Out gay actor Richard Chamberlain says he 'wouldn't advise' closeted gay actors to come out. Didn't seem to hurt his career.

bas-chamberlainImage Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC In an interview with The Advocate promoting his upcoming role as an HIV-positive love interest for Uncle Saul (Ron Rifkin) on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, out gay actor Richard Chamberlain says he “wouldn’t advise a gay leading man-type actor to come out.” In an era when the President of the United States signed a bill repealing a law banning gay soldiers from serving openly in the military, the same month out actor Neil Patrick Harris hosted a video game awards show on Spike, Chamberlain’s words gave me more than a bit of pause.

Until he came out in his 2003 memoir Shattered Love, Chamberlain, now 76, was himself a closeted gay leading man-type actor. His career was launched with his role as the dashing title character on NBC’s 1960s drama Dr. Kildare, and it spiked again thanks to the 1983 ABC miniseries The Thorn Birds. He even once played Jason Bourne in a 1988 ABC movie of The Bourne Identity. But his resume through the 1990s was light on hits and heavy on forgettable TV movies. Since Chamberlain came out, though, he’s guest starred on Will & Grace, Nip/Tuck, Desperate Housewives, Leverage, Chuck, and now Brothers & Sisters. He played gay characters in some of those roles, and straight ones in others. But as The Advocate‘s writer implies when he asks Chamberlain, “When can a leading man come out — when he’s 69 and promoting a memoir?” it feels like telling the world he’s gay was the best thing that’s happened to Chamberlain’s career in 20 years.

That said, do you think he has a point? “There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture,” Chamberlain continues. “For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle… so it’s just silly for a working actor to say, ‘Oh, I don’t care if anybody knows I’m gay’ — especially if you’re a leading man… Look at what happened in California with Proposition 8. Please, don’t pretend that we’re suddenly all wonderfully, blissfully accepted.” The sad truth is I can count the number of out A-list leading men on one hand — does that mean there’s no room in Hollywood for out gay actors? Is Chamberlain right — should they stay safely in the closet until their careers wane and/or they age out of leading men roles?

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  • tracy bluth

    Unfortunately, it still is a stigma to be gay. I believe Rupert Everett said the same thing recently.

    • FromChicago

      First off, Chamberlain came out in 2003. The general public didn’t know and he was an old man, unable to play leading romantics. Second, he’s right. If a man comes out as gay, he won’t get cast in those romcoms and women will be turned off. His only audience will be gays.
      I don’t want to see an “outed” gay man romantically on screen acting like a heterosexual. All I would think is, he’s gay he’s gay he’s gay. The same happens when I see Queen Latifah, who has not come out yet, and she’s in a romcom….I can’t believe her character.

      • Bill

        That sounds like a ‘FromChicago’ problem.

        Not a Queen Latfiah problem.

        You should try and be a better person. THAT is a choice, after all.

      • Jon

        I don’t think straight guys are the audience for romantic comedies, anyway.

      • Garry

        I bet FromChicago doesn’t have a problem watching a straight actor portraying a gay person.

      • moz4ever

        Growth is not going to come about because people are staying IN the closet. Advising anyone, for any reason, to be dishonest about themselves is counterproductive.

      • James S.

        FromChicago’s comment can be distilled to this: I have a problem with gay people.

      • psb1962

        homophobe!!!

      • Claire

        I have no more problem watching a gay man in a straight role (romantic or not) than I do watching a straight man in a gay role. How are those situations different, other than that people have been conditioned to have hang-ups about gay actors? But if gay actors don’t start getting cast in those roles, that marginalization, which has nothing to do with the actor’s ability to actually play the role, will never go away. It’s nuts that the military is finally doing away with Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell but a large segment of the so-called liberal acting community still expects people to practice it to a high degree, or else the parts dry up for those actors.

      • FromSanFrancisco

        Yeah, FromChicago is clearly a homophobic monster, projecting only his own prejudice. It’s not at all possible for ANYONE ANYWHERE to be correct when stating that there may be negative consequences for a homosexual to out himself. Culturally, no one can make a statement like this and possibly be right. This isn’t 2050, this is 2010. Anyone who disagrees with a homosexual leading man in a heterosexual romantic comedy is obviously crazy. After all, our best leading men are all homosexuals… I can’t name a single one, but they are! The numbers don’t lie.

      • to fromchicago

        David Hyde Pierce was out (and clearly gay) but was great as Niles on Frasier, with love interest Daphne. I can see some people would have hang-ups, but a good actor can pull it off.

      • isembard

        Congratulations on coming out as a homophobic idiot!

      • Ember

        NPH is awesome on How I Met Your Mother. Being out isn’t hurting his career or the types of roles he’s playing.

      • JamesX

        Yeah because Adam Lambert doesn’t have any female fans. LOL.

      • bigvig

        aren’t we talking about acting???
        If a straight male plays gay- we accept that and usually give him an Oscar- Hanks in Phillie and Penn in Milk-just to name two.
        Get over Queen Latifah playing straight…they are all actors.

      • dorahelen

        It was awkward to say the least watching Queen Latifah in a romantic movie role…

      • sue

        I think the criticism of FromChicago is unfair. I don’t think FC is a homophobe – I think FC is just saying the more you know about an actor’s personal life, the harder it is to forget who they are and get into their character. Will anyone ever be able to watch “Mr. and Mrs.Smith” without having the whole Pitt/Jolie/Aniston affair in the back of their mind? I watch a lot of independent films with mostly unknown actors for this reason. I guess some people have more trouble tuning out this stuff than others.

      • Kris

        @Bill
        I agree. They are ACTORS, they’re job is to play make believe. You can believe that Tom Cruise has saved the planet from global destruction over and over again but you can’t believe that gay man can play a straight character? Look at Neil Patrick Harris.

      • sadini

        When I watch Neil Patrick Harris in HIMYM I don’t think “he’s gay he’s gay he’s gay.” Maybe it’s your personal problem, huh?

      • Joshua

        Why is it brave when a straight actor plays a gay role, but “not believable” when a gay actor plays a straight role? Are bi-sexual actors are just being lazy when they choose a role?

      • guest

        From Chicago has a point. Being a gay person in the movies can limit your roles. People may not be interested in a lead character play straight when they are gay. It is less believable. They may be fine in a supporting role but it would be harder in a leading role.

      • Sandra

        As a woman, the sexual orientation of an actor doesn’t affect my fantasies at all. Someone recently told me that Matt Bomer is gay. My response, “So what?”. The man is FINE looking.

      • mika

        Back in the 80′s and 90′s I didn’t know anyone who didn’t believe that Richard Chamberlin is gay, even though he hadn’t formally announced it. It was like the worst kept secrect in hollywood. That didn’t keep us from enjoying the thorn birds or the borne idenity and so on. Now would it have different had it been “officially” confirmed? I can’t say. But actors are paid to portray something they are not. For me, gay playing straight or straight playing gay is no different than a guy playing an astronaught when I know in “real life” he’s not one.

      • tsam

        You mean like Neil Patrick Harris in “How I Met Your Mother”? He’s awfully believable and very funny in that role. I think you’re full of BS, fromchicago. It’s OK if you can’t believe the character. The rest of us don’t worry so much about the orientation of the person pretending to be someone else.

      • David Bucci

        He is right; If you know someone is gay, it ruins the believable when he or she is acting as heterosexual. Why live a lie?

      • Gin

        FromChicago, David Bucci….and any others. “It ruins the believable if a gay plays a straight character” I believe its called temporary suspension of disbelief- its the mindframe one enters when one begins a movie. Also many straight actors have portrayed gay characters- is this as unbelievable as a gay portraying a straight character? No one can argue that Jennifer Beals (a very straight woman) gave one of the most convincing perfomances for 7 seasons as a lesbian…The above unenlightened comments annoy me. I now pass the soap box on

      • who cares

        all actors are a little gay aren’t they?

      • Michele

        speak for yourself, Chicago. Personally, I’m fascinated by gay men and I love to see them in a good role whether it’s a straight or gay role. You should Google ‘John Barrowman.’

      • Paul

        “All I would think is, he’s gay he’s gay he’s gay.”

        Holy cow, and some people say gays are “obsessed with their sexuality.” Does it make sense to watch Eric McCormack on Will & Grace and be obsessively thinking “he’s straight he’s straight he’s straight.” This just goes to show that there are plenty of heterosexuals who are obsessed with gay sexuality.

        Rock Hudson was gay, but I can watch one of his classic movies and believe each of the characters he plays because he is an ACTOR and Rock Hudson plays a straight guy darn well. Maybe I’ll think “he’s gay” once, but it’ll only be in reference to HOW WELL he plays the character and can mold a heterosexual identity out of a character he plays.

        If you can’t focus on anything other than the fact that the actor is gay and playing a straight character, then either you’re watching a terrible movie or you’ve got some issues of your own to deal with.

      • rolo

        i have a son that came out at the age of 21,the piece of shiet should have remainedthere,hes a constant rememberance of lies and shame for our family they are sick!!! dirty !!!! and they shuold nbe outlawed in any god believing country they belong in hell, and are only accepted? socially and moraly by their own kind and weak mentality individuals

      • Bryan

        Does that mean only doctors should portray doctors? Lawyers should portray lawyers??? Isn’t the essence of acting the ability to be someone other than yourself convincingly? I saw Silence of the Lambs at least a few times, and not once did I think, “I’m distracted because Anthony Hopkins isn’t REALLY a cannibalistic sociopath”. Use your head.

      • Bryan

        @rolo I was going to call attention to your aggressive ignorance by pointing out your embarrassing grammatical errors, but where do I begin?

      • Amarantha

        Rolo, your son is much better off not having an ignorant, hateful person like you in his life. IF there’s a hell, there will be a room waiting for you.

      • zenduane

        An actor is an actor is an actor. I still watch Rock Hudson, Danny Kaye, Charles Laughton, and more without giving the slightest thought to the fact that they were ay. How many more? John Travolta is the latest. If they are good actors they transport us to another place. If we think of them as “gay”, we are homophobic and it is our loss. Follow @zenduane

      • The Editrix

        I bet “rolo” is a troll out to give people who do not droolingly swoon over every detail of homosexual “culture”, however debased, a bad name.

        Bryan, you say “Does that mean only doctors should portray doctors? Lawyers should portray lawyers??? Isn’t the essence of acting the ability to be someone other than yourself convincingly?”

        Don’t you think that a person’s sexuality goes deeper than a career choice?

      • Julie

        Oh I don’t know about women being turned off. I’d watch Matt Bomber (an openly gay actor on White Collar) play the romantic lead as a straight man.

