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03-28-1999, 04:49 PM
I should mention I'm straight, so it could be argued that it's easy for a straight guy to say "let's be open about this!" since it's unlikely I'll be discrimated against for my sexuality. I was hoping maybe a gay person might share his or her opinion on this subject.

-- Revtim


You're right about it being a hot-button topic, Tim. At the same time, you've engaged in a behavior which I find curious -- that of a straight man making a statement to the effect of "people shouldn't care if someone is gay" but then making sure to mention that they're not gay. In other words, if being gay doesn't matter, then why point out that you're not?

I don't mean this as a flame on you, Tim. You mentioned your sexual orientation as an acknowledgement that you're not likely to be discriminated against. It only served to spur me on to my observation. And I have often noticed that even staunch defenders of a person's right to be homosexual are careful not to be branded homosexual themselves.

Oh, BTW, I'm not gay.



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The Dave-Guy
"since my daughter's only half-Jewish, can she go in up to her knees?" J.H. Marx

03-28-1999, 05:54 PM
My biggest problem with the whole thing is what people think they can ask or have the right to know about celebrities period. They all seem to follow the "I made you" line. As far as I'm concerned all that entertainers owe you is just that. Entertainment for your money. They don't have to tell you who they like to sleep with,if they ever did drugs,were committed and on and on ad nauseum. It really is not confined to just entertainers. People all over seem to have fallen into this deal of asking the most personal questions. Can you say "It's not my business"

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Kathy

03-28-1999, 05:56 PM
In other words, if being gay doesn't matter, then why point out that you're not?


Sorry, I thought I made that clear, maybe I didn't.

I never had a bunch of rednecks beat the shit out of me because of my sexuality. I never had anybody discriminate against me because of my lifestyle. I never had people not want to shake my hand because they are afraid they'll get AIDS.

So maybe my opinion on the subject doesn't mean shit. It's easy for a person to say we should be open about something, when they will never have to suffer any repercussions.

I hope I answered your question Dave. Now you answer mine: Do you think people should not ask if celebrities are gay, or is it OK?


-- Revtim

03-28-1999, 07:20 PM
Well, I am gay. Not that it happens to me much, but it does kind of get obnoxious if people ask you whether you're gay all day long. However, I think that gay celebrities should come out, because they're role models for youth, gay youth have a 14 times higher suicide rate than straight youth, etc. Also, I disapprove of outing people except when they're homophobic Republicans or Reform party members.

03-29-1999, 12:49 AM
Anyone who's been on the internet for even a short time has seen this exchange:

Message 1:
"Is Person X gay?"

Messages 2 through 463:
"Why do you care!" "It shouldn't matter!" "You're a homophobe!" etc..

Now, you generally don't see this type of response from asking if Person X is married, is good in bed, or any other very personal question.

The people who try to deflect the gay question have good intentions, certainly people are discriminated against for their sexuality. But, I think maybe trying to stop people from talking about it perpetuates
the attitude that a person's sexuality DOES make a difference. If it really does not make a difference, then there's no harm in talking about it, right?

Plus, it's just so damn stupid. If you don't care, then ignore the question like you would any other question you don't care about. It's kind of a pet peeve of mine.

I should mention I'm straight, so it could be argued that it's easy for a straight guy to say "let's be open about this!" since it's unlikely I'll be discrimated against for my sexuality. I was hoping maybe a gay person might share his or her opinion on this subject.

-- Revtim

03-29-1999, 09:53 AM
No C&P because I have yet to figure it out on this new board. Sorry :-(

I see nothing wrong with asking if a celebrity is gay. To me it's no different than asking if they plan to have children someday. It's part of the fascination we have with celebrities.

Of course that doesn't mean we have a right to know EVERY detail of their lives.

BTW: I'm not gay, but my boyfriend is. ;-}


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SIMFOG

03-29-1999, 04:56 PM
Of course that doesn't mean we have a right to know EVERY detail of their lives.

Where would you draw the line? My feelings are with TXRebel on this one.

