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And you call yourself a Richard Armitage fan?

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.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

66 thoughts on “And you call yourself a Richard Armitage fan?

  1. Great post. For me his sexuality is irrelevant. I will continue to enjoy watching his career unfold. The only thing that might put me off is a choice of work I absolutely detest, or if he began to behave in public in a way that I felt was disrespectful to others, arrogant or cruel. At this point in time, I can’t see him behaving horribly towards others.

    BTW: I will have my tissues out if he gets a nomination for best supporting actor also. That would be a high point in my viewing experience. πŸ™‚

  2. As many know, I live in Hollywood, and have many actor friends. One of them told me when she first got an agent, her agent told her to keep her marital status as secret as possible. Why? Because, she was told, it’s important for actors when they first start out to be blank canvases that the fans can paint on as suits their needs, meaning, that they can fantasize about the actor being whatever they want them to be, gay, straight, single, married, younger, older, (she was told not to reveal her true age either, she was 25 at the time), etc. She was told once she was established, people wouldn’t care as much because she could let her work speak for itself, but until then, she had to make the fans happy, all of them.

    I think you are right, it’s a much bigger deal in the U.S. than in other countries. Personally, I would be sad to find Richard gay or secretly married because then I’d have to change my fantasies about him. haha I’m still reeling from Ricky Martin not being available to be the father of my kids. πŸ˜€ (I’m teasing of course….sort of…maybe not that much)

  3. Excellent post, love every word you typed. To those that can no longer enjoy his performances based on the personal opinion, he is/might be gay…*shrug* Wasn’t it Thornton, Harry, Porter, Guy etc that first set your hearts a flutter.

  4. If Richard is Gay or Bisexual I certainly would not throw out my DVD’s or never watch him again, I simply can comprehend that thinking.

  5. Nothing he did in real life could ever make me throw out my DVD collection. What I like I LIKE! I just want him to be happy and productive so that he will have more excellent performances, so that I can buy more DVDs!

  6. I really enjoyed your post! The truth is I REALLY don’t care. It doesn’t change the fact that I think he’s adorable, talented and special. It doesn’t change the fact that I adore the characters he portrays. And our ideas about who he is and what he’s like are in the fantasy realm anyway. Thanks for the post πŸ˜‰

    1. It doesnt matter if the lovely, handsome, telented, intelligent, Richard is gay or strate. I think if you really like his work then you will no matter what. Im proud to have him repreaent the UK. I agree with the above statement.

  7. Gay, straight, lesbian, who cares?

    I would like to add though, that if he does turn out to be a lesbian, I would go gay for him.

  8. Richard’s voice saved me life, beeing his fan realy changed my life and I realy don’t care about his sexuality. I’m only praying for happy life for him.

    1. It does not matter, Richard gives me butterflies. Its no ones business. respect him. i agree with the above satement.

  9. The whole gay thing reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where a college journalist thought (because of something that would take too long to relate) that Seinfeld was gay, and one of the other characters says that’s because he’s over 3o, single and neat.
    Having been in the upscale fashion industry my whole career, I feel that my gaydar is pretty well honed, and I don’t necessarily get the sense that he’s gay, just incredibly private, who know, its none of my business anyway, just as who I sleep with is no one’s business.

    I mean really, does a REAL fan honestly care who sleeps with whom?

  10. I am in agreement with all of you. He is a fantasy man to us. It is what he projects on screen that has captured our attention, as he is a fine actor. His personal life is none of my concern, though based on what I’ve read about him and interviews, he is a most admirable person. He seems unassuming, shows concern for others, appears to be down-to-earth and not sure what all the fuss is about. He takes his craft seriously and it shows. He doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously, and that is an endearing quality. I sincerely hope he does have a SO . So much is happening in his life now that he’s worked so hard for – he should have someone to share the joy with no matter what their gender. I’ll cheer him on as long as he is working, no matter who he goes home to at the end of the day!:)

  11. Great post. πŸ™‚

    I don’t care if Richard is gay or not. For me, he a very good actor and that’s the most important. πŸ˜‰

  12. Yup, same here. He might be reserved, but that doesn’t mean he’s a horrible person.

    Ohh, it will be exciting to hear what the world has to say about Thorin when the film comes out. πŸ˜€

  13. I can understand the blank canvas p.o.v. but then again, we have a very different culture over here when it comes to actors. When John Barrowman first came on the scene, I don’t think anyone batted an eyelid about him being gay. Then again, he doesn’t exactly hide it either! …And he has scores of female fans who fancy him something rotten, come to think of it.