        Movies are about suspending reality…if he was hot and gay? Wouldn’t care.

      • XOT

        You know what really makes me hot? A gay actor playing a straight man who’s so good at flirting I can fantasize that he’ll get me totally excited and I”ll never have to break my marriage vows!

      • Cooper

        First of all, @ Rolo. Your own son! Think of it! I think he is an incredibly lucky man to apparently and finally have gotten away from you. Your own blood, you say these things about! You do not know the damage you have probably done to this poor man. If evil were personified, then it would be you, sir. In addition, perhaps if you laid off the liquor when you are posting, some of your grammar and spelling may be correct. To the rest of the homophomobes out here posting, what are you so afraid of? T thank all of you who have stood up for people like myself who did not have a choice being gay. There is way too much hatred we have to face every day because people still think we’re inferior. Why would I choose that? I am not out to “convert” or “molest” anyone but unfortunately, many people believe it to be so, thus I can see why many proven actors sacrifice this part of their lives to pursue their profession.

      • Producer Generic

        The Hollywood Producers just care about making money, and will never ever hire a Gay Actor, for even Gay Roles, because they fear they will lose money from straight audiences. If a Hollywood Producer had any Integrity, he or she would be willing to hire a Gay Actor, but they don’t.

      • Vince from NYC

        I love NPH and HIMYM.. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that he’s gay. In fact I totally forget that he is NPH nd he becomes Barney. Unfortunaly I have smaller minded friends who refuse to get into the show because they can’t get over a gay guy playing a womanizer. I wonder if these people watch movies and see the Actor as the Actor and not the
        character they portray. I guess some people have little imagination.

      • jesse

        Neil Patrick Harris came out and he does a great roll as the womanizer in How I Met Your Mother, so I believe if your a good actor you can do any roll, be it straight or gay.

      • Menopaws

        Richard Chamberlain is STILL a beautiful man! To say that he was OLD when he came out and that he was unable to play leading man roles is such an un-true comment. I am a 53 yr old straight woman and yes it broke my heart to find out Richard was gay, but only because it meant I wasn’t his type and I was DAMN jealous! He was and will always be one handsome hot man! And to anyone that sez gay men can’t play straight roles…watch the Thorn Birds and Shogun and watch a gay man doing just that… and doing a HELL of a sexy job at it!!
        AND to Rolo…you are either just trying to start trouble (I hope so for your sake) or you are one very hateful and sad person. I pity you!

      • rose

        “Mocha & Milk” is a perfect match like “black & white” people

        ❤ ____ Bla c kw h it eF li rts. C” 0- M _____ ❤

        The most successful interra cial da t ing c lub. If you are still waiting for your sweet “milk”, don’t hesitate to check it !! Don’t let your babies wait too long for you !!

      • Blake Jordan

        The producers are not really showing confidence in Neil Patrick Harris (HIMYM) and Jim Parsons (TBBT), because the straight (asexual) characters they portray are very unconventional.

      • billyD

        I know understand exactly what FromChicago is saying. When I was watching Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean” all I could think of was, “He’s not a pirate! He’s not a pirate! He’s not a pirate!”

      • sharon

        from Chicago…Queen Latifah came out a long time ago. People suspected for years about Chamberlain…didn’t change my mind about him…He is beautiful…gay or not and he is an awesome actor. Loved The Thorn Birds and Shogun…still love him.

      • nat

        look at it this way it did not hurt Ellen nor Neil Patrick Harris and they are doing well.a gay entertainer has both male and female admires.

      • Jason

        And, what is David Hyde Pierce doing these days? Any big Leads for Him? BTW, I love him; he’s adorable.
        Also, when HIMYM is over, what big roles for NPH…will be awaiting him?
        They are not actor’s of Richard Chamberlain’s calibor. (sp.)
        Plenty of what ‘FromChicago’ has to say, is correct, along with what RC has to say.
        This is reality, and whether we like it or not…FACT’s!

      • Jason

        @nat…It did hurt Ellen in the beginning! It was Big News! Ellen now has a ‘Talk Show’. (quite a difference.)
        NPH was not outed, when he began in HIMYM. It only came out mid 2010.
        So this is not a good example.

      • June Austen Meyer

        So very true. I would not want to watch a gay guy in a romance movie. And to those who say Neil Patrick Harris, the only reason he is believable is because he plays an outrageously unrealistic character. He isn’t playing a guy like Ted or Marshall, you know, a very typical straight character. So your argument is moot.

        Gays playing straights is basically like blackface. I want my romance movies to stay romantic. Its not romantic if all I can think about how this guy is gay and playing a character that is not gay. Believe it or not, but the silent majority in this country do in fact agree with me and FromChicago. Those condenming people like us are in the minority.

    • GOD

      I’ve admired Richard Chamberlain’s career for a long time. He was probably the greatest Laker ever. That 100 point game was unbelievable.

      • Sally

        Funny.

        If you’re a moron, that is.

        OMG. LOL.

      • Sam

        Excuse me…..that 100 point game came when he was a 76er. Hello. You must be an incredibly bad person. (just kidding. Your joke was great.)

      • Philadelphian

        Actually, Richard Chamberlain’s 100-point game was with the Philadelphia Warriors, who preceded the 76er’s! It was at the 500-seat Arena, and to this day, 10,000 people swear they were there!

      • Launcher

        Somewhat ironic when you consider the 1000s of sexual conquests the other Chamberlain has bragged about (but as far as we know didn’t contract HIV, unlike Richard C’s Brothers & Sisters character).

      • Bob

        He did it in Hershey against the Knicks and everyone watched it on TV. And Marv Albert called the game.

        Actually, according to Wikipedia: “Chamberlain had spent the night before the game in New York, partying all night with a female companion. With no sleep and suffering from a hangover, he boarded the train to Philadelphia at 8 AM, met several friends at the Philadelphia train station and had a long lunch with them, thus almost missing the team bus to Hershey.”

        That’d be ol’ Chamberlain all right.

      • JTLancaster

        Actually, Philadelphian, that 100-point game was played in Hershey, PA, not the (46th Street) Arena. And Richard Chamberlain isn’t among the 100,000 who swear they were there.

      • jene47

        Richard Chamberlain is and always will be a great person in what ever he does. Being gay has nothing to do with it. But, in today’s society- you can not predict what will happen if you come out of the closet at any age. I believe its the person themselves, who they are, what they have accomplished, and what they can still do. Take C. Heston he was gay from day one and everyone new it, the tabloids at that time never made it public, because the reporters had better taste at that time. Now, its how it is written, reporters can be cruel.

      • Christopher

        Well perhaps this is self-evident because of the joke, but I just have to do it. It’s Wilt. Wilt Chamberlain who played basketball. Thanks for indulging me in this obsessive correction.

      • tom

        Thanks for clearing that up Christopher — I hate having to think and stuff…

      • bootsycolumbia

        You’re not obsessive, Christopher. The joke wasn’t funny in the first place because GOD couldn’t even get Wilt Chamberlain’s name right.

      • marina

        rolo: I am sorry your son is gay;I hope you love him, share his life, and talk with him about his inner struggles and feelings. You will not only love your son more than ever, but this is an opportunity for you to understand, not understand, share, not share the personal life a human being. This might sound totally stupid, but please think outside the box and attempt to understand why a person is gay, especially your own son. You will be a better person and a happier person for the rest of your life. One more point; I also believe that “gay” and their personal sexuality is just ugly. The sexual activity and long term effects of mind and soul is disgusting and not happy. I am sorry, but it is what I have seen in my 70 years. Just the same, your son will forever be your son and you must understand what makes him tick for your mind and soul. Just love him.

    • Alicia

      Exactly. Rupert Everett was one of the actors who pioneered being “Out and Proud” but he is upfront in his memoir that it hurt his career. It might not have hurt Sir Ian McKellen, but he was a Shakespearean actor and a character actor, not a leading man. I think being openly out would cause those notoriously timid and cautious casting directors and studio executives not even to consider certain actors for certain roles. Why should an actor limit himself (or herself) to roles that will appeal to only one audience? Most good actors want to play every kind of role, and they should be given a chance to do so.

      • Sally Sasser

        What hurt Everett’s career more was his bad plastic surgery. No one ever watched him for his great acting, though he is competent. People watched him ’cause he was so damn pretty. And now he just isn’t.

      • 4815162342

        Rupert Everett is gay?!? What?! Wait … never mind.

      • Kevin

        I think what hurt Rupert Everett’s career wasn’t the fact that he’s gay but rather the fact that he’s a complete d-bag.

      • Alicia

        Rupert Everett was quite pretty, and he wasn’t such a great actor when he started out. But he stole “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and he was perfect in “An Ideal Husband.” I didn’t know about the plastic surgery. Not sure about his personality flaws, but I’m sure he has them and I enjoyed reading his memoir. But, I would imagine that he would have gotten a lot more offers from Hollywood after his breakout performance (where he played a gay man) if he were a straight actor playing gay.

      • levelheaded

        I think he may have a point. I assume that Hollywood isn’t the most open-minded of places when it comes to looks, so I would think it’d be the same for sexual orientation.

        However, as a straight female, I could care less if a leading man is gay.

        And when thinking about romcoms, which is marketed toward females, why would we care if in real life the lead likes men?

        It’s a movie and a romantic fantasy.

      • tsam

        @levelheaded:
        I agree totally. I still find Portia DeRossi very attractive. I don’t much care if she’s a lesbian. Besides-you’ll never meet or date any of these actors, so why worry about the sexuality of eye candy?

      • Eric

        The bad plastic surgery was fairly recent. It doesn’t explain why Rupert Everett wasn’t bombarded with major film roles after stealing My Best Friend’s Wedding away from major stars like Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz 13 years ago.

        If the world believed that he was straight, he would have gotten a lot more offers. Everyone was talking about his performance when that movie came out.

      • Ryan

        Rupert Everett is known for being rude, arrogant and very full of himself not to mention having a chip on his shoulder. His faded career would have happened if he was straight…. he is often said to beimpossible to tollerate on set.

      • Chloe

        You can’t continuing being a gay man while portraying a straight man. That was Rupert’s problem. He didn’t know how to act straight.

      • michael

        Rupert Everett is a pompous windbag. His inability to bite his tongue, his narcissism and, possibly, The Next Best Thing ruined his career.

    • Esther Nir

      I totally agree with ‘From Chicago’. Part of the fun of a romantic comedy or any romantic show is the fantasy. As a woman I have to say that if I know the actor is gay then the fantasy is meaningless as I know he would never really be turned on emotionally or physically to the woman he is with.