03-29-1999, 05:26 PM
No C&P because I have yet to figure it out on this new board. Sorry :-(

Don't feel bad; it took me several tries. I'll e-mail you directions b/c if you type the directions here, the HTML code is picked up and it becomes convoluted.

If you are eager to know, though, it looks like this.

{quote} pasted quote {/quote}

with the exception that block quotes "[" and "]" are substituted for the squiggly quotes.

03-29-1999, 07:57 PM
Sorry, I thought I made that clear, maybe I didn't.I hope I answered your question Dave. Now you answer mine: Do you think people should not ask if celebrities are gay, or is it OK?


-- Revtim

Actually, you made yourself perfectly clear, and you made a very good point. I mentioned that your OP spurred me to comment on a related topic that had always kind of stuck in my mind.

To answer your original question, it's nobody's bloody business who's gay and who isn't, celebrity or no. Perversely, the general public's desire to know about a celebrity's sexuality is just as strong, it seems, as some famous people's desire to make their sexuality public knowledge. So it seems to be a two-way street -- one which I think no one has any business travelling on.


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The Dave-Guy
"since my daughter's only half-Jewish, can she go in up to her knees?" J.H. Marx

03-29-1999, 08:33 PM
To answer your original question, it's nobody's bloody business who's gay and who isn't, celebrity or no.


Very true. But should the gay question be considered more personal than other very personal questions that are traditionally not met with such angry "none of your business" type responses?

-- Revtim

03-29-1999, 09:54 PM
Perversely, the general public's desire to know about a celebrity's sexuality is just as strong, it seems, as some famous people's desire to make their sexuality public knowledge. So it seems to be a two-way street -- one which I think no one has any business travelling on.

Wait a minute. Are you saying that celebrities shouldn't come out? because if you were, I'd have to argumentarily flatten you (see my point above about suicide, etc.) So I hope you aren't and it's just the fact that it's late at night that's not making me see straight... ok, I'll just shut up now.
)-6

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Blessed Be,
Matt McLauchlin
Montreal, Quebec

04-03-1999, 09:31 AM
Well, this is simply my humble opinion, but here goes. I will agree with you that one cannot get through the day without hearing reference to "Gay": Gay Rights, Gay Character on TV show, Gay Bashing, etc. But, and I don't know your age, but if you were around during the great Civil Rights for Blacks upheaval during the 60's, Or the Viet Nam War era and its op- & proponents, they too seemed ubiquitous subjects. It is, it appears, in some ways, time for the Lesbian and Gay community to sieze the moment...albeit in a nonviolent way compared to the two aforementioned subjects. I wonder if the Gay community should turn to violence (academically wonder, that is) since it helped in the anti war and Black Power struggles.That's simply musing...please no angry responses...
Here's the thing: Gay people do tend to get defensive for a number of reasons. First: If people meet/see on TV or Screen an actor they automatically (in most cases) assume that actor is straight. That's not fair.
Second: If a very beautiful sexy woman or an incredibly handsome chick magnet actor were to announce their sexuality, their image would be very badly, perhaps irevvocably damaged. We all work for a living. Yes, people can understand that Harrison Ford is not really the President of the USA in Air Force One, but they are happy to suspend that knowledge to enjoy a film. Unfortunately, it is not like that for Gay actors. If actor X is in a mad, passionate love scene in a film,and is known to be Gay...the snickers and comments (She'd rather be (fill in the vulgarity) or He likes it up the...He's a fudge packer...on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.) If your Boss didn't like people who enjoy a beer or two after work, would you volunteer that you chug a sixpack every night?
Third: They do have parents and sibs and friends. Perhaps they haven't told them. It's a personal decision.
Finally: You open yourself to ridicule, accusations, don't hug my kids, OK? type of things.
I am a Lesbian."But you'd never know." Sorry, don't mean to be sarcastic...but. Anyway, I have a very good job. I am not attracted to anyone in my company. The last thing I need is to be "out" in the ladies room while another woman is in there and hear her say, "Oh, it was like sooo gross! She was looking at me!" If you doubt me, I can assure you, I have seen many, many different examples of it. There are some people that have confided to a "friend", of the Linda Tripp variety, and that friend will and does tell others...not maliciously, but I think mst often, as a way to show how /hip/ tolerant/ Liberal they are. It always (again this has been my experience) ends up with some trashy looking tart stating, "Ughhh! Did you see the look she gave me?"
Look, straight or Gay we all need to work. Gay people or friends of Gay people understand these things. Perhaps that is why they come across, or in fact are, defensive.

