It’s been just about a year since I wrote that post about IF Richard Armitage was gay, what’s it got to do with us? This has since become the most read and the most commented post on this blog, for better or for worse. Hotly debated issue, apparently.
The thing that strikes me is how people look upon the subject. A lot of comments were very supportive, saying if he was gay, it might spoil the illusion somewhat, but all in all, if that’s who he is, then that’s who he is. Others claimed to have evidence of him being a homosexual, but from what I gather, it’s really only based on hearsay, rumourmongering and/or “gut feelings”.
Personally, I’d be interested to hear a gay man’s views on this. Why? Because everyone in the debate is female, and the vast majority, if not all, are straight. Ever heard the term “gaydar”? Whose gaydar is more likely to be accurate – a straight female’s or a homosexual male’s? I know who I’d vote for …
But that aside, I’m completely gobsmacked at other comments. The ones that say Richard Armitage is definitely gay … and that now, they can no longer watch or enjoy his work. To that, I can’t help but wonder. Not about Richard Armitage’s sexuality, because I’m still of the opinion that his bed partners are his business and not mine, regardless of their gender. No, what I wonder is rather about his fans. Not just the ladies who kindly contributed their opinions, but for ALL the fans who share that opinion.
If something as inconsequential as the preferred gender of his sexual partners in his own bedroom – let’s not forget it’s SPECULATION ONLY – can make people toss out their whole DVD collection … well, doesn’t that realistically prove you weren’t really much of a fan to begin with? If you appreciate an actor for their acting skills regardless of how attractive you find him/her to behold, their private lives are of little consequence.
I understand that some people have moral or religious qualms about homosexuality, it’s not that. Each to their own. What I don’t get is why it almost seems like the mere possibility of him not being straight is a personal insult to some. Some would feel cheated or feel as if he’s lied to his fans. Lied about what? Has he ever made any of us any promises that him being gay would prevent him from keeping? Don’t think so. If we were in an actual, real life romantic or sexual relationship with him, yes, we’d be upset and have every right to be angry. But come on, he’s an ACTOR. While we might fancy the pants off him, none of us fans are ever actually going to get said pants off the man in real life.
“But you don’t understand, it’s the principle of the thing!” What principle is that exactly? What principle makes his embodiment of Guy of Gisborne the best thing ever one day and completely unwatchable the next? THAT’S my problem. How can Richard Armitage lose his talents, or a good production lose it’s value, completely just because the male lead MIGHT prefer his own gender? Even if it turned out to be true, it would not make North & South any less amazing.
Last year, both Sean Maher and Zachary Quinto came out as gay. Hasn’t made Sylar less psycho or Simon Tam suddenly repulsive and less of a dreamboat. Do we accuse Neil Patrick Harris or John Barrowman of lying to us when they have the hots for women on screen? So why should we treat Richard Armitage that way? Especially since, let’s repeat, we know nothing of his real life sexual preferences.
Also worth noting that in the UK, we tend to be a lot more relaxed about these things than in the US, so over here, he wouldn’t exactly suddenly be without a job if he came out. Homosexuality is not a career breaker. Which in turn leads me to believe he’s straight. But even if he’s not, he’s still one heck of a fine actor, and I for one will shed tears of joy and pride if The Hobbit lands Richard Armitage an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor next year.
Either way you look at it, we still won’t be sitting next to him in that theatre on the night.