      • John

        Do you think you’re really going to land a Pitt or Clooney, Esther? It’s called suspension of disbelief.

      • jk

        But can’t that comparison apply either way? When people watched “Will & Grace,” do you think that they found it difficult to connect to the Will character because Eric McCormack, the actor who plays him, is straight? Mr. McCormack would never really be turned on, in your words, “emotionally or physically,” by any of the men his character was with on the show, but no one was disappointed with his portrayal as far as I know, because his acting ability overrode his sexual preference. And this “the fantasy is meaningless” defense extends even further – when you watch a romantic comedy, does it bother you when the two lead actors are, in real life, married to other people and thus not romantically interested in each other? Kevin McHale plays a character who uses a wheelchair on “Glee,” but in real life he can walk. Does that invalidate his performance? See how your reasoning tends to fall apart and turn into you just sounding homophobic?

      • Carrie

        That’s the beauty of good acting … if I’m lost in the moment and transported by the chemistry between the actor and actress playing two characters in love or lust, I forget about each person’s real-life role.

      • Ry

        Seriously, after THAT comment, how can anyone say there isn’t still a stigma? Can’t separate an actor from a character? I do it every time Russel Crowe plays an character that isn’t a complete a$$hole. And Harold and Kumar doesn’t suddenly become a hard view bc Niel came out!

      • mary

        Sadly this right here is the real anti gay issue in America. We pretend it is white males but it is really women and no one wants to take it on. Actors are acting. If real straight actors are doing each other in life and on screen it isn’t acting. Some straight female and male actors who play lovers often hate each other in real life. Women are not being called out on this — because everyone is scaried to say you are stupid as dirt if you really don’t get that acting is acting, Brad Pitt is not coiming home with you get over yourself. Years ago it was black men being treated this way by American women now it is gay men. Never mind that acting used to be all male even the female roles were played by men. So this nonsense is totally American crap because we don’t have to the guts to stand up to these foolish females who think the actor is really screwing them on screen. If Joile can play a role intended for a man and Penn can win ans Oscar playing a gay male then time for women in this country to start being blasted for the sad pathetic anti gay rusbbisg. Pitt is going to come bandg dsoe fat housewife he can get models get over it.

      • shauna

        Ester,
        Just a question…I understand the part about it being a fantasy, but if it is a fantasy, why is it that knowing the leading man’s sexuality breaks you out of it? Do you have the same problem with an actor who cheats on or abuses his partner in real life? I could understand that knowing something about an actor could make it hard to suspend your disbelief. There are actors that I can’t watch after learning some things about their personal life (just a hangup of mine I guess) I guess I am just wondering if it is specifically sexuality that destroys the fantasy for you or could it be anything? I’m not attacking you, just curious.

      • Caligary

        Esther- I have NO problems accepting Neal Patrick Harris as a womanizing man whore on HIMYM nor do I have a problem accepting Sean Penn as the Gay Rights pioneer Harvey Milk. Why?? Because they are ACTING in a movie. Movies are all about suspending reality and if an actor is good enough- what they do in their personal lives should not affect how we watch them on screen. Just curious if you have a hard time watching Ironman because you know in real life that Robert Downey Jr. can’t fly?

      • shawshank

        I am so surprised that all of you are reaming people for sharing their opinions. They are sharing them in a respectful, honest way, and you are responding with derision. I have seen many, many times on this site how people have a hard time viewing an actor’s performance when their real-life persona becomes the main thing they are known for. Look at Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson. Because it IS difficult to lose yourself in a movie when you keep thinking of what you read in the tabloids about an actor. So, they have a valid point. If you honestly ask yourself what is the first thing you think of when I say “Rupert Everett” you are lying to yourself if “gay actor” is not one of the first 2 things that pop into your head. Here’s another example. When I heard that the actor who plays Artie on Glee didn’t really use a wheelchair, I spent the next few episodes noticing his performance. The info I had heard about the actor naturally came to mind while watching him act, and it took me out of the show for a moment. Another example, Rosario Dawson is multi-ethnic. But I only know that because I read her bio on imdb. Before that, the first time I saw her playing a Latina role, it took me out of the performance for a moment because my brain had to take a moment to say, “Wait…I thought she was black?”

      • shawshank

        Shauna makes a great point. Any time I watch a Tom Cruise movie it takes a good half-hour for me to forget I’m watching the guy jumping on Oprah’s couch and finally start to believe him as his character. Same thing with Angelina Jolie. She is just SO FAMOUS that only in her best movies do I stop thinking “this is Angelina Jolie playing someone else.”

      • Hunter S Tomboy

        The first thing that pops in my head when you say “Rupert Everett” is “who?”, not “gay!”. I’m not sure he can blame coming out for his problems as a *cough* “leading man”. I think his problems as a “leading man” come from the fact that he never really was one, is a hack, and now he’s funny looking to boot.

      • Taylor Siluwe

        We all want to believe we’ll meet Will Smith one day and he’ll leave Jada and kids and run away with us. Okay, I fantasize about that. Still, the odds of that happening are up there with winning the Powerball – twice.

        But that’s the nature of fantasy. We suspend our disbelief and run with it. When the actors are doing their job well, its easy.

        Having said that, Chamberlain is doing gay actors a disservice with this advice. But I forgive him, considering he is from the days of yore – when coming out was unheard of, and creeping around in the shadows was sublime.

      • @shawshank

        I agree with your post completely. Shauna’s just expressing exactly the thought process of many in the movie-going audience. And yes, it’s true that a straight man can play gay without harming his career, but let’s not pretend that for many people it’s because he’s not “really that way” and they can accept him doing that knowing in real life he’s not gay. That’s the uncomfortable reality. That’s why, as the article said, you still have very few actors period who are out and working steadily, and how many of them are consistently cast as romantic leads? I’d love to be all “No way, it doesn’t matter anymore” but that would be me projecting my own hope onto other movie goers, and that’s just not true as we still have a very long way to go.

      • deeidub

        Esther, Esther…we must think before we write. In two separate comments you played the Fantasy/Pretend card as if it trumped all others and won your argument for you. But the whole idea of fantasizing and playing pretend is making sh*t up, ‘k? Just like you’re pretending that you’re not a homophobe, just an especially astute judge of what makes good romcoms. Know when to fold ‘em, sweetie.

      • levelheaded

        @Esther -That doesn’t make sense to me. It’s a fantasy, which means not real. So why would reality distract you?

      • Paul

        I have no problem believing that that Will on “Will & Grace” is attracted to the men he dates, even though Eric McCormack, the actor that plays the part, is straight, married and has kids.

        I think when you are watching movies you are focusing too much on gay sexuality. Maybe it’s a discomfort? Phobia? Society has trained people to be scared of Gay Americans even though Gay Americans are 90% of the time just like any other average American. You may be experiencing that.

        Just be open minded, try not to focus on the actor’s sexuality and instead focus on the characters. You do realize that when a heterosexual couple has sex in movie that they’re not having sex in real life and weren’t really having sex during the filming. Yet I imagine that somehow when you are watching the movie, you BELIEVE that they are having sex, even though you know that really they’re not. If you can believe that, then why can’t you believe that a straight character, played by a gay actor, really loves another straight character?

        Be open minded, this may be your problem, and not someone else’s. Not a terrible problem to have, but as you can see in the article it does cause others some harm.

      • jules

        Esther, that’s fine. Just means more John Barrowman for me. YUM!!!!!!!!
        (p.s. I’m a straight woman who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about any actor’s sexuality. It’s none of my business, nor is it yours.)

      • Eric

        Esther’s got a point. Once women realized that Brad Pitt was romantically involved with Angelina Jolie, and thus off the market – and there was no hope that they’d end up with him in real life – his career was completely destroyed.

        Oh, wait….

    • musica1

      Some actors are just not believable romancing women whether they’re gay or straight. If it doesn’t feel honest, people are not going to buy it. Gay actors like Neil Patrick Harris in HIMYM and Matt Bomer in White Collar have no problem making the romance and flirtations with women seem believable, so they can be cast as leading men and women love it. In other words, I don’t think it’s the being out that hurts as much as if a gay actor can really portray a straight man convincingly. An effeminate man shouldn’t even go for the leading man roles whether he’s gay or straight, out or in the closet.

      • LAJackie

        Matt Bomer is gay? My heart just broke.

      • Esther Nir

        Mary & John: Get over yourselves, I don’t want Pitt or Clooney home with me, that is not the point. The networks know, even if you do not, that the audience of romcoms are mainly straight women and we are not going to be interested in a gay man playing straight with a woman. That’s it, bottom line. It is a turn-off. And Mary, although Brad Pitt is not going to come over to some fat housewife doesn’t mean that the woman can’t pretend. Again, the networks know that, they want to keep their audience and they know what they are doing.

      • Hoss

        Esther, it seems you have an axe to grind beyond your point about female fantasies.

      • KarlHall

        @LAJackie:

        I thought everyone knew? Like Queen Latifah… well-kept (or not) Hollywood secrets!

      • Caligary

        Umm yes- I think Esther doth protest too much and she should get over HERself. If you can’t suspend your obvious homophobic feelings enough to allow yourself to believe that someone like Ricky Martin or Neal Patrick Harris could be involved with a woman in a movie- then you really should just stay home since ALL movies require some suspension in reality. So I say MORE stars should come out so that more and more people will realize that it really isn’t a big deal.

      • craig

        Matt Bomer is still in the closet with Kevin Spacey even though it is a see through closet!…even Sherman Hemsley is still in the Closet (yes George Jefferson Is GAY) even though he introduces everyone to his boyfriend on set (or at least he used to when he worked!)

      • Speak for yourself

        As a straight woman, I resent Esther putting words in my mouth. Gay men playing straight is not a turn-off for me, and if you asked my female friends, they’d say the same thing–and for some, it’s a turn-on. This may come as a shock to some, but some women like watching attractive men on film, and if those men happen to be gay playing straight, it does not matter one bit. When I say attractive, I’ll give an example: I don’t find Paul Giamatti attractive, so watching him–a straight actor–getting it on with a lady friend doesn’t really do it for me, but replace him with Jake Gyllenhaal, and that’s a different story. Watching Matt Bomer–a reportedly gay actor–or Jonathan Groff–an out gay actor–get all straight n’ flirty is hot because I find them attractive; watching Ian McKellan? Wow, not so much. Nothing to do with straight or gay, everything to do with whether they’re fun to watch get all sexy-like. Ugh. Sexual repression is such a drag, man.