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"The minuteyou settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for." Maureen Dowd

04-03-1999, 08:09 PM
I agree that there is still a bias against gay people in this society. But I also think it won't get better until gay people start coming out of the closet. My aunt, for instance, is a lesbian. But she hasn't come out of the closet for fear of alienating her brothers and sisters. What she doesn't realize is that most of us already know. Some wouldn't admit it openly, but we all know in our hearts. And we will love her no matter what b/c she's a great person.

I have suspected for some time that Rosie O'Donnell may be gay. Is she? I don't know and frankly I don't care. She is a funny, warm, sensitive person, regardless of who she sleeps with. While some people may turn off her program if she was gay, I also think a good majority of people would support her b/c they liked her as a person before they knew her sexual preference.

I don't blame people for staying in the closet; it's just that I think it would help everyone if more people would. Surely the gay community is a little disheartened to be depicted only as militant and angry.

04-03-1999, 08:43 PM
And what the hell is this straight-boy terror of gay guys looking at them? Excuse me, excuse me, straight boys... you're not THAT attractive! Besides, even if I were attracted to a straight guy, I know at least TEN gay guys who are as if not more attractive than him, and whom I could get into bed a lot easier... oy! the arrogance. </rant>

04-04-1999, 07:04 PM
[[[And what the hell is this straight-boy terror of gay guys looking at them? Excuse me, excuse me, straight boys... you're not THAT attractive! Besides, even if I were attracted to a straight guy, I know at least TEN gay guys who are as if not more attractive than him, and whom I could get into bed a lot easier... oy! the arrogance.]]]

Gawrsh, Mickey, I think maybe someone suffers from some prejudices and bigotry of his own!

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** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-04-1999, 07:39 PM
This will offend people, but I have to say it. I'm not gay, but if I were, I would really be ashamed of it.

04-04-1999, 10:47 PM
I'm not a bigot, but if I were, I would really be ashamed of it.

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--elm

I'm trying to see things from your point of view, but I can't get my head that far up my ass.

04-04-1999, 11:59 PM
Let me rephrase. If I had a genetic defect, I wouldn't celebrate it.

04-05-1999, 12:56 AM
Beeruser? I think you should have quit while you were ahead.
ThisI'm not gay, but if I were, I would really be ashamed of it.sounds like an honest expression of feeling that, while hardly PC, should be respected by people as an uncontrollable feeling. (As long as you don't go around telling gay folks that they should be ashamed, I would not think you should be censured.)

On the other hand, this
If I had a genetic defect, I wouldn't celebrate it.
has the effect of implying that you know that homosexuality is a genetic defect. Since no biologist or psychologist has actually identified just what causes homosexuality--and certainly no evidence has been provided that homosexuality is bad--you are now in the position of claiming that you know that it is bad. (Defects are generally bad.)

You have now muddied the waters regarding your own opinions, so I would not presume to try to "correct" your opinions, beliefs, or attitudes. However, I think you may want to consider your posts a bit before you do get flamed.

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Tom~

04-05-1999, 09:32 AM
I am so disgusted by people's ignorance. I feel that anyone who has a problem with homosexuality (or inter-racial coupling, or racism in general) is a puppet - brought up to think just like mom and pop - never exploring their own feelings and developing their own morals and values.

As Matt said, "And what the hell is this straight-boy terror of gay guys looking at them? Excuse me, excuse me, straight boys... you're not THAT attractive! Besides, even if I were attracted to a straight guy, I know at least TEN gay guys who are as if not more
attractive than him, and whom I could get into bed a lot easier... oy! the arrogance. "

Phil might not have liked this response, but it was correct in a lot of ways.

