The Guardian does it again again

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A couple of weeks ago, they published an article on actor Andrew Garfield talking about 'playing gay'.

"The actor was criticised over comments he made about preparing to play a gay man, joining actors such as James Franco who've toyed with ideas of sexuality" says the subtitle.

What he did was say comes down to that he thinks that, as an actor, he'd thoroughly got into the role of a gay man, but without having sex with one. He identifies as straight, but he is open to his sexuality changing over time.

Oh, the horror.

Franco's crime in the eyes of the author is say "I like to think that I'm gay in my art and straight in my life. Although, I'm also gay in my life up to the point of intercourse, and then you could say I'm straight. So I guess it depends on how you define gay."

It could just be part of doing publicity for his work, but that sounds like acknowledging he has the attraction to more than one gender to me. (Possibly even some behaviour with them too – there's more to sex than intercourse.) Hmm, how would we define that…?

Back to the article:

Straight actors have long played gay, with often spellbinding results (Sean Penn,

.. that would be Milk.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger,

.. that would be Brokeback Mountain, where the characters of both had bisexual attractions and behaviour, wouldn't it?

Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, et al).

.. that would be Carol, where the characters of both had bisexual attractions and behaviour, wouldn't it?*

TV shows such as Sherlock and Riverdale have been criticized for queer-baiting too, although in these fictitious contexts, it manifests mainly as the vague, often unrealized suggestion that a character might be gay or "heteroflexible",

.. really, WTF is the problem with saying 'bisexual'?

and it serves to court a subset of LGBT fans and then ultimately disappoint them. This is only exacerbated by the fact that, for as long as there's been film, television, and theatre, queer folks have yearned for representation and visibility.

Hmm, what parts of 'queer folks' are most missing representative and visibility? Clue: it's not white gay men.

That name-brand actors of Franco or Garfield's stature so wantonly flirt with this prospect – while always refraining from actually coming out as gay or even bisexual

Or. Even. Bisexual.

We'll just leave that dangling there.

This is what erasure looks like and it's one of the reasons why more people don't come out. Even as bisexual.

* Although there are plenty of people who think / hope that Galadriel isn't straight or just interested in other elves…

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