      • kahuna

        Wait until Harris is trying to get roles when he leaves, HIMYM. He came out while aready in the part, so your point is kinds moot.

      • Ames

        You can say it doesn’t bother you all you want. But studios don’t make decisions based on people’s best intentions — they make decisions based on the amount of money coming in. it’s hard enough to get people to shell out $10 for a movie. They’re not going to risk the bottom line by pushing a social agenda.

      • 4815162342

        I just want to know why it is anyone’s business whether someone is gay or straight Just play the role and do it well. Most the time, I don’t want to know and I don’t care.

      • Kiki

        Esther– please acknowledge that you are speaking ONLY for yourself. You do not know what is in my heart or my fantasies, so don’t presume to speak about what straight women want.

        And if you don’t think straight women can find gay men hot, you haven’t been to an Adam Lambert concert.

      • Taylor Siluwe

        LOL – Yes, some on-screen romances just aren’t believable.

        Like Steve Buscemi and any hot babe. LOL

      • Taylor Siluwe

        Oh, Esther – does that mean I can’t dream about a man who’s completely straight? You just threw a lug wrench into most of my sexual fantasies.

        You just have a problem with the gays. Admit it. It’s not straight women are turned off by gay men, because that clearly is not true. E. Lynn Harris was a black gay author and the vast majority of his readership was women – black and white.

      • Teresa

        While I agree that studios are not going to be interested in pushing a social agenda at the cost of ticket sales, I find a lot of gay men attractive and there’s no reason that a gay actor *can’t* be convincing as a leading straight man.

        It was obvious to me that David Hyde Pierce was gay, but I loved Niles/Daphne and found his devotion to her completely convincing.

        I think we’re a little too hung up on sexual boxes. I know if my mind that gay men aren’t interested in have sex with women — but that’s not even half of what makes a good love story. And if the other parts are there (respect, friendship, fascination), I can easily suspend my disbelief about the sex.

      • Vince from NYC

        Erster, the audiances of Romcoms are morons who enjoy the same story over and over again.. Maybe these types of fans wouldn’t be smart enought to differenciate between the character and an actor so maybe your right. However, I wouldn’t base a serious acting career on the opinion of someone who watches lots of those movies (by choice).

      • jules

        ESTHER–SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, WOMAN.

    • Bella24

      Interestingly enough, as a straight wooman I would run to see Rupert Everett in any romantic comedy, he’s just a damn good actor for those parts regardless of his true sexual orientation. I think that people forget that it’s called “acting” for a reason, and that gift of a true actor’s talent is their ability to push the viewing public into a place where we willingly suspend disbelief…if Danny Devito can be a romantic lead, if former international editorial fashion models like Andy McDowd, Charlize Theron and Cameron Diaz, or pageant queens like ) Halle Berry can convince us that they are goddess, angels and monsters onscreen…for what reason would Rubert Everett, David Hyde Pierce, Queen Latifah, and Rock Hudson not be convincng? if the idea is to play HUMAN BEINGS WHO LOVE, WHO FIGHT, WHO STAND UP FOR WHAT IS DEAR TO THEM, and as an audience, the point of viewing work is to employ the WILLING SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF, it seems the issue is clearly with audiences, their ill-informed opinions, and not with a thesbians ability to perform and transcend through their craft.

      • L

        I caught the last few minutes of “My Best Friend’s Wedding” last week and I wanted Rupert to kiss the hell out of Julia. D*mn.

        I think it’s the talent of the actor that makes the difference.

    • bc

      What’s hurting Everett right now is that facial surgery. Once it loosens up a bit he’ll get more work.

      • Cris A

        Know what… He had his face peeled off in a motorcycle accident for God Sake! What do you expect him to look like?

    • da_truth

      yeah. just go to any school yard in america and ask the kids(btw, the most targeted movie demographic) if they want to see a movie with a straight leading man or a gay leading man?

      anybody who thinks there’s no stigma against gays is delusional.

      • Alia

        Or, more realistically, ask them if they want to see something starring “that guy from Dr. Horrible.” They probably do! (Furthermore, if what you said is true, that’s an indicator of a flaw in how our society is raising its children, not in how movie roles are cast.)

      • Klack

        Amen, Alia. Exactly what I thought when I read this post. If children are growing up with that kind of mindset, they’re getting it from home. Which means that their parents aren’t doing a very good job of raising them as open-minded individuals.

    • calistoga

      How could they not even mentioned his starring role in SHOGUN??? I am a straight female 9 yrs younger than Chamberlain, and knew he was gay when Shogun and Thorn Birds came out (scuse the pun). Was still able to romanticize about him in those roles. Same with Matt Bomer. I still fantasize he is MY White Collar man! It’s fantasy!! Clooney and Pitt wouldn’t give me a second look any more than Chamberlain or Bomer. This isn’t rocket science folks…

      • sharon

        AMEN! He is just one damn good actor! I know lots of women were drooling all over their chins as they watched Shogun and The Thorn Birds. I know I did! He surely was convincing. That’s why it’s called ACTING. BTW…I love Adam Lambert too! I am a straight white female, just so you know…I’m 57 and I still think these 2 men are beautiful!

      • LAJackie

        I saw Richard Chamberlain at the movie theatre the other night and I almost cried because I thought my heart would burst. I, of course, had to go and tell him that I loved him. I don’t think I scared him too much.

      • Rikki

        Well, callistoga and sharon…I loved those 2 movies too, but I didn’t know he was gay, at the time.
        Get real, all of a sudden, everyone knew RC was gay. What a crock!
        Women were drooling over him, b/c they thought he was handsome, and a great actor. Period!
        You are older now, and grown up some, but please don’t delude yourself into thinking, that you always had this frame of mind. It’s insulting!
        I’m older now, and more informed, b/c of family and friends. (that are gay.) I will not pretend, that I was always tolerant. I also have empathy for what they are going through. Even when I think, I’ve got it, I learn more.
        I love RC. Adam is a singer, not an actor.
        I guess I just hate it, when ppl. pretend… they knew all along, that RC, or whomever was gay.
        They heard rumor’s, and thats all. Way back, ppl. had most of Hollywood as being gay.

    • lovethemgays!

      but he is gay!!!! I love that about him!

    • Bebe

      What a pathetic man and what an incredibly stupid and harmful thing to say. Obviously, Chamberlain thinks coming out is only something you should do when you’re past your sell-by date and looking for an angle for peddling your memoir. How sad, cynical and wrong-headed.

      • sharon

        he couldn’t come out back in the day. It was not acceptable back then, and I don’t blame him for not coming out sooner. It would not have helped his career at all…probably would have KO’d it back then…

      • Micky

        @Babe…a pathetic man, my azz! Who are u to say that about this incredible actor. You are the sad one here.
        @Sharon…absolutely agree with you.

    • Bluto

      Richard Chamberlain is a dip%$#&. Two of the most entertaining and surprising roles I’ve ever seen NPH play were both misogynist lotharios—and he was completely convincing.

      • DTO

        I look at his performance on HIMYM as a send-up of what guys are socialized to think available confident heterosexual men are supposed to be. I have some college friends who think there must be something wrong with you if you’re not a 24/7 horndog for the ladies. It’s like they’re constantly trying to prove their manliness. I find NPH’s performance hilarious because he nails these guys’ overcompensating attitudes beautifully.

      • Jason

        Bluto, when NPH finishes this show, you can be sure he will only play comedy roles.
        No lead romantic roles for him. NPH didn’t come out…he was outed. He is riding high now, but I feel for him, when this is over.

    • TONY

      I don’t think it’s a “stigma” to be gay. I just think that audiences would have trouble accepting openly gay men in leading straight roles. I suppose we could test the theory. Neil Patrick Harris could try a few romantic comedy films and let’s see what happens. My hunch is they would bomb.

  • Riley

    I think he has a point – why risk losing roles because some people are homophobic. Anyways, I feel the less we know about a celebrity’s personal life the better.

  • Me

    I understand why he didn’t feel he could risk it in his younger years. However, if no one tries, how will it ever be something to which audiences can get comfortable. If you say you aren’t entitled to be who you are, you are letting others treat you that way. I think of Rosa Parks. It can’t have been easy, making the choice to sit where she did on that bus, but it made a difference in the course of history.
    I will not respond to snide comments regarding my comparison. My point is that, sometimes, taking risk isn’t for the individual but the greater good. And I am entitled to that opinion.

    • Matt

      Your comparison is accurate (and sure, you’re going to get religious freaks disagreeing, saying race and sexuality are incomparable). But in terms of making a movement towards future progress, you need someone to take a stand. Yes, it may affect their career and the roles they land, but it’ll pave the way for future out actors. I think NPH is doing an okay job in that regard.

      • Reena

        I agree Neil Patrick Harris is a great example of how you can come out in Hollywood and still land good leading roles…after he came out did they change his character in any way on HIMYM or did he get offered less roles…Adam points out in the column that NPH got to host the video game awards on SPIKE this year a channel which mainly aims at younger straight males and they asked him to host that is a big deal

      • JMO

        Matt, I agree with you, but am going to slightly disagree with Reena. NPH has had a very successful career since sharing that he is gay. He’s has had success on broadway, doing video game voice overs (probably why he hosted the Spike Awards), and of course his role as Barney. But lets keep it real…If the Thorn Birds or Dr. Kildre were to come around again…NPH probably would not be the first choice as leading man. I see Richard Chamberlin’s point and I fault him for “staying in the closet” or the probably dozens of other leading men that choose to “stay in the closet”. Hollywood is a fickle town. Just ask Rupert Everett.

      • JMO

        *can’t fault him….

      • henrietta

        I agree about NPH. I still think that Chamberlain might be right as it relates to actors who are still struggling for a foothold, or actors who have made it to “B-List” status (for lack of a better term) but have designs on becoming A-List. NPH, Ellen, Rosie, k.d., etc. were all relatively well established when they came out, rendering their becoming a pariah (in terms of hiring) pretty unlikely.

        I also agree that, from a historical standpoint, SOMEbody has to do it. I just can’t imagine how difficult that decision would be…if it means you’re facing the prospect of either never working again, or being typecast.

      • Alicia

        Neil Patrick Harris was outed by Perez Hilton. He made the best of it.
        I support any gay person who comes out, but think it should be their choice.