First, straight men usually have a bigger problem w/ homosexuality than straight women. Also, as proven time and time again by boys on naval carriers and subs, many straight men believe that a gay man will have sex with *any man*. They don't understand that, gay or straight, everyone has their attractions. Just because a man is gay doesn't mean he'll jump your bones!

I have quite a few gay friends, male and female. For some reason, maybe it's that I don't judge people for anything other than who they are (head and heart), gay women and men feel comfortable enough around me to come out to me.

If I had been an uptight close-minded ass, I would've missed out on a lot of wonderful friendships!

04-05-1999, 10:47 AM
Couple of thoughts...

I agree that gays and lesbians should come out of the closet. But in the atmosphere surrounding gays today (DOMA, "don't ask, don't tell", those blasted full-page ads last summer saying "gays can convert and be loved by God again", Matthew Shepard, Billy Jack Gaither, and that fellow from Richmond) coming out of the closet is a real step, not just saying you're comfortable with who you are but that you're willing to actively fight to defend yourself. Many people just aren't up to that, at least at some point in their lives.

Personally, I wouldn't agree with matt_mcl's statement about "straight guys" not being attractive. I'm straight; I've experimented and found what I like. :) But even before I did that, and even now, I get approached by gay men and hit on. It's no big deal! I'm flattered. The point is, though, that they don't know I'm straight, nor do I know they're gay, at least until things come to that point. So maybe I'm a living refutation of matt's statement, I don't know.

Just my 0.02...

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All Hail Unca Cecil, or the next best thing available!

04-05-1999, 01:16 PM
Crap, I wasn't going to open this can of worms, but, in light of Phil's last post eloquently stating why he responded to Matt's generalization, I take issue with Skinsfan's opening paragraph especially when coupled with the last sentance of the post. Just because one holds views that are not considered "mainstream" does not make that person open-minded. Nor does holding "mainstream" views make a person closed-minded. Having an open mind indicates that one is able to hear the views of others, examine against their own and reach an independent conclusion. The views one holds after reaching those conclusions are irrelevant. Open or closed mindedness is a means to an end, not the end itself.

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. -- William James


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Beware the lollipop of mediocrity. Lick it once and you will suck forever.

04-05-1999, 10:43 PM
Okay, time for my apology. I like this message board and I don't want to make any enemies here. I was drunk and looking to pick a fight. It's an old habit I need to get rid of. Bit here it is. I'm not prejudiced against anybody. I even know a few gay people and consider them wonderful human beings. Like Martin Luther King, I judge only by the content of a persons character and not the color of his/her skin, or sexual preference. Genetic, or not genetic, who's to judge who has the better genes?
I'm not gay, but if I were and came out with it, there would be a lot of people who will be hurt by this revelation. My mother for example. I would weigh into consideration all benefits and consequences before deciding such an irrevocable course of action. The world is not a forgiving place. As for asking a celebrity if he/she is gay, well, use your discretion but remember there are other things in the balance. You may choose to be a martyr, but for others, they may have a different cause.

04-06-1999, 12:36 AM
[[[As Matt said, "And what the hell is this straight-boy terror of gay guys looking at
them? Excuse me, excuse me, straight boys... you're not THAT attractive! Besides, even if I were attracted to a straight guy, I know at least TEN gay guys who are as if not more
attractive than him, and whom I could get into bed a lot easier... oy! the arrogance. "

Phil might not have liked this response, but it was correct in a lot of ways.]]]

My problem with the response was at least twofold:

1) It generalized straights to a degree that gay men are uncomfortable with when applied to themselves. Most of the straight men I know don't give a damn whether they are being checked out by gay men or not. And, believe me, I live in an area of NE Ohio with one of the largest gay populations around.

2) I also know from experience, having gay friends and at one time having worked for a boss who was gay, that many times their conversation, just like straight women, revolves around what hunky Hollywood actor they'd like to have in the sack, gay or not.

3) Again, just as straight women often look at attractive gay men and say, "Oh, if only . . ." or "What a waste . . .," gay men (in my experience) look at straight men and say the same.

Let's not pretend it doesn't happen, folks; and let's not pretend that matt's comments were anything but the kind of stereotyping that would make him squirm if reversed. I think there's room for plenty more understanding and less stereotyping on both sides of that equation.