    I know that the guy who played “Just Jack” in Will & Grace keeps his real-life sexuality a close-guarded secret because he doesn’t want to be typecast according to his sexuality. Still, I saw him playing a straight guy in something and that was really weird – I was so used to him playing extremely camp. πŸ™‚

  14. Neither can I.

    Although once, in high school, a friend of mine threw out his Cypress Hill or Wu-Tang Clan (or both?) tapes/CDs when he realised that all their songs were about glorifying drug use. I still thought it was a bit odd to throw it all away (tapes can be taped over – I’m a sucker for recycling), but I thought it was brave and even admirable thing to do, and I still respect him for it.

    How hypocritical does this make me sound? πŸ˜‰ Well, doing drugs is illegal and glorifying drug use can make easily influenced kids go “yeah, smoking dope is cool, man!”

    Being gay is very, very different to that. It’s not exactly something you choose just “to be cool”, and if you do, you won’t do it for long. You might try snogging (or more) out of curiousity, but in the end, if you’re not gay, you don’t live your life as if you are. Show me ANY gay person that has ever influenced kids to want to become gay when they’re not …

  15. I think my fantasy of him would take a bit of a knock if he turned out to be gay, but in the end, it would still be “yeah, like I’d ever have a chance with him in the first place!”

    Like Alistair Appleton. Total dreamboat, went completely “OMG! Sadface!” when I found out he was gay. But on the other hand, what’s it to me if he is or isn’t? a) I wouldn’t trade my husband for anything in the world, and b) I’m never going to meet that guy anyway. So while it means he’s off limits for us ladies … well … life goes on.

  16. Setting a good example for all of us there, Jonia. πŸ™‚ You’re so right – I wish him a good and happy life, regardless of anything else.

  17. I think a fan can care if a star sleeps with too many, because where’s the respect in that? But if a star isn’t being a complete dick, then no, there’s really no need to get emotionally involved for the rest of us.

    Think you’re definitely on to something. He’s single (although we should bear in mind he didn’t use to be – they broke up because he was away a lot, which is a very real reason for a relationship going down the drain), he’s 30+, neat and kind. Technically, that’s sexism – WHY can’t a nice man be 30+, look after himself and not be in a relationship without people pointing the finger and saying he’s gay? He really could simply “not have found the right one yet”. Heh, I wonder if his mum badgers him about grandkids.

  18. Couldn’t agree with you more. He seems like such a nice guy, and I wish him all the best. In fact, that he seems like such a nice guy makes me incredibly proud to consider myself a fan of his. Fans of many other actors can’t exactly say the same. I’m proud to be Team Richard, because I’m oddly proud of him and everything he’s achieved.

  19. We are discussing actors here. Their job is to create the illusion that they are the character we are watching whether on video, film or stage. It make no difference what their sexual, political or dietary plorientations are. What is most impressive, is that due to the nature of the ignorant posts here, if Mr. Armitage is gay, he might feel it difficult to live that life openly. Grow up everyone. This post is written by an openly gay man.

    1. Thanks for our input, openly gay yet anonymous man. πŸ™‚

      Apparently to some, it DOES make a difference, which is what I don’t really understand personally and why I wrote the post in the first place. As for the comments, they’re all basically saying the same thing, that it wouldn’t matter to them if he was gay or not. Soooo … I don’t fully understand what you’re getting at? Wouldn’t it be more of a problem if you’re successful and come out and half your fanbase up and leave because of what you choose to do in your private life? As opposed to your fanbase staying right where they are regardless and if you came out, they’d pat you on the back and say “good for you, now keep making films I can add to my DVD collection”.

  20. Everyone wants their shot at him… I wonder if he likes chubby girls… ha ha. Just kidding, either way he is an awesome actor and from what I can tell a really great person.

  21. While I agree with the fact that it is none of our business, and doesn’t affect how great of an actor he is, I disagree with saying it doesn’t make a difference whether or not he is gay, or really, whether or not we know it. His roles tend to be this very masculine man, rough, yet deep, and very, very sexy. Because of this, knowing he is gay would absolutely ruin the fantasy. Mind you, I would still watch his movies and enjoy them, but I would not be searching all over the internet for information about what he’s up to (being a straight girl, here), and I would say the interest level would go way down for many female fans. Not because it matters and we are phobic, but because it will mess up our vision of who he is. So, while I can’t say I care one way or the other what his true sexual orientation is, I think that if he is gay, he needs to keep it private. Let us keep fantasizing.