      • InCA

        Let’s get this straight, NPH DIDN’T COME OUT, he was outed by another gay who saw it as being financially beneficial to expose his sexuality. I felt bad that this happened to NPH. I attribute the fact that NPH and RC’s careers have improved as being a temporary spike in their celebrity and not a permanent one. I think there is a strong sympathy factor at play in Hollywood for the both of them that will win some short-term gain, but is not sustainable for all actors who reveal their sexuality to receive the same treatment. I feel that it will be a much longer time before society can accept known gay actors in leading straight roles. There is just too much at play here, particularly for male leading roles where women want to imagine themselves sexually with the actor and men seeing identification with the straight male attributes. I think that in the future this will limit the roles that will be available to them.

      • tsam

        @Alicia & InCA;
        Now this is why Perez Hilton should be chained to a Volkswagon and thrown off of a bridge. What a horrible thing to do to someone. I tend to agree that coming out could limit the range of roles an actor could get. Let’s hope that changes–and soon. Seems like one of those catch-22 situations. The only solution is for all of the gay actors to come out, but it will be the next generation that reaps the benefits of their bravery. Sad, really.

      • JD

        @Matt: “…you need someone to take a stand. Yes, it may affect their career and the roles they land, but it’ll pave the way for future out actors.” So what stand are YOU taking right now that may cause you to lose your career and livelihood? Because you make it sound like an easy decision. In a way you are right, but it takes an extraordinary person to take that risk. You shouldn’t judge someone if they’re not “the one” compelled to take that risk.

      • Alicia

        Interestingly enough, tsam, Perez Hilton has “walked back” somewhat from his stance that gay celebrities in the closet should be outed in response to the “It get’s better” anti-bullying campaign. Perhaps it hit home that he was being a bully, too. I certainly hope it did.

    • Tygor1

      Me, I agree with your statement. It was a different climate back then, so understandably the fear was hightened because there was no awareness. Now that there is awareness, and it is becoming apparent that homosexuals have always been a part of socitey’s fabric, there should be no shame in coming out. But no one should be bullied to come out if they don’t want to either.

    • FromChicago

      Your comparison to Rosa Parks is off base, totally off base.

      • Bill

        In no way is that comment off-base.

        Unless you are black, and simply resent being compared to a gay citizen.

        My money’s on that.

      • Mary Anne

        Every one deserves civil rights. However, it is different for “race” and women. Everyone knew Rosa Parks was black, but no one knew her sexual orientation. You can’t be a closeted black person or for the most part a closeted woman or man. No one knows a person’s sexual orientation until they tell you or Rock Hudson and Mr. Chamberlain would have been outed long ago.

        That being said, unless gays and lesbians and transgendered people speak out and up, they will not get the rights they deserve and yes, it does take someone to make that sacrifice. Mr. Chamberlain is right and he most likely would not have gotten all those romantic leading man roles if people knew he was gay and Mr. Hudson would cerainly not have made all those rom coms with Doris Day either. When an A list leading man or woman comes out, and continues to be a romantic lead, then progress will have been made.

      • CureForIdiocy

        I agree.

        There is no comparison. If you think there is, do a test.

        First, try to act straight, if you’re gay. See if you can ‘pass’ with strangers.

        Now, if you’re black, try acting white, and see if you fool anyone…

        Duh.

      • Snooz

        The comparison to Rosa Parks is NOT off base. It’s to say that she didn’t pretend to be anyone but who she was and still accomplished what she intended. If anyone couldn’t see that NPH was gay before he was outed had to be blind! Dr Kildare, on the other hand, was my heart throb years ago, and fooled everyone with his “masculinity”. He is a disappointment to me. But, still a great actor (obviously, since we ahd NO IDEA he was gay at the time). Someone tell me this…why does any gay person want to portray themselves as anything but? If they are they are. We’ll either accept or reject them! But, that’s what we do with any actor/actress no matter their sexual preference.

      • James

        I don’t follow that. How was Rosa Parks supposed to pretend to be anything but black. It was pretty hard to hide. I also did not realize there is a s fool proof way to “know” that someone is gay. Please enlighten us. I guess I never paid enough attention to Harris, but I didn’t know he was gay and to be honest, it was none of my business. You give credit to Chamberlain as being a great actor to hide his orientation, but I guess Harris must suck as an actor to not hide his. To me, not the same, it is more than pretending.

      • jennrae

        I hoped some of you were joking but it turned out you were just ignorant. How can you not know about black people trying to pass as white for decades–over a century, really? They were in the closet the same way as gay people.

        Yes, it hurts a gay actor’s career to come out of the closet, but it hurts us all for him to stay in. People have this idea that “straight” is the default sexuality, so we expect everyone to be straight unless they tell us otherwise. That kind of thinking is what causes people to get hurt. At best, we expect people to be one way or the other, never considering that sexuality isn’t something you can check a box for, anyway. Gay, straight, bi…they’re all archaic terms at this point. Attraction, sex, and love aren’t definitive, and yet we want to slap a label on ourselves. For example, say you kiss another girl in college. Are you a lesbian in that moment? or for life? or ever? What if you fall in love with her, but only see men for the rest of your life? What if you just wanted to ef her brains out but didn’t have romantic feelings towards her?

        It’s just not so cut and dried. But the problem lies in the public’s expectation of a person’s “gayness” to be an affliction, as if we all start straight and are turned gay, whether in the womb or through the environment.

        By the way, most actors are gay. They may not be out, but you better believe they exist. They get in fake relationships to help their careers, have babies, the whole nine yards. Who does that help?

      • noreen

        I agree.

    • SuzQ

      His career started at a time when being gay was major stigma. His feelings about being out being bad might be leftover feelings from that time.

      • Kate

        @Cureforidiocy,

        Lots of blacks have ‘passed’.

        So ‘duh’ back atcha.

      • Eric

        Sadly, there are still plenty of producers, casting agents, etc. who would be reluctant to cast an openly gay man in certain roles. Especially in action roles, or as leads in straight romances.

        It’s one thing if people decide to criticize Chamberlain because he isn’t encouraging everyone to come out, regardless of the consequences. But he definitely isn’t wrong about the effect that coming out can have on an actor’s career.

    • Judith

      Very well said..

    • mary

      Why do people keep saying NPH is an example. Try the facts he is not. He is a former child star that American public already knew him he did not have to come out and then make it in Hollywood there is no way to compare him to any real new actor who is struggling to make it and is gay. Second he is not getting Oscar roles he was already on a comedy playing an over the top cartoon BEFORE the slime Perez outted him, had it been known he would not have gotten the role, he does not have a career just one sitcom and dancing at award shows is not the same as getting a role in the next Jeff Bridges movie. NPH proves the point if he were not a former child star if he was a real new actor looking to play dramatic roles he would be out of work.

      • Sammy

        I agree. NPH does not do any lead male roles (on TV or in movies). His success does not qualify as an argument about out lead actors particularly in action or romance genres.

      • Alia

        Sammy… Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog? That was a romantic lead role, and he totally pulled it off.

      • Alia

        His chemistry with Cobie Smulders in HIMYM is pretty darn hot, too.

      • Eric

        Sammy didn’t say that NPH isn’t capable of playing a straight role convincingly. He said that NPH’s experience isn’t proof that unknown actors will be able to come out of the closet and get “leading man” roles.

        And the fact that NPH was able to get the lead in an internet musical doesn’t mean much.

    • Hunter S Tomboy

      It’s a darn fine opinion.
      OTOH- while some people have to make those first steps onto an unknown, or even dangerous, precipice- you kinda always hope that it’s not you (or me. you know what I’m saying) that has to do it.

    • kahuna

      Chamberlain became a popular leading man in the 60s. I can guaran-damn-tee you that if he had come out THEN, he would not have had a career.

      • NormaP

        I agree. The 60′s were a different time and place. Chamberlain, Rock Hudson,Dick Sargent (who played Daren Stevens #2) and any other actor who came out in the 60′s, would definately have been withour a career. So be a little kinder to Richard, he is from a different time and mind set.

      • Ctg

        I totally agree kahuna. I grew up during the ’50s & ’60s and if Chamberlain had come out, he’d never have had the career he had. Neither would Rock Hudson. It was a different time.

    • Menopaws

      One thing about Richard, if you read his book, you would understand a lot more about his not coming out. There was much more to it than his career.
      I just don’t understand why it’s that important to others what people do in their bedrooms! One of very very best friends is a gay man, I am a 53 yr old straight happily married woman, and you know what…In all our years as friends, we have never discussed his sex life or mine? It’s all just something new to complain about…and if it wasn’t this, it would be something else. Some people just like to judge. I believe that’s the Lords’s job
      (or whoever you believe in or don’t) but it’s not mine. I am far from perfect. And goodness how can there ever be TOO MUCH love in this world of any kind? I know there is too much hate…

  • bgl

    He’s just keeping it real. Unfortunately there is still a penalty for coming out especially if you are the fantasy man for millions of female fans. The price can be hefty no matter how everything ‘looks’ on the outside. I hope that one day this will change. Nobody should have to pretend to be something they are not unless they are acting in a movie.

    • Grace

      I agree with you. While Neil Patrick Harris’ career has thrived he was never a heart throb leading man type. He’s fantastic as womanizer Barney, but you would never see him cast in a role like McDreamy on Grey’s. So I think depending on the roles you’re being cast for coming out can have big consequences for actors. Part of the problem is with the overexposure actors get in the tabloids. It becomes a lot harder to suspend reality in watching a movie/show where a gay actor is playing the leading man if you constantly see him photographed with boyfriends in real life. That’s one of the reasons I respect a lot of the actors who choose to leave their private life private because it can be hard to ignore what you see in the press when you watch their work.

  • Daryl

    Its unfortunate but I get what he’s saying. America has a long way to go before it truly accepts gay people and gay rights. Its getting better, in baby steps, but I can see where it could income a barrier for an actor who comes out. There are men like Ricky Martin who came out recently and the effect on his career has yet to be registered. Lets hope its positive and can foster an atmosphere for more musicians and actors to come out in the future.

    • Jay

      Ya know… I can concede that all humans deserve rights… even the gay ones. If the gays will concede that if everyone was like them, the human race would be extinct

      • Bobby’s Robot

        Maybe it’s God’s version of population control. And gays don’t want everyone to be like them. Especially morons like you.

      • Jay

        I never said that the gays “wanted everyone to be like them”… just to concede the fact that it is a path to extinction.

      • Drew

        Are you flipping kidding me? Gay people don’t wish everyone was like them any more than people over 40 wish teenagers didn’t exist. It’s about rights, pure and simple. I’m shocked that that’s the perception that ignorant fools like you are getting out of gay rights movements. It’s hardly the opinion of gay people that their feelings of love are the right way, the true way, or the only way. It’s just what’s right for them, and the problem comes from people trying to change their love, not from them trying to change others’.