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** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-07-1999, 10:02 PM
Terribly sorry for all of this. That's the last time I steal a joke from a comedian. What I/she meant was the following: there seems to be an inverse relationship between how much certain straight men think that gay guys are lusting after them, and how attractive they really are. The whole phenomenon of assuming that gay guys are attracted to any man they see (honey, Ernest Borgnine is not on my list) annoys me no end. I went overboard in expressing this. Attractive straight guys, therefore, will please accept my sincere apologies.

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Blessed Be,
Matt McLauchlin
Montreal, Quebec

04-15-1999, 11:40 AM
Now, as this thread began with discussing whether stars should be asked about their sexuality, I'd like to get back to that and make a point I did not see as I went through the previous posts.

Heterosexuality is assumed in our society as being the mode of every man and woman in America. You are straight until proven otherwise, even if you are Liberace.

NOW... I think it is a valid question for a few reasons:

1) To show people that there are plenty of gays and lesbians in Hollywood that many adulate as 'heroes' or rolemodels

2) To demystify the stereotyping that all lesbians are butch dykes and all gay men are swishy queens

3) To get people over the thought that one sexual preference is superior, more holy, or more fulfilling than another

4) To get Richard Gere to admit the gerbil story is true

5) For Richard Simmons to admit he is straight

Finally... to stop the bloody debate which focuses on causality and illness models to attempt to define the genesis of homosexuality.

I'm more concerned with the genesis of bad taste, the desire to wear polyester, and the compulsion to listen to Rush.



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'So many morons, so few bullets.'

04-15-1999, 01:20 PM
I would like to see research continue to attempt to explain how homosexuality comes
about, simply because it's interesting. I wouldn't want the results of this research to be used as a tool for more discrimination against gays, though.

Of course, one of the biggest dangers there is, what if they find a "cure" for homosexuality? What if it is actually determined by your genes and they come up with genetic therapy that can either completely reverse it or, through some regular medication or something, can completely supress it?

Kind of scary. You know most people would want to "cure" their children - even very well meaning ones. It's completely understandable given the current problems with our society.

However, if we can get through this and gay/straight kind of just blends in to the society the way race in America has (okay, it's still got a LONG way to go, but it's definitely a lot better than a century ago), it might be harmless to search for the cause of homosexuality. I just don't know if we're ready for that knowledge yet.

Back on the original subject about celebrities:
I think one of the main problems is with the whole question: "are you gay?". The way our society thinks, the refusal to answer that question is generally taken as an affirmative. This is slightly reasonable, as no one really has any reason to fear being found out to be straight. Gay people, on the other hand, have legitimate reasons for wanting to avoid the question. Society does the same kind of thing where other sexual questions are involved. If someone is asked "did you have sex with this person?" and they say "none of your business", most people's psyche tends to take that as a "yes". It's just that it's rare (or at least, we assume it's rare) for people to refuse to answer a question if the truth would not cause them problems.

In light of all this, asking a celebrity (or anyone else) if they are gay is basically an accusation. It's like saying: "You're gay, aren't you? You would answer unless you had something to hide." A bit of a downer, you must admit. I can't think of many personal questions that would be as accusatory. Marital status, plans for having children - they just to rank up there.

04-15-1999, 01:24 PM
Marital status, plans for having children - they just to rank up there.

Ack, proofreading skills fading.. fading... gone.

That should be:
Marital status, plans for having children - they just don't rank up there.

04-16-1999, 12:16 AM
Finally... to stop the bloody debate which focuses on causality and illness models to attempt to define the genesis of homosexuality.


I would like to see research continue to attempt to explain how homosexuality comes about, simply because it's interesting. I wouldn't want the results of this research to be used as a tool for more discrimination against gays, though.

I'm of the mind that one's sexual preference is out of their control, regardless of whether it's nature or nurture. I'm attracted to women, and only certain women, and I have zero choice over that. I'm not even in control over WHICH women I'm attracted to, let alone women vs men.
Whether it's because of my genetics or my upbringing, who cares? I had no control over either. I imagine it's the same for gays.

