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Just a question...


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I'm new to this forum and I've been jumping around the boards, reading and leaving my two cents worth on some of them and something keeps jumping out at me. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but on several threads, there seems to be some controversy about rumors that many of the idols of yesteryear may have been gay or bisexual. Again, maybe I'm missing the point, but if I'm not, why is this such an issue? I have a friend who loves old movies and she HATES the thought that, just as an example, a star like Cary Grant may have swung both ways. (I'm not nice--sometimes I'll tell her the rumors just to see her lose it)

Anyway, I've had a hard time understanding why she takes it all so personally. I have movie stars I admire, (and a few I'm obsessed to the point of being tedious about)and I don't want to hear things about them that I might see as wrong (I'm thinking child abuse or drugs, that sort of thing) but I can't see getting so worked up about the sexual proclivities, whether real or imaginary, of people who are, for the most part, dead.

Any thoughts?

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I couldn't agree more with you, tracey65k. Be it the stars of yesterday, or any of our modern celebrities, their sexual preferences are just not an issue with me. I am aware of many stars, past and present, who were rumored to be gay or bisexual, and it doesn't taint my opinion of them one bit. As long as they are interesting to watch onscreen, that's enough for me. Now if someone who is vastly celebrated, yet, underneath it all, is a horrible actor/actress (I so badly want to name names here, but I'll refrain), well, that's when the gloves come off.......

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As keithfromkc put it, "As long as they are interesting to watch onscreen, that's enough for me." Some people do care though, as evidenced in the 1940s Biographies thread and countless arguments whether Cary Grant and Randolph Scott were or were not lovers when they lived together. Who really cares? I like both men and their work and their sexuality doesn't impinge on my appreciation of their talents. As you know, from reading Mann's book, that gays in Hollywood had a tough time and some films are quite interesting because of the gay element behind the scenes---something like Mitchell Leisen's No Time for Love with Fred MacMurray, one of my favourite romantic comedies. It's a shame that gays still have a tough time when some people put up a stink over the truth and make a big deal about it.

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Maybe I'm a fanatic but anyone I like, I like to know everything about them. It does upset me sometime when I hear my favorite did something or was apart of something that I don't agree with like being promisicous, homosexuality, drugs, violence, abuse, racism, but we all have flaws and wrongs, just hope they learn from it.

 

They seem so perfect to us, like they could do no wrong so to hear our dream guy or girl did or done this or that can be upsetting at times. Most of my favorites have done things I would dislike the next door neighbor for but I have learned not to put stars on pedestals because your heart can get broken when you find out the truth. Everything that glitters isn't gold.

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it doesn't bother me in the least what their sexuality is but i think that the reason it gets to some people is that it contradicts what they were so famous for. for example, cary grant was portrayed on film as a ladies man and in reality women swooned over him and the fact that they have to face it that it's all imaginary is probably disappointing. :)

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This question may tell something about rather a person is from a Red State or a Blue State kind of thing. If you are a Social Conservative from the bible belt or a Libertarian on the East or West coast. I agree with Bill Maher 100% about all these issues, what a great guy! You can have that mercury drilled out of your teeth that they put there when you were a child, once you become an adult. And you can have those ideas and prejudges that were drilled into your head when you were a child removed also.

 

In business its called "Group Think". That is where you have a group of people who think the same making decisions and being in charge. When deciding what ideas and what kind of people are the right kind of people, they always agree with each other. In the 40's and 50's they were against the Blacks getting ahead and being their equal. In the 60's and 70's they were against women breaking through the glass ceiling and holding positions that were once thought only for white males. And now they need someone else to look down on. We continue to grow as a society, what was once excepted as the norm is now unacceptable.

 

In business when we make these mistakes we alienate potential customers, and we don't stay in business very long. Just think of the consequences when we make them in society.

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I don't always buy the whole 'Red State, Blue State' comparison, nsallieharding. I say this, because I think that a lot of people feel that most everyone in the 'Bible Belt' is a God-fearing, die-hard conservative, which just isn't true. I am SURROUNDED by Red States, yet still am exposed to a wide range of poltical viewpoints. To each his own, but I am usually not simpatico with the whole Red State political agenda. You mention Bill Maher, who I admire as well. I saw him live here in KC about two months ago, and he even debunked the myth of the whole Red State/Blue State mentality. He reminded us (not that he needed it) that the last Presidential election was just as close in this part of the country, as it was most everywhere else. I don't think that you are really generalizing here, but I find myself having to defend this part of the country sometimes, because I have several friends on the East coast that think we're all Bush-supporting, NASCAR-loving **** in these parts. Anyway, the question originally posed here is going to divide people.

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Good question, tracey65k.

 

As someone who did NOT see that Nathan Lane was gay (yes, I know, naive I guess) I was flabbergasted when he came 'out'.

 

I've read for years that Cary Grant may or may not have been bi, and the consensus now seems to be that he was.

 

As to my personal feelings, I can only say that I took it personally. I felt that I had been duped. Why? As you say, it is none of my business, I couldn't care less what an actor does in his private life (would that today's actors did what they do in private, they don't know the meaning of the word), but nonetheless, I felt betrayed. As if I were somehow taken in by the persona these actors put out for the world to see.

 

That's about it, just a personal feeling of betrayal. Blue, Red, makes no never mind to me, since all politics is bunk. But movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s is of major importance to me, so when I am surprised with information I knew nothing about, I am disappointed.

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I don't care, never have. Its the movies-its entertainment not Sunday school.

 

In fact it isn't even something that pops into my mind-EVER when I'm watching movies.

 

I've never put actors into that 'godlike' status I guess. They're personal lives aren't even attractive to me. Its what they DO on the screen that defines them in my mind.

 

Personal preferences in life are BORING....but performances....now there's something I never get tired of seeing. The feeling you get after you've seen a great one is a feeling of the utmost admiration for who's given it. Motion Pictures and the people who make them what they are-man! What a racket!!

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Stoneyburke--

You know, that answer actually makes sense, I think. It goes go against their images...though they are actors, so the parts they play and the lives they lead don't necessarily have to be in sync, do they?

 

This is sort of off subject, but I read a book a while back called something like Hollywood Androgyny that talked about the stars that sort of traded on their androgynous appeal--women who came across in a masculine way (like Dietrich and Hepburn)and men who were known not necessarily for their femininity, but for their sensitivity (James Dean comes to mind. Anyway, the author indicated that one reason these stars were so popular was that they appealed to both sexes equally. She quotes and old joke from back in the 20's or 30's about a bride and groom on their wedding night and the groom says something like, "Darling, you're wonderful. I'll never be tempted by another woman, except Greta Garbo." and the wife says, "Me either, honey." LOL

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If you wish to read a revealing and moving book about some of the stars