Posts filed under ‘Gay Rights’
“I don’t entirely approve of some of the things I have done, or am, or have been. But I’m me. God knows, I’m me” – Elizabeth Taylor
I’m loathe to write about Elizabeth Taylor because there’s nothing I could write about her that’s not already been written. However, it seems a shame to allow her death to pass without commenting on it. She was, after all, the first woman to be paid $1,000,000 salary for a movie, an exorbitant amount of money for the time. Taylor was widely reported, for many years, to be the world’s most beautiful woman. She was famous for her violet eyes, her many marriages, her soap opera-tabloid lifestyle, her entrepreneurial successes, her philanthropy, and her jewelry collection.
She hastened the end of the marriage of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (let’s face it; those two would have eventually divorced anyway), and she was denounced by both the Catholic Church and the United States Senate for her affair with Richard Burton. The affair with Burton hastened the end of her marriage to Fisher, and ended Burton’s marriage to his first wife, Sybil.
But it began a new and tempestuous marriage that spanned a decade, two weddings and two divorces. It also gave us the great performances we see in, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Would a movie version of Edward Albee’s play have been nearly as fascinating with anyone else playing George and Martha? I hope we never have to find out.
For all her addiction issues and flights of excess, sexual promiscuity and sense of entitlement (she was famously demanding, spoiled, and difficult to work with), she will also be remembered for her courage to speak out against AIDS at a time when no one was doing so. She was, by all accounts, an excellent mother, and this will be one of the many parallels that cause people to compare her with Angelina Jolie. She had a sense of humor about herself and would famously poke fun of herself on talk shows and with her friends. For instance, she stipulated that her coffin would arrive fifteen minutes late for her own funeral.
She had a great love for the gay man, and what gay man wouldn’t love Elizabeth Taylor? She was an icon and a diva. She had a longstanding and close friendship with Roddy McDowell, with whom she starred in one of the Lassie movies. As a young woman she fell helplessly in love with Montgomery Clift, and even though he preferred men, they remained close throughout his lifetime. She was Rock Hudson’s friend and his champion. When AIDS was denounced as a punishment from God for being gay, Elizabeth Taylor stood up and called that viewpoint nonsense. She was, above all, a spectacularly loyal friend, and her steadfast devotion to Michael Jackson proves that beyond a doubt.
Elizabeth battled lots of continuous health issues and went to rehab more than once. In her middle age and beyond, her metabolism caught up with her, and she battled the bulge many times. Sometimes she won, and sometimes the bulge won. But even as a woman in her 70s, suffering from pain, poor health, and mobility issues, she was still famously beautiful. If you could find anyone in the world who didn’t know who she was, they would have inevitably been struck by the thought of what a striking woman she must have been when she was young. She was the kind of woman that you literally couldn’t help staring at, at any age.
What I most remember Elizabeth Taylor for is that she shared my father’s birthday. My dad was born on the same day as Elizabeth Taylor. He’s five years older than her. He liked to say that the gap between their ages increased over the years but given her childhood stardom, I find this unlikely. It’s probably just my dad’s sense of humor. Elizabeth Taylor’s death reminds me that true beauty, like life, is fleeting. Appreciate it while you can.
No, this post is not about fast food burgers. This post has been inspired by recent events in the media. Tiffany (remember her?) outed one of the New Kids on the Block. This was done inadvertently. I guess she didn’t know that he hadn’t officially come out of the closet, and there were some twitters back and forth, etc.
A few weeks before that Carrie Fisher made the news again with her comments about John Travolta in The Advocate, which for those of you that live in the mainstream and don’t know, is a gay publication. John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston have recently made the news for having another baby, which Kelly delivered at the age of 48. He, like another Scientologist actor, has been dogged by rumors of homosexuality for decades. He’s spent a lot of money on lawyers to sue people who make the allegations.
Carrie Fisher and John Travolta were friends, but I doubt if they are now. Carrie Fisher said that everyone knows and no one cares. And I think Carrie’s right about that. Everyone knows, and no one cares. He could be bisexual or homosexual, and most people know this and like him anyway. Of course, only John knows for sure.
Now again, the latest speculation in the media that someone is gay is swarming around Troy Aikman, the sports commentator and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback. He and his wife are separating and getting a divorce after two daughters and eleven years.
I lived in Dallas for seven years when I was in my twenties, and I’ve “met” Troy Aikman. I met him at a book signing after he wrote a children’s book. My brother was a big Cowboys fan so I stood in line for hours to get Aikman’s signature for my brother. Judging from the lack of clothing on some of the women, not everyone had gotten the memo that Aikman was gay.
I’d heard the rumors. People would talk about having seen him walking around Turtle Creek. That was enough to get a rumor started, walking around a toney area of Dallas that’s known for an all gay male chorus. I think there may have been other factors as well. Aikman was also rumored to be a racist, and the black culture tends to look very negatively upon men with homosexual or bisexual tendencies. That’s where the term “on the down low” comes from. It could have been a simple matter of “office politics.”
Troy Aikman dated such beauties as Lorrie Morgan and Janine Turner. He could be straight. He’s never come out and denied the rumors. He just chooses not to acknowledge them, and that’s his prerogative.
I have to wonder why certain members of the gay community feel that it’s so important for everyone to come out of the closet and shout it to the rooftops. I get the concept of political activism, but you can still attend the Gay Pride Parade without being gay. They let straight people lend their support. Why is it a requirement to “out” as many celebrities as possible, even ones we no longer care about like some member of New Kids on the Block whose name I now forget?
Sex is a private matter. I don’t run around all day letting everyone know that I prefer to have sex with men, just in case there might be some confusion. Whether or not John Travolta is gay or bisexual, if he and Kelly Preston have some arrangement that works for them, then more power to them. If Aikman is gay or bisexual, I don’t care. His job is to be a sportscaster, not the poster boy for gay rights. It should be up to him whether or not he shares his sexual orientation.