Friday, 23 April 2010

Why is being gay still so sensational?

I will admit that when it comes to gays I probably come from a fairly unique perspective. My uncle is gay and all through my childhood it was just accepted that he and his friends had boyfriends. He was always around and he's been a bigger influence in my life than my own father. In fact my earliest memory is him picking me up from playschool. His friends were welcomed and his boyfriends were treated like family.

I didn't even realise there was anything unusual about men dating other men until I was about 12.

But I'm getting off point. Today I saw this picture captioned


It's an awesome picture so I clicked to see the other captions and "he's gay" was the theme in about 50% of the other captions. Some were nice, some were nasty, but seriously, half the captions mentioned his being gay. I searched for other images of NPH on the site and the same thing happened, so it's not just because of the picture.

Why? So he's a gay man playing a straight character. He's not the first and he wont be the last. Have people never heard of Rock Hudson, Anthony Perkins or Richard Chamberlin? Seriously, this is not a new phenomenon. They're actors, playing other people. John Wayne wasn't really a cowboy and Michael C Hall isn't really a serial killer.

I get why the haters bring it up but will someone please tell me why even those who love him must continually bring up that he's gay? Am I so out of touch? Is being gay still really so sensational?

I mean please, when captioning Neil Patrick Harris there is tons of comedic material you can play with. Most of it much funnier and more more interesting that "ooh, he's gay". As much as I love Doogie Howser (and always will, impressions formed in childhood are hard to change) there is some good comedic material in that. Now he plays Barney Stinson, the catch phrase coining, walking joke who is the funniest thing about How I Met Your Mother. Not to mention Dr Horrible. Use your imaginations people.

It's such a shame that today's media frenzy means that people can't have a private life. I can completely understand why those in the public eye want to keep being gay quiet, because once you're "out" that seems to be all people are interested in. It doesn't matter how good you are at what you do, you'll always be the "the gay person who was really great at something" rather than just the person who was really great at something.

Anyway, let's finish on a high note. I wish more of my childhood hero's had turned out so normal and well adjusted.

neil patrick harris

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