      • erin

        There is no need to concede something so painfully obvious. I don’t even understand what point you are trying to make.

      • Bill

        Jay, Jay go away.
        As it is, you’re prob’ly gay
        Please don’t worry, that’s OK
        Just try and be yourself today.

      • Jane

        I’m pretty sure science has advanced far enough that we wouldn’t become extinct if everyone were gay. It’s called sperm donors and surrogate mothers.

      • moz4ever

        You know the anti-gay people are getting desperate when their best argument is “Well, um, if everyone was gay there’d be no more human race!” Thanks for the chuckle, Jay.

      • CureForIdiocy

        You are absolutely correct, ignore the gay-sayers.

        They don’t want ‘equal rights’, they want not to be merely accepted, but EMBRACED. Why? Because they can’t seem to get it through their gay heads that heterosexuals find the idea (imagery) of gay sex every bit as distasteful (and undesirable) as gays find heterosexuality.

        Legal rights under the law is a just and good thing.

        Expecting a society (of which the VAST majority is heterosexual) to then EMBRACE ‘all things gay’ is neither good nor realistic. And that is as it should be, because, exactly as you say, if everyone were gay, the race would be extinct.

        Tolerance is one thing. Embracing self-destructive behavior is another thing entirely.

        I fully support YOUR right to embrace behavior that increases the probability that YOU will not reproduce.

      • Jon

        CureforIdiocy, your hatred is as apparent as it is unfounded.

      • Esther Nir

        CureForIdiocy: Your comment is fair, although blunt, and honest. I also don’t see why we have to Embrace gayness. I agree with you about legal rights and tolerance but I don’t understand why we have to know everybody’s sexual orientation.

      • Harry

        Esther, try going for a day–let alone a lifetime–without mentioning your spouse or boyfriend, without wearing a wedding ring, etc.

        Then you will understand how what you ask of gay people is untenable and, frankly, inhumane.

      • Illya Kuryakin

        CureForIdiocy – I have to disagree with you, I’m a straight women, and I find gay imagery incredibly hot! Captain Jack (from Torchwood) is never sexier than when he is flirting with Ianto or the Doctor.

      • Chappel

        Considering how much of a problem overpopulation is in much of the world, maybe having MORE gay people would help to restore a healthy population balance.

  • FromChicago

    Anyone who is gay if you ask them if they wish they weren’t gay, they would say yes. No one wishes to be born gay….just like no one wishes to be born black….if blacks had a choice they would rather be white because of all the privileges associated with being white. Having written that, can you imagine if Justin Bieber came out? (he’s not gay btw) He would lose his teenage base immediately.

    • Bobby’s Robot

      wow.

    • JMO

      *smh* your generalization is mind boggling. Co-sign on Bobby’s Robot’s “wow.”

    • tomsj

      Thankfully, no one asked me what I wanted to be when I was born because my life has been awesome – very gay, and very awesome.

      • moi

        Reading these comments yours is the one that made me smile. What a great reply, I love it!!!!

      • Candacetx

        Thankfully, no one asked me what I wanted to be when I was born because my life has been awesome – very black, and very awesome.

      • NJ

        I’m glad all of you gay, straight, black, brown, yellow, etc. people are in the world with me. It would be so dang boring in this world if all of us were the same. I don’t think I would think of “NPH” as a sexy leading man even if I hadn’t heard he was gay. Who cares. And by the way, I don’t care what any of you do in the privacy of your sex life. That’s not what people are about to me.

    • aleighcat

      Chicago: Being black, you can’t hide your race (nor should you), but gays *could* hide their sexuality, as you’ve heard tales of some living a lie/double life with a wife & kids. Gays can choose to live straight (even if it’s a lie), but race can’t choose to be another, as it’s a physical characteristic. Also (and I know this will bring a lot of hate replies), blacks actually get *more* privileges and special treatment than whites do.

      • Bill

        If being gay isn’t ‘a characteristic,’ like race, as you say, then how come heterosexuals are able to identify gay people who haven’t said they are gay?

        Riddle me that, batman?

      • Angieb09

        WHERE, I need to move there

      • now voyager

        It’s sad how we rarely see white people running things or being the lead in movies or television. Think of all the many racial slurs for whites and the few for blacks and other races. Also, the anti white violence from all the black hate groups. Poor white people. My heart bleeds for you.

      • shaye

        Haha – black people get more privileges than white people? That’s a good one.

      • Actually that’s not quite true . . .

        Not the blacks have more privileges than whites part. I won’t even dignify that. But on the subject of choosing race . . . I’ve heard stories of members of African American families who were “light enough” (for want of better word) that they were able to pass themselves off as Caucasian and ounce they did they’ve never looked back. My guess is they’re driven by the same sort of insecurity that causes gays “to live a lie/double life” as you put it. I’m not saying such behavior is the norm among either group but with the world the way it is I’m sure it happens.

      • LPIZZEL

        ALLEY (i.e., “Aleigh”)CAT… Blacks get **more** privileges than Whites do? Really, hmm… tell that to the 60% UNEMPLOYED BLACKS, the BLACK TEENAGERS HANGING ON THE CORNERS SELLING DRUGS to take care of Grandma, Mom, little brother and sister, tell that to the vast UNDER-EDUCATED and UNEDUCATED Black School kids because Gosh darn it! They just do not have COMPUTERS in their schools! Tell that to all of the Black Administrative Clerical people who just keep getting passed over for that wonderful promotion out of their “dead-end” position. Tell that to some of the **few** HIGH-END BLACK EXECUTIVES that have to keep “proving themselves” over and over and over and over again, that they really ARE INTELLIGENT and got their position based on knowledge, insight, intelligence and NOT “Affirmative Action.” Sure is good to know that BLACKS really are the PRIVILEGED, HIGH & MIGHTY ELITE in AMERICAN CULTURE thanks to all these wonderful **special** and **more** rights that they have over WHITE people. Geez… Obama makes president (whom by the way is HALF-WHITE, I wonder if he could have made it being 100% BLACK) and wackos like “Alley Cat” here think that BLACKS are the SUPER RACE and hold all the Superior Cards over Whites. Tisk. Tisk. Tisk.

      • aleighcat

        Hate me all that you want, but it’s true. Blacks have the very same opportunity as whites, yet have to have their own pageants, networks, college funds…etc…..Most workplaces have to have a certain amount of blacks working for them or they get into trouble. When’s the last time you’ve heard of a “White Miss America” pageant? “White Entertainment Network (WET)”? A college fund just for Whites? If we tried to form our own racial groups, the “Good Reverend” and his toadie Al Sharpton would be out in full force screaming “RACISM”! I have sat back and watched white people tiptoe around blacks and hand them everything under the sun that the normal “joe” would never get, just to avoid confrontation and being labeled a racist. Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone working for what they get, but it’s wrong to make exceptions for anyone solely *because* of their skin color or to continue to pay for the past transgressions of 150+ years ago. I don’t care if you’re white, black, Hispanic, purple with orange dots, etc……..*NO ONE* should get anything solely on the basis of their skin color. It’s high time that we *ALL* were judged on merit ALONE. Everyone today is afforded the same opportunities, so I don’t want to hear any more “poor, opressed me” comments.

      • tsam

        aleighcat, you’re a f@#&* idiot.

      • tsam

        Also, aleighcat, the last time I heard of a White Miss America contest was about 40 years ago, when there were “white’s only” schools, restaurants, restrooms, drinking fountains, neighborhoods, etc. NOT very long ago. And you’re a completely ignorant moron if you think all of that racism is gone from our culture. It’s not. When people like you stop assuming that a black man got his BMW from selling drugs, or that a black university student is just the product of affirmative action quotas, then we’ll talk about shutting up about oppression. Have a nice day.

      • NJ

        Hey Shaye, try to start a TV channel called WET, or an organization called the NAAWP, etc.

      • Cooper

        @Aleighcat: ” Everyone today is afforded the same opportunities, so I don’t want to hear any more “poor, opressed me” comments”. Then, my suggestion would be to stop reading or hearing (“your computer speaks to you?)anymore.

      • Lena120

        Are you serious about Blacks having their own this that and the other? You are aware that the reason those things were created is because there once was a time when Blacks weren’t allowed to have such representation. It was like we didn’t exist. Now those things are afforded to everyone. There’s also an Asian network, multiple Spanish channels, a Middle Eastern channel, even MTV has the LOGO network. Everyone gets a piece. But at the end of it all, those things are around and still thriving because of the lack of even representation in mainstream media. Whites are still in the majority, so what are you talking about?

    • Bill

      I am gay. I wouldn’t even for 1 second think of changing my sexual orientation. Not even for a milli-second.

      Being gay has taught me much. Especially about human beings like FromChicago. (You know, the common-as-dirt variety?)

      Why would a gay human being want to become a part of the group that is responsible for the brutalization, degradation, and dehumanization of their very own gay offspring?

      Really? You think I want to be that?

      Thanks, but no thanks. You continue abusing law-abiding citizens that you deem less-than yourself.

      I will continue aspiring to be the type of human being that Jesus Christ asks me to be.

      • Candace

        I totally agree with Bill. Being a gay person has taught me more about compassion–trying to understand those who are different from me and to empathize with them–and courage–the courage to stand up and be proud of who I am–in a way that being born a heterosexual never would have.

      • Esther Nir

        Bill, not all heterosexuals as myself are responsible for or condone harming gays. We aren’t a group; we are most of the world. A difference between us might be that heterosexuals do not define themselves by their sexual orientation but rather by profession, or religion, or other characteristics. Sex is something rather private and special between the partners involved and not something to broadcast as who you are.

      • Harry

        Again, I say. Take off your wedding ring and never mention your husband again.

        Then come back and repost.

      • Erin R

        I agreee with Harry! I am a heterosexual female who strongly believes that you are born to be who you are, and EVERYONE in the world should share the same rights, regardless of their sexuality, and the narrow minded people of the world, should get used to it! It may not be what you would choose to do with your life, but who are we to judge someone else for the way they live theirs???

      • Blake Jordan

        So well said and being a gay man, I feel the same way as you about being straight.

    • Leila

      trolololol

    • Niki

      You’re an idiot.

    • annie

      I take great offense on your comment that Black people if they had a choice would wish to be White. I am Black, am proud of being Black and appreciate that I am a unique and accomplished human being. I don’t need to be White to feel good about myself. I am sure that there are gay people that are proud of being gay and of course they don’t like the discrimination anymore than I do would not change a thing about there life.

