Meredith Baxter spent her entire adult life entertaining the public and making people fall in love with her in the process; then, in her later years, announced she was gay (and we could all still see she was beautiful). Living in the light is Sexy.
Choosing to come out as gay AND half Jewish, Omar Sharif Jr. questioned the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance on human rights; he now works with GLAAD. Standing up for what you believe in is Sexy.
Adam Lambert. He can sing like nobody else; and anyone who watched his character arc on Glee now knows he can act. Being awesome with or without guyliner is Sexy.
John Barrowman is Captain Jack and he posts funny videos on the social media. Not taking yourself too seriously is Sexy.
Anderson Cooper. Anderson Cooper is Sexy. All of Anderson Cooper is Sexy.
Pat Dwyer. My husband isn’t a celebrity, though I think he should be. I hope that, one day, his work as an actor will make him a celebrity; but, for now, he has one movie under his belt. It’s a documentary called Married and Counting about marriage equality in which he bares his soul. Baring your soul is Sexy.
Obviously, I could go on and on with these examples of people who could be on a list of merit for Out and Proud gay artists, from the people in front of the camera to the ones behind the computer screen, from the singers to the journalists, the list could simply go on, ad infinitum. Also, obviously, this isn’t all that I think is sexy because I am much more than the sum of my opinions. The point is, people need to be acknowledged for more than being “hot”; can’t we look beyond the fuck factor? I know every magazine, every movie, everyTHING needs to sell; and we all know sex sells. So you want to sell something by saying there is a list of hotness – but who gets to decide the criteria for what is and is not hot? Don’t people want to be more than just hot? Attention must be paid. Gay people have brains and talent and ethics and struggles and every thing about each of them is more important than their 1 to 10 scale of fuckability. I think the people on the Out list are great. They are gorgeous and wonderful. I just think the list should be about more; and, certainly, more inclusive.
Not that I, or any other gay people, know anything about what it is like to be excluded.