  22. WOW! I never had any idea that this affected so many people! I guess I understand that for some it will shatter an illusion, but come on, what is a bigger illusion that imagining yourself with this man anyway? It makes no difference to me if he is gay or straight, because it is ALL just fantasy. The only thought I have is that if he IS gay, that he may not feel he can be open about it, and that makes me feel terrible. He and Hugh Jackman sort of resemble each other, so maybe the ladies have Hugh, the men have Richard, and everyone is happy? <3

  23. It’s sad that you have decided to censure the comments on the post “What if Armitage was gay”. You could have chosen to not post disrespectful or rude comments, instead you chose to hide the fact that there are different opinions on the subject and that some people think RA is being dishonest.
    Whether this is true or not it has to be proven but, in any case, when a different take is expressed in a civil manner, IMHO it shouldn’t be censured. But it’s your blog and obviously you have decided that censorship is a good thing.

    1. Yes, I could have continued to just moderate posts, but it’s a quagmire – what to let through and what to stop. If I don’t publish something, no doubt there would have been people complaining. Quite frankly, I have other things I want to be doing over Christmas than filtering increasingly obsessive and/or inflammatory blog comments. That’s one factor. Another is the upcoming Hobbit release, which is likely to cause an upsurge in people googling for RA and potentially finding that particular blog post. I don’t wish to propagate those rumours any further than I might have already inadvertently done by just doing the blog post. I want to welcome new RA fans, not have new fans scared away by how toxic the RA fan community can be on occasion.

      I won’t dignify “you have decided that censorship is a good thing” with an answer. But, like you say, it’s my blog. Take it or leave it.

  24. While I don’t like censorship, I applaud your decision to close and hide comments on the previous post. This subject gets overheated and rationality flies out the window, and commenters start attacking each other.

    For what its worth in a recent interview RA did with a Spanish publication called Accion Cine. The interview was Hobbit related. In the biography part under the section marital status, if anyone is interested there is a link to this from RichardArmitage.net site. The information contained might get things into perspective. I would hope that if people read this it will stop unpleasantness.

  25. Movie-making requires what JRR Tolkien called, “the willing suspension of disbelief.” The openly-gay actors of whom I am aware (DeGeneris, Harris) do not rely on romantic leads to fuel their careers, unlike Armitage. So, yes, I can see why IF he were gay, he would want to keep it private and why ‘coming out’ could have a negative effect on his career.

    Let’s say that a Hollywood actor dressed up as a woman and played a female love interest. I’d think, no matter how good the makeup and costuming, a large part of the audience would have trouble forgetting that “she” was a “he,” esp in any love scenes.

    Just saying…

    1. It has been a long time since RA has played a romantic lead and what if? I am aware of a few British TV actors that are gay and play heterosexual lovers very convincingly. I know it doesn’t bother me the slightest. Where is the point at which one can’t suspend disbelief any more? Knowing that one part of an on-screen couple is happily married to someone else? Or knowing that that in real life the on-screen lovers hate each other? Why would knowing that an actor is gay be any different? Learning that Richard Chamberlain is gay didn’t change the Thornbirds for me, if anything, it added something because he must know about forbidden love.

      1. If it had been public knowledge that Richard Chamberlain were gay, I seriously doubt he would have been _offered_ the romantic leads in The Thornbirds or Shogun.

        Hollywood studios make movies for one reason, to make money. Therefore, the chances of them casting an openly-gay man as a heterosexual romantic lead are slim because of the potential negative effects on their bottom line. Like it, don’t like it – doesn’t change a thing. The odds of our seeing a gay man play James Bond anytime soon are somewhere between slim and nil. Again, just sayin’…

        Chris Golden

  26. Never heard of the man before I saw him in the Hobbit. He’s disturbed my peace, is all I have to say to that. Gay or straight doesn’t even come into it. I wish him happiness and success, and the recognition he so richly deserves.

    1. “He’s disturbed my peace.” No one sentence has ever said it better.

      In regards to homosexual speculations and any relevance to our Richard Armitage fandom, I will only say this – if the speculations were true, but you really love his work, then get over it. It is a gift when an actor can bring out feelings that you may not normally express or find in this life. Richard is brilliant at making us feel. And with that, he takes us with him and therefore we become somewhat attached. Some of us just can’t help it, and yours-truly is no exception. I willing go there with him, every time.

      But technically, this is his job and one I hope he enjoys. But also my hope is that it is not at the expense of enjoying his own life. It would sicken me to know that he might be giving up loving the person he wants – female or male – in order to have a lasting and flourishing career in “Hollywood”. Truth – Hollywood is not as kind when someone comes out, especially when seeking romantic leading roles, which are higher paying for the most part. Richard’s demographics do not yet fit the non-romantic leads and other high-paying roles. He could force a change in this by doing long-term theatre or maybe playing asexual serial killers, corporate CEO’s, gritty detectives or maybe even (Yes!) a James Bond super-heavy. Although challenging (to both do and find) this might be quite limiting. An actor can do this – straight or not – especially when wishing to avoid, or are bored with, gratuitous bedroom scenes. (And we all know he has been there, done that).

