That’s our first response?

In the past two days there have been two fairly big celebrity news stories. Thankfully neither of them involve a Kardashian. Two days ago Paul Walker was killed in a terrible car accident that took his life and the life of his friend. The other piece of news was Tom Daley saying he was in a relationship with a man. The fascinating thing, and the point of this post, is the reaction of the gay community to both pieces of news.

There have been passionate discussions on facebook about whether we’d be mourning Paul Walker’s death so enthusiastically if he wasn’t hot. Who knows? He was hot and he was a successful actor in very popular successful movies. Someone pointed out that if a female actress had died and straight men were saying it was a shame she died because she was so hot and now there was no chance they’d ever shag her, they’d be treated as vile sleaze bags yet that is pretty much what a lot of gay men are saying about Paul. Guess what people? We weren’t going to get to shag Mr Walker anyway.

When Tom Daley’s “coming out” video was released and went around the world in a split second yesterday, a lot of gays were commenting that they’d always known he was a homo. He never said he was gay. Like a lot of us gay men he may well be gay and announce it down the track or he may be part of the new, perhaps more sensible generation of people that don’t really want to put a label on their sexuality. Tom never used the word bisexual either so he’s not saying he’s not gay or bi, just in a relationship with a man. Tom is only 19. I challenge the vast majority of readers of this blog to truthfully say that they knew the exact parameters of their sexuality at 19. I’m 40 and what I want sexually changes. I still don’t even know what I want to do with the rest of my life.

The rest of the world sees the gay “community” as being shallow and sexually driven. The internet response to Paul’s death and Tom’s announcement hasn’t exactly done a lot to dispel that. Both celebrities have used their sexual appeal to help their careers to an extent, as do most celebrities, but there is more to both of these men than what we gather from the internet in the last two days.

4 Responses to “That’s our first response?”

  1. 1 Kazza

    I just long for the day when a person’s sexuality isn’t the focus of people’s interest in them.

  2. 2 A

    I was impressed with Tom Daley’s decision to take control of the flow of information about his own life, and have had the same reaction about all the blogs saying that he’s admitted he’s gay, Brenton. As you rightly note, he just told us that he’s in a relationship with a man. I would, however, challenge you on the idea that “he may be part of the new, perhaps more sensible generation of people that don’t really want to put a label on their sexuality.” There were recently some interesting articles about a new book on Gore Vidal, who we would define as a homosexual (he did sleep with some women in his time), but who did not define himself by the sex he had. I think, by contrast, the lack of desire to label oneself attends an older mentality that makes homosexuality a censurable category. Tom himself admits that there will be people who have a variety of opinions about this, some within his own family, but none of them matter. That, for me, is modern aspect of Tom’s revelation, the place where he’s part of a generation making strides forward.

  3. 3 Tye

    Excellent commentary Brenton, spot on point and very well said!

  4. 4 DamienOz

    I second Tye’s comment.

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