Sexuality isn’t a topic I touch on often (if ever) but I’ve noticed something and it’s really, truly puzzling me. So I’m going to bring it up just for the sake of getting other people’s opinions.
I like men. I’m heterosexual so I like looking at men on occasion. Mostly, I admire my husband Ted – who is my very favorite man. Sometimes I admire men who are not Ted, and when I do this I pick famous ones I have no chance of meeting or ever interacting with. Though my male friends are quite charming and attractive, I don’t consider it a very good idea to spend much time pondering the virtues of folk who are part of my life. It’s not productive, and I’d prefer not to risk those thought processes turning into word, or action as it is my intention to stay monogamously with Ted for life.
That being said, some of the famous men I find very attractive happen to be gay. The first example that comes to mind is Zachary Quinto, whom I first noticed playing Sylar on Heroes but really fell for when he started to portray Spock in the new Star Trek reboot. I also admire John Barrowman and Neil Patrick Harris.
Every time (almost without exception) I mention in conversation how attractive I think Zachary Quinto is, someone nearby me will quickly point out that he cannot return my affection because he is gay.
Why do people do that?
I also think Brad Pitt is quite beautiful. Since Brad Pitt is straight, do the people who do this believe that Brad is going to find out and promptly come to my house to try to steal me from Ted? That’s quite flattering if they do, but I submit that even if Brad Pitt and I were trapped alone in a room together for an hour sparks still would probably not fly. For many reasons – the first being that we’re both already married, but beyond that he’s a gorgeous actor and I’m an average Josie. He’s charismatic and I’m shy. He jets all over the world making movies and public appearances and I really prefer writing about things.
I’m sorry Brad – you are beautiful, but it’s just not going to work out between you and I. I want Ted, and you (for rather obvious reasons) want Angelina Jolie.
I always assumed that if either Zachary Quinto or Brad Pitt were to discover that I find them lovely they would probably react the same way: they might smile, be flattered (and probably slightly embarrassed) and to offer to take a picture with me or sign an autograph. Then we all move on with our respective famous and non-famous lives.
The phenomenon truly confuses me. It seems as though many people find it taboo for a heterosexual person to find a homosexual person attractive. Is the reverse also the case? Is it taboo for a homosexual to be attracted to a heterosexual celebrity? Either way, since we’re talking about the famous and beautiful whom we are never, ever going to meet (much less date) regardless of their sexual orientation – why does it matter if our passing fancies are able to return our admiration?
|I think it's the heavy brow that makes him so appealing.|
I think one of the factors influencing the appeal of fantasies is realism. All other factors being equal, people generally react more strongly to fantasies the less they have to work to suspend their disbelief. (Which obviously tends to be at conflict with other factors such as the beauty of the person being fantasized about.) So, for some people, when the star is known to be unattracted to their gender, it derails the fantasy and they'd rather not think about that person.ReplyDelete
I kind of feel that way about celebrities in general; it's why I am unable to name many actresses. There's a big gender difference here though. I assume any female star would rather not think about men such as myself fantasizing about her, especially if she was a lesbian, and would generally be wary with male fans (for good reasons). That assumption goes many times over for women actually in my sphere of acquaintance.
I don't think the assumption works the other way, I think perhaps for a woman to ignore a male star because he's gay seems more an insult than a courtesy. Certainly I am flattered by a woman fantasizing about me.
I speculate that the degree of aversion to the idea of being fantasized about is directly proportional to the assumption of its likelihood; the more attractive a person feels, the less attractive the idea of others fantasizing about them is.
It also seems possible that if that "someone" who points out Quinto's homosexuality is usually male, it's a bit of men's extensively suppressed competitiveness leaking out; he's unconciously reacting in a pattern of taking a rival down a peg.