Hmm, this might be a good topic for a new thread.... Nice and controversial, should get good responses. Look for on a BBS near you!

-- Revtim

04-16-1999, 12:33 AM
and the compulsion to listen to Rush.


hey, Hey, HEY! Careful what you say about Rush, Moving Pictures is one of my all-time favorite albums!

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Beware the lollipop of mediocrity. Lick it once and you will suck forever.

Markxxx
08-23-1999, 05:52 AM
I see asking if a person is gay is no bigger an issue than asking if he is Catholic.

I see it as no bigger an issue than asking someone if they are black.

I see it as no bigger an issue than asking someone what their nationality is.

Gay celebrites, with money in the bank, and nothing to lose should come out. Libarace lived PAST his dying day (through his will etc) denying he was gay. At that point the denial is just pathetic.

So to those like Rock Hudson, Jim Nabors, Richard Deacon, Paul Lynde, JM Bullock, Tom Cruise, Anthony Perkins, James Coco, Oliva Newton-John, Matt Lattanzi, Helen Reddy, Agnes Moorehead, Barbara Stanwyck, Ann B. Davis, Nancy Kulp.

You're out....

Rich Hall
08-23-1999, 06:12 AM
The gay thing does interest people quite a bit. And it's also that way in our personal lives. I have someone that I work with that I've wondered about for years. The guy seems to not have a sex life at all, and he's a very nice guy. So I just can't ask. And. it seems to be his style, that he would never tell anyway.

C K Dexter Haven
08-23-1999, 06:27 AM
Hey, Rich, you could just ask him for a date, and then you could judge by his reaction whether he's gay or not.

08-23-1999, 09:40 AM
I agree that celebs should come out and be good role models, but can see where they'd be afraid to. I think a man's career would be hurt more than a woman's, especially a leading man. As far as non-celebs, just look at the recent gay beating deaths and figure out why someone in Bird Center, Alabama, might want to stay in the closet.

Mark, where did you get your Gay List? Do you KNOW all these people were/are gay, or is it just one of those "oh, everyone knows they're gay" things, with no actual documentation to back things up? Barbara Stanwyck? I'm not saying she wasn't gay, but what's your source?

moriah
08-23-1999, 02:56 PM
... not that there's anything wrong with it.

Celebrities should come out if it's safe for them to do so. Once a celeb has achieved a certain level of financial and professional and social security, there's nothing to stop them. There's no (or at least a very minimal) risk.

As obviously gay as Boy George was, he avoided the gay question early in his career because silence gives a plausible denial that the mass market can tolerate. If BG 'came out' with his first hit, he would have been branded a 'gay artist' and his records (remember what records are?) would have been relegated to the fringe 'gay market.' Same with Elton John.

Coming out too soon will hurt your career.

But now that BG and EJ are famous and out, they're both still working, with Sir EJ doing very well. Anne Heche and Ellen Degeneres are also doing well for 'out' artists -- but only after becoming professionally established while in the closet.

[Anne Heche disproves the myth that the general public won't accept a known homosexual playing a romantic heterosexual lead.]

So, a celeb has to wait for the right time to come out. When the time is right, I think that they should come out, but it should still be their choice.

[Of course, like any segment of the population, there are some homosexual celebs who wouldn't make good role models -- not because of their orientation, but because they're jerks.]

Getting back to the OP, is it OK to ask if they're gay?

NO!

If being out will hurt a celeb's career (or personal relationship), then it's a danger question that no one has the right to -- even the press! [Yes, the press has the right to ask, and the right to print what they find -- that doesn't mean asking about it is morally good.]

Being a known adulterer or drug-user will also hurt a rising star's career. Should celebs be asked about these areas of their life? No.

But that doesn't mean some jerk in the press or on a newsgroup won't ask about it. The celeb would be justified in ignoring the question or outright lying about it. Serves the jerks right.

Peace.

Nickrz
08-23-1999, 08:38 PM
This thread is being moved to the Great Debates forum, at the request of the topic author, Revtim.
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Nickrz
GQ Mod