    • Speak for yourself

      I feel sorry for you, Esther. All that pain and anxiety you’re hiding behind. Maybe it’s been your experience that you’re black and would prefer to be white because you’ve faced some hardship. Maybe it’s that you’re gay and have been denying it for years. Maybe you just don’t get out enough to have broadened your social circle or knowledge enough so that you’d actually be able to talk to people who love and embrace their blackness or gayness (or Koreanness or nerdiness or whathaveyou). I really, really feel sorry for what you’re missing out on.

      On another note, I’ve taught at middle and high schools, and I can promise you–the vast majority of the teenyboppers into Bieber or Robert Pattinson would probably explode with rampant teenage hormones if those two were gay. It’s a new generation, and a lot–A LOT–of girls are into that. Get with it, sister.

      • Speak for yourself

        Argh, oops, I suck, etc. See my next comment.

    • Speak for yourself

      Apologies for addressing this to the wrong person below (Esther, although she probably needs to hear it too), and also for it somehow ending up in the wrong thread. ANYHOO, I feel sorry for you, From Chicago. All that pain and anxiety you’re hiding behind. Maybe it’s been your experience that you’re black and would prefer to be white because you’ve faced some hardship. Maybe it’s that you’re gay and have been denying it for years. Maybe you just don’t get out enough to have broadened your social circle or knowledge enough so that you’d actually be able to talk to people who love and embrace their blackness or gayness (or Koreanness or nerdiness or whathaveyou). I really, really feel sorry for what you’re missing out on.
      On another note, I’ve taught at middle and high schools, and I can promise you–the vast majority of the teenyboppers into Bieber or Robert Pattinson would probably explode with rampant teenage hormones if those two were gay. It’s a new generation, and a lot–A LOT–of girls are into that. Get with it, sister.

      • Speak for yourself

        Sorry everyone, I have failed at the internets for the day. I meant to say disregard my comment *above* because I had no idea the thread would end up down here. MY POINT IS: Esther and FromChicago would benefit greatly from a little worldly learnin’ and a lot less self-hate.

      • Esther Nir

        @speak for yourself: Your whole speech above has nothing to do with me. All I am saying is that gay men do not attract me and knowing that a man is gay ruins the fantasy when playing a leading roll with a woman. Many (not all) straight women feel the same. I don’t have any problem with who I am, which is Jewish, White, American, Woman and I am so proud of each and thankful to G-d for giving me the gifts of making me just so!

    • codergrrl

      Um, no. I’m fine with not being white.

    • ksun

      You’re sick! Most black people are very PROUD to be black and wouldn’t want to be any other race. Blacks want to be treated fairly and humanely like anyone else. There is nothing “better” about being white or any other race. Skin color is a superficial characteristic that should have nothing to do with how you’re treated or your life chances. Try to reform society, not spew hateful, crazy nonsense!

    • Blake Jordan

      Maybe I was lucky enough to be raised in a good environment, but I have never and will never wish that I was straight.
      It is like wishing I was someone else!
      The only problem with being gay is the prejudice that you face, which is not a justifiable reason to want to be someone else.

  • Tash

    I guess the question is can you be brave and still work? NPH can, but I really believe he is in the minority. It’s still very homophobic out there and many people won’t believe you can win the girl if you’re gay. (It doesn’t hurt that we grew up with NPH. maybe that makes the difference for him?) The rest of us don’t care about the sexuality of people who pretend for us. But it’ll never change if people aren’t brave enough to come out and push to get the leading man roles. I can’t blame anyone who doesn’t. Coming out has and continues to kill careers. That’s why changing our laws about marriage and military service is so important.

  • Keppler

    It’s too bad Chamberlain didn’t take his own advice and stay in the closet. He’s an embarrassment to the rest of us.

  • ‘k

    He makes a good point. Sometimes it’s not even a case of backlash exactly. When a man is considered a “heart throb”, as Chamberlain was by many, women see that person as someone they could potentially have a romantic relationship with (in their dreams, but still…). When that person comes out, you kind of lose that particular element. You may not think any less of that actor as a person, but you just can no longer see them in a romantic light. I never saw Chamberlain as a heart throb anyway, so it did not change the way I felt about him as an actor at all. But it might have if I had found him appealing in that way. As it was, he was older when he came out and his career was at a lull so that was probably a better time for him to do so. It’s not always a matter of hate.

    • Bill

      That’s a pretty good argument for heterosexuals creating better fantasy lives for themselves.

      Not for keeping gay actors marginalized.

      • ‘k

        I don’t advocate marginalizing anyone at all. But actors are typecast all the time. They just are. If they are used to playing romantic comedies for instance, their type may change somewhat. We can deny that, but it just IS. Whether that change is for better or worse is not my call. That’s entirely up to the actor in question. Their career may even be better. But it will change.

      • mary

        actually you are calling for marginalizing ‘some’ in society and to deny them equal rights. Unelss you want to also say Sean Penn should not be winning Oscar for playing a gay character and stop Joile from playing roles that were intended for a male then you are. Simply fact you can spin it all you want but your sexual need to belive some actor is going to come have sex with you(which is your problem and creepy that it should be allowed to deny talented actors work, should not be the problem of some talented actor whose only crime in your eyes is being gay)is mararginalizing another human being for no good reason.

    • Alia

      I don’t know about this. Matt Bomer is out, but I still find him (a) really quite attractive, and (b) totally convincing in straight leading man roles. (His chemistry with Hilarie Burton in White Collar is off the charts.)

      • tiebaojin

        OK. It must be a problem with me, but when I found out Matt Bomer was gay, I couldn’t imagine him in a sexual way anymore. If I thought of him and sex . . . well not a pretty picture for me. If a person can get past that – wonderful. And I do believe gay actors should be considered actors first and not gay actors. It is just sometimes difficult to put that aside, so I understand what Chamberlain is saying.

      • Shania

        I still find John Barrowman attractive. Maybe it has something to do with first seeing him in a bisexual role – on Torchwood, but I can relate to him as a sexy man. Maybe that’s the difference. When an actor has been portrayed primarily as a heterosexual love interest and you find out they’re gay, it can affect your perceptions.

      • Maddy

        I understand what you mean. It isn’t a problem for me because I look to the character and not the actor. I don’t read tabloids and that helps me keep the two separate. I figure if I’m going to participate in gossip it might as well be with my freinds about people I know. So this whole actor/gay actor thing doesn’t affect me. I’m not looking at Matt Bomer I’m looking at Neal Caffery.

      • musica1

        Matt Bomer and John Barrowman are both great playing straight men opposite women. (Actually Barrowman played a multi-sexual alien, but he flirted with a woman and a man in the same scene and was believable and charming doing both.) They have the right chemistry with men to pull it off. There might be a few women who have a problem with their being gay, but most women love them anyway. (If you don’t believe me, then you weren’t at Comic-con the last couple of years hearing the women scream for them.)

      • Soonergirl

        I didn’t know who Matt Bomer was (I don’t have cable). But, I just googled him and I don’t care if he’s gay he is GORGEOUS! Man, I wish I had cable!

      • Alia

        soonergirl, White Collar is on hulu. And you might want to rent the first season of Chuck, since he’s on that a lot, too. :-D

  • Ray

    He may be “keeping it real” and obviously circumstances in Hollywood and in the U.S. in general are still “unfortunate” for LGBTI communities, but Richard Chamberlain’s words don’t reflect wisdom. They show a lack of vision, hope and courage; it’s pure cowardice, is what it is.

    It was once inconceivable for a woman to earn $20M a picture. It was inconceivable for a fat woman to headline a leading sitcom. It was inconceivable for a black man to play the lead in a film. It was inconceivable for an Asian woman to headline a series on TV. It was inconceivable to show any form of human sexuality on TV. It was inconceivable for pregnant women to appear on TV (I mean fo’ reals!).

    Need I go on?

    There will be an out gay man AND woman in Hollywood. In fact, there already are. And I hope that those actors will be brave enough to help the next generation of emerging actors who are trans identified, who are queer people of color, who are sexually liberated AND disabled, who are older, who are bisexual, who are otherwise anyone who doesn’t conform to anything that is punishingly mainstream.

    We don’t need Richard to offer any advice on coming out as a leading man, because he clearly didn’t do it himself. Let’s ask actual courageous actors to speak on this, please.

  • scott

    Hey, FromChicago. Think of it philosophically. Being gay is part of a gay person’s identity. It often shows in their personalities, interests, politics, etc. It always impacts their upbringing, resulting in the person they will become. It’s just like being black is more than about the shade of one’s skin. If a black person was born white, they would be someone else. If say, you weren’t a complete moron, then you wouldn’t be you. We all have to embrace who we are.

    • Bill

      FromChicago could not possibly understand a point made about gay citizens that does not involve negativity and insulting stereotypes.

      FromAlabama would be a more appropriate moniker.

      • Beth

        Bill, talk about stereotypes. Do you know anyone from Alabama? We are not all racist, gay-hating morons. Don’t accuse someone of stereotyping while you are doing it yourself!

      • Bill

        That’s what you took from it?

        You genius, you.

      • CureForIdiocy

        Yeah, there’s a lot of geniuses that took the same thing, you moron you.

        If Beth had been wrong, you would have apologized, instead of acting the ass, and reinforcing her point.

      • Louis E.

        To present “being gay” as if it were not negative is like claiming it’s just fine to be an alcoholic who refuses to sober up.People who can’t distance themselves from same-sex sexual attraction that afflicts them are in desperate need of a corrective reality check.Your flaws are not “who you are”,they inform you about how to change.

      • @Louis E

        You are a moron. No more needs to be said.

        (And no, I’m not gay)

    • scott

      Louis E, who are you to you to decide for anyone else what constitutes a flaw. I’m Hispanic. I’m curious, do you consider that a flaw? I’m sure there are many bigoted people across the world who would. And if you were to argue being that gay is different because it’s a choice, how can one control what turns him, or her on. And to whose benefit would it be for a gay man, or woman to remain celibate, or to marry someone they feel no physical attraction towards? Yours? Why do you care so much what other people do with their sex lives? Are you religious? Are you concerned about their spiritual salvation? You don’t strike me as a compassionate man. I just want to understand how a person like you thinks.

  • Don

    First and foremost….a Gay person is NOT born gay!! A bank robber is not born to be a bank robber…it is a decision he/she has made. Now, if you think or are told you were born gay etc… you will not be responsible for your actions right? Take responsiblility for what you do in this life whether it is straight or gay. Be real and admit that is your choice in life.

