Most of us enjoy sharing rumors about celebrities; and especially about celebrities' sexual orientation. After all, it is more fun to add the spice of sexual fantasies about these sexy, powerful women. And really, is there any harm in doing it?
I do think it is important to take media rumors - or any rumors about lesbian celebrities, with a grain of salt. Let's face it, as sexy as it can seem, some of this is still tied into a society who considers the label lesbian as a negative. And admittedly, coming out as a lesbian has stalled more than one career.
Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova both suffered millions of dollars worth of lost endorsements when they came out publicly. Ellen DeGeneres lost the marketing support of Disney even though the coming out was widely acclaimed and high in the ratings. The loss of that support resulted in the cancellation of the series.
Without the strength of a good contract, after publicly coming out, Anne Heche would have been dropped from the Six Days, Seven Nights project, as was evidenced by the public whining of producer, Ivan Reitman. As it was, every movie critic included their personal rating of heterosexual believability within their review once the movie was released.
When we give in to the pressure, we are reinforcing the assumption that being a lesbian is bad. Then again, it is a bitter pill to swallow when we are forced to give up our career in order to be honest about our sexual orientation. So, ducking the issue is not incomprehensible nor should it be condemned. But then, how do we create change if women continue to give in to the status quo?
Take a look at who is currently part of the rumor mill -- consider their personal level of risk, and then you decide -- are they or aren't they? And if they are, should they or shouldn't they?
Gillian Anderson -- A List [compiled from ASG] provides this tidbit Divorced. Single mom; daughter reportedly fathered by David Duchovny. May have a drinking/drug problem. Rumored to be bisexual. Hot-tempered. Linked with Jodie Foster and Gina Gershon.
Julie Andrews -- A List [compiled from ASG] provides this tidbit Reportedly closeted lesbian, in long-term relationship with Carol Burnett. Married to Blake Edwards.
Carol Burnett -- A List [compiled from ASG] provides this tidbit Reportedly a Closet lesbian. So adorable most men would marry her anyway. Reported long-term relationship with Julie Andrews.
Hillary Rodham Clinton --
Ads Attack Clinton's Sexuality: Television stations in New York are refusing to run ads questioning Hillary Clinton's sexuality. The ads were prepared by the Virginia based Christian Action Network.
American Conservator Union: What’s more, because she had stringy brown hair, dressed like a social worker, scorned makeup, wore Ben Franklin glasses, and laced her speech with four-letter words, gossips spread the word that she was a lesbian. Christopher Andersen quotes an Arkansas woman as saying, "Some of the women she was close to were tough-as-nails types. They wore unflattering, boxy business suits, let their hair go gray, and swore like sailors."
Cindy Crawford -- Mr Showbiz reported Cindy Crawford tells Larry King that she wants to put an end to those lesbian rumors that have dogged her ever since she appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1993, shaving k.d. lang. "Maybe I'll do a cover of Esquire or Men's Journal where I'm shaving you, Larry, and we can change the image," the super-model says.
Jodie Foster -- AM News Wire: Hot rumors Jody Foster will be the next big Hollywood star to come out as a lesbian. Her new approved autobiography 'Foster Child'
Mr. Showbiz offers Among the revelations are that his mother had a lesbian affair with a woman the children called Aunt Jo and whose name Jodie was given, and that he "always assumed Jodie was gay or bisexual."
Sharon Gless -- The Society For Human Sexuality includes Gless, Sharon [f] (1943- ) U.S. actress (TM) on their main listing with the annotation, Inspired by the recent discussion of famous living out people in bit.listserv.gaynet, I've decided to post my list of queer men and women that I've painstakingly compiled from various postings in motss and gaynet. I've taken out the doubtfuls, the speculations and the did-it-once-but-I'm-het-now, crowd as not interesting. ---TM
Linda Hamilton -- Mr. Showbiz reported Linda Hamilton is tired of the rumor and innuendo surrounding her private life, and she doesn't even think her upcoming marriage to James Cameron will change her image. "That's something that's been haunting me since I was in school," she tells Variety. "I didn't put out, so they said I was a lesbian." The actress, who is currently appearing in Dante's Peak, says she has been relentlessly pursued by the tabloids, one of which is trying to out her.
Helen Hunt -- Before I Forget a fun gossip spot on the web adds, Oh, and Martin called me too... my film guy connection. "Before I leave you, I wanted to give you updated film industry gossip. Helen Hunt is gay." "Martin, we already knew that. I have heard it before from Farrah, and hello, she's a bartender. Bartenders know everything before everyone."
Janet Jackson -- The National Enquirer printed a story about the pending divorce between Ms. Jackson and her second husband, Rene Elizondo, which included a quote from a friend of Rene's: "He plans to claim that Janet has a desire for pretty women and an insatiable sexual appetite."
A List [compiled from ASG] provides this tidbit Bisexual with an insatiable sexual appetite. Breast implants. Reportedly mentally & emotionally unstable; abused/neglected as a child, which might explain that. Multiple rumored pregnancies and one child by former husband De Barge who she refuses to admit to. Linked with Robert De Niro and Q-Tip.
Nicole Kidman -- ASG Anti-FAQ offers up I am new to this news group, but I heard some gossip, that some might think is interesting... I also would like to see if anyone else has heard it too. I heard that Tom Cruise is bisexual and so is his wife, Nicole Kidman. My source says that this is a well known fact around
A List [compiled from ASG] provides this tidbit Married to and beard for Tom Cruise. Dyke. Not a Scientologist - no, really! Temperamental; difficult to work with. Regular at certain L.A. girl bars. Linked with Russell Crowe.
Kelly McGillis -- A List [compiled from ASG] provides this tidbit McGillis, Kelly. Closeted lesbian. Linked with Jodie Foster and Whitney Houston.
Kristy McNichol -- A List [compiled from ASG] provides this tidbit Difficult to work with. Manic-depressive. Lesbian.
Rosie O'Donnell -- A List [compiled from ASG] provides this tidbit Closeted lesbian. Fangirl made good. Unpleasant towards cast and crew any time the cameras aren't rolling. Unpleasantly obsessed with Tom Cruise.
Dolly Parton -- Dolly Fan Site on AOL states, Dolly stated in her autobiography that she and Judy have slept together for years, an innocent comment about actually sleeping in the same bed...
Oprah Winfrey -- Mr. Showbiz states "Since my appearance on the Ellen show, there have been rumors circulating that I'm gay," Winfrey said in a statement. "I've addressed this on my show, but the rumor mill still churns." Winfrey said a blind item run by syndicated gossip columnist Liz Smith about a month ago announcing that a major television star was thinking about coming out only exacerbated the situation.
Whitney Houston -- Jam Showbiz reports that Journalists pounced on rumors that Houston was a demanding, difficult primadonna and that she and her personal assistant Robyn Crawford were lesbian lovers.
As most can tell, I did not list every female celebrity rumored to be a lesbian or bisexual. The list is forever growing and I doubt I could ever keep up!
However, I believe this list makes it obvious that it will never matter if these women truly are lesbians or bisexuals -- unless and until homosexuality is considered nothing more than a personal attribute -- their coming out is not something that will be viewed in a positive light or even as a non-issue and therefore will not be considered a benefit to their career.
And how sad is that?
Until next time...