      However, IF the speculation turned out to be true, and only by his own admission, then my now hope would be that he would discontinue placing females in the “beard” position. It would not be fair to either of them, and as well would be a damaging lie. His PR may have another agenda, however. Printed articles have quoted him as saying he had a longtime live-in relationship with a woman. Although I have not heard him recorded as saying this, that doesn’t make it untrue. He could have said “lived with someone”, and the journalist could have interpreted and took license. His PR can “leak” things also and create photo ops that place him in a position to be adored by both sexes.

      Regardless, Richard puts “himself” in a position to be adored every time he gets in front of a camera. He might be shy, but he is not a fool.

      1. I thought the Hobbit might change his approach but it seems, as ususal he went successfully back under the radar as soon as the PR world tour was over. No comments on his private life except a tight-lipped “I’m single” when asked, no comments that allow conclusions about his orientation one way or the other (unlike in the past, when he discussed being attracted to women), no-one seen by his side. And the tabloids still have absolutely no interest in him, so no paparazzi pics that might offer insights but could also be faked. No “leaked” information that could also be faked. It spares him the accusation of telling lies and bearding that would spring up inevitably. So well done, I suppose.

  27. I personally think, that he doesn’t compartmentalize himself into anything. What I’ve seen in the interviews he seems that kind of type who likes what he likes. No matter if it’s male or female.

    1. The issue is that some people don’t take that as evidence of him being into women, but as him “just saying that” and having to “hide his true self” for the sake of his career. (Despite being a gay actor isn’t really a big deal in the UK.)

      I’m still baffled at why this is a topic of conversation at all, because it is, was, and always will be none of our business.

      1. Recently actor Wentworth Miller came out. A few years ago he played an action man in the series Prison Break, now he seem to have given up acting and works as a screenwriter. He was seen with a gay actor friend which caused a lot of rumours but he swore he was straight, just too shy and too busy to find a girlfriend, but would like to get married and have kids. Sounds remotely familiar? Maybe RA told the truth and maybe being American makes a difference but examples like this show that it is really not wise to trust actors on the matter especially if they fail to provide real girlfriends, wives and kids.

        1. So basically, what you’re saying is that RA should be invited to do something in Russia, because then we’d know for sure? πŸ˜‰

          1. The more interesting aspect is that he only came out after he had nothing to loose, as he has chosen a different career by now. He has been discussed endlessly on IMDb and many female fans bought that he was straight, saying that being seen with a gay friend proves nothing, that always being single and being notoriously private means nothing etc.. They also though he is honest, trustworthy person and wouldn’t lie.

  28. Interesting posts here, I like what Crystal had to say. If RA turned out to be gay, it would certainly alter our percpeiton of him and his work, how could it not? It would not change the fact that he is a very talented actor. Most of the actors who have recently come out of the closet have not surprised me one bit. Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Zachary Quinto were people I naturally assumed were gay. Oh and Anderson Cooper, a great reporter and a ood interviewer, I also kind of assumed was gay.

    If RA came out of the closet, I admit I’d be surprised. It;s not that I’ve never considered that he might be gay, otherwise why would I be here? It’s just that I never get the feeling form his performances or from his interviews that he’s a gay dude. Obviously, I could be wrong and he might be very closeted. But this brings up an important point, if we can’t tell that he is gay from his performances or his off screen demeanor, how much difference would it make if he came out of the closet? I think he could stil pull off the same type of roles he has been, it would just take us a bit of adjustment.

    The one thing I really don’t like is the idea that he might be hiding or worse even lying about who he really is. He needs to trust that all, or the vast majority of us, would stilll be with him and wish him all the best

    1. In the end, I think what matters is that those guys are honest with the only people to whom their sexual orientation really matters – their romantic partners. It would be devastating for a girlfriend or wife to find out that her partner is not really into their relationship and only uses her to keep up an appearance, and likewise it must be hard for a boyfriend if his partner has a public (and sexual) relationship with a woman. If a woman agrees to be a beard for money or PR reasons or as a favour to a friend, she won’t get hurt.

      1. very true. I don’t know what went on with Rock Hudson’s marriage, for example, but it seems like Phyllis Gates wasn’t entirely clear on what their relationship was going to be (hence the divorce). I have read some believe she herself was a lesbian and the marriage was a sort of quid pro quo, but I have no way of knowing. All I know is that you’re correct–it would be profoundly wrong to keep that from your spouse/significant other.

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