    • Jon

      Don, you were born stupid!

      • Shania

        No, Don DECIDED to be stupid – it was a decision he made. He’s responsible for that action.

      • scott

        No, I think Don was born stupid. No one would decide to be THAT stupid.

      • NJ

        He can’t help it. He should have kept it in the closet though.

    • knobby

      LOL. Don obviously doesn’t know a single gay person, or he’s too benighted to know better. How many people out there are too stubborn to admit that homosexuals are inherent? I’m sure gay animals with their almighty brains also ‘choose’ to be homosexual.

      Don, speak to a few – gay humans that is, not animals – and you may learn something. And speak to a cross-section, not just the stereotypical ones whose lives are all dance parties, promiscuous sex, and drugs.

    • Jake

      So if a gay man is struggling with outing himself because of the stigma attached they should really not worry about anything because they chose to be gay and can just choose to be straight? Your logic suggests that what I wrote would make sense since its supposedly a choice after all. Can your statement be any more absurd? I’m straight btw. Not that such a fact matters, but I bring it up because I’m embarressed to think that there are still actually straight people who believe the nonsense that you’re spewing.

      • Wes

        I couldn’t have said it better myself, Jake.

      • hannah

        He can choose not to act on it . I think gay sex is pretty disgusting and I made a choice never ever to go there . I’m 29 and for the last 9 years a might not have had sex but I feel clean and not dirty

      • Bill

        Unfortunately, Jake, there are many more ‘Dons’ in the world than ‘Jakes.’

        They use the ‘it’s a choice’ argument to justify their bigotry.

        Because if being gay ISN’T a choice, you know, kind of like gay people have been saying for centuries, than that would make heterosexuals like Don absolutely immoral barbarians.

        But if heterosexuals like Don stomp their feet and say, ‘it’s a choice,’ than those heterosexuals like Don can sleep a bit better at night. Knowing they aren’t abusing citizens for their inherent characteristic, but rather their ‘choices.’

      • Dexx

        To be honest, I can see what you are saying about it being “disgusting.” I don’t think of it that way myself and I have nothing against homosexuals but it but its something that I can’t personally comprehend simply because I am not gay. The fact that I can’t comprehend it though doesn’t make it wrong. I mean, homosexual people may not comprehend the attraction between a man and a woman but they at least at least appreciate the “concept.” However, what I CAN comprehend is the fact that a gay person has no reason NOT to act on being with someone of the same sex any more than you or I have no reason not to, if it is legal, consensual, and so on.

      • Dexx

        What i meant to say is that we as straight people have no reason not to act on heterosexual relationships under certain parameters just as homosexual people have no reason not to. So they like people of the same sex. They still bleed, they still like tv shows, movies, etc. “They” are not some other species. They are humans just like us and imo should be treated as such. I feel bad even using the word “they” but i think that you all see my point.

      • Kiki

        Hannah — you’re so right. I think being a bigot is disgusting, so I choose not to be one.

    • Steve

      Don, please tell us all about the day you chose to be straight. I’m sure it’s fascinating and enlightening.

    • Kimo

      @Don:
      So, you’re saying you made a decision to not be gay?
      It’s curious that you felt you needed to chose your sexual orientation. I wonder what thoughts and feelings you were experiencing that led you believe you needed to make a choice…

      • batman

        oh good grief. That’s a great way of winning someone over to your cause. If they disagree with you, retaliate by saying, “Well, maybe YOU’RE gay!” Lots of men in their teen years have had some kind of same-sex attraction or curiosity. Some choose to focus on it or become consumed by it. Some choose to repress it and it just comes back again and again. Some choose not to dwell on it, to let it go and focus their energies on thoughts towards women. Like I said, statistically it is not uncommon for men have had these thoughts and then go on to have fulfilling heterosexual lives. This is some of the logic behind the choice argument. But gay people seem to think that if you EVER have a thought about the other sex, you’re gay and you’re in denial if you don’t act on it. That would be like saying, if you ever thought about killing someone, you are repressing who you are if you don’t become a murderer. Sorry to equate your lifestyle with homicide, but I’m just trying to say that thoughts come and go, it’s what you do with them that decides what person you will be.

      • batman

        *that obviously, should read, “But gay people seem to think that if you EVER have a thought about the same sex, you’re gay and you’re in denial if you don’t act on it.”

      • Ford

        @Batman:
        You’re obviously in denial about your true feelings towards Robin…
        PS: For someone who attempts to ground his argument in facts, you make an awful lot of assumptions and over-generalizations.
        PPS: Do you personally know Kimo? How do you know s/he is gay?

    • Bobby’s Robot

      @Don – unless you were born gay yourself, you have no idea if other people are since you can’t live anyone else’s life but your own. If you refuse to believe the gay people when they state matter-of-factly that the were indeed born gay, that’s your problem.

      @ hannah – there’s a difference between not acting on one’s feelings (sad) and living in self-loathing denial (pathetic).

      • hannah

        no , only the people who are too weak to not act on impulses are telling the no choice story.

      • Bill

        Hannah has not considered that gay people find heterosexual sex every bit as disgusting as they find gay sex.

        That has never crossed her tiny mind.

      • CureForIdiocy

        Hey Bill, I see you’re on a troll roll! Two stupid posts in one thread!

        Way to go….loser!

        You’ve just stated that gays find hetero sex disgusting.

        Then what right have they to ANY rights in a heterosexual society that finds gay sex disgusting?

        You’re a real a-hole…gay OR straight.

    • Maddy

      Actually it has to do with the amount of horomones the mother gives out during the 3 stages of sexual development while pregnant. The hormones normally lead to straight but diets, stress levels, and complications like high blood pressure can affect it. This particular change, being gay, is affected in the 3rd stage when sexuality is developed in the brain forming the please and attraction pathways.

      • Maddy

        sorry, pleasure and attraction pathways.

      • tsam

        [Citation needed]

        I suppose you read that on the internet?

      • Maddy

        Actually we learned about it in my psychology class at Rhode Island college.I’ll try to look up the book it was in for you.

    • jk

      So Don, when did you decide to become straight?

    • Breeze

      @Don — Seems to me if you have to make a conscious, determined decision to be straight, there’s some denial going on there.

    • mmm

      Hey gay…. being gay is not a choice I made! I did not choose to have an attraction to men. It just was…. Are you telling me you made the decision to be straight!!!??? I agree with kimo… what makes you think it’s a choice. hmmmm curios

      • hannah

        Because you can choose your own life. As I already pointed out , I did it , I wanted a normal life and not some screwed up version of life.

    • Bobbi

      I cannot believe that a person can say in this day and age, you are not born gay. wow. I am amazed.

      • LPIZZEL

        If you are born gay you must be BORN AGAIN. Simple.

      • Maddy

        you realize being born again in this case would be denial, not changing who you are.

    • Frank

      I am a “straight” man who fathered 5 children.The joy of an orgasm is undeniable and the cause of procreation.If a gay person does not enjoy sex with the opposite sex;it is a biological development error not a sin.It’s that simple

      • Esther Nir

        Frank, very well said.

      • Ty

        Since when is the joy of orgasm always related to procreation? Wet dreams, anyone?

      • Ames

        wow, this discussion got really weird.

      • Lisa London

        Ames – I’m with you! weird weird weird

      • greenfae82

        @Frank: So by that standard I shouldn’t enjoy sex as I’m a straight woman who has no interest in procreating? Damn, I guess I’m doing it wrong…

    • Celimene

      Yes. Yes they are born gay. One of my best friends is gay. She has basically never showed interest in men and started experimenting with girls around age 12 or so. Same with another male friend of mine. He told me he first realized he was attracted to guys around age 8. Homosexuality happens in the animal world – naturally – and humans are no different.

    • Gdub

      I find it laughable that anyone would actually still believe that a person would “choose” to be gay, considering all of the homophobia and ignorance that is present in this uptight, Puritanical country that is the great United States. It is not a “choice” that any sane person would make – what, just to be “different” than the majority?
      I am happy that I am gay and thankful for the support of my friends and family, but my life has not been without struggles and unwarranted hatred because of it from a few select idiots, like many who have commented to this article, but I can assure you that I WAS born this way. My straight parents certainly did not raise me to be gay; I was not molested by some pervy male relative or neighbor to “make me this way” and there were no role models when I was growing up that said it was “OK” to be gay, it just is my fact of life. I am a male who happens to be attracted to other males. I like to consider myself population control for all of the people who continue to overpopulate an already crowded planet.

    • rmm

      Excuse me comparing being gay to being a bank robber is truly idiotic. One should take responsibility for ones choices, but biologically a person is born gay or not gay. Its a chemical change that happens at about 6 weeks in the uterus

    • Blake Jordan

      The only choice is whether you accept yourself or not.
      They have done many, many tests to identify the difference between gay and straight brains.

  • googly eyes

    @FromChicago – anyone who’s gay would rather be straight? Yeah, I’m sure. Yes, it’s easier to be straight, but there are also advantages to being gay, such as – in general – more disposable income, more freedom, no pressure to bear children, etc. I know a few gay people who live a fantastic life, with no mortgage, lots of money to spend (they go on vacations every year twice a year), and nothing to tie them down when it comes to relocating, for example.

  • Eileen

    Are there actually people who believed Richard Chamberlain was straight? I always assumed he was gay.

    • Really?

      Back in 1961 when Dr. Kildaire premiered, you knew? lol

      • Eileen

        That’s an odd question. I wasn’t alive in 1961, but since I’ve been aware of Richard Chamberlain, probably since the 70s, I’ve believed he’s gay. I didn’t care, or judge him for it, but I just assumed it to be the case.

  • Lelu

    Chicago, dear:

    I am a straight black woman with awesome nappy hair. I love being who I am. Wanting to escape racism has nothing to do with loving who I am. You’re over-estmating the priviledge of being white. And if that gross ignorance is what being white means, you can keep it.

    • Bill

      I love you.

    • Rika

      Well said! And, no, that gross ignorance is not what being white means. (But it’s sad that gross ignorance is in such generous supply, isn’t it?)

    • Malaika

      I so totally agree. I was born Black, and if I were given a choice, in a future life, I would choose to be born Black again.

    • tsam

      Take a poll of 100 young white males and see how many would be totally down with being black. Anectdotally speaking, I can just about promise it would be somewhere above 70%. Somehow I knew this discussion would devolve into some a-hole whining about all the “special rights” that black people get in their creepy little racist fantasy worldview. These are the same people who who think that homosexual marriage somehow constitutes a “special” right. Ignorant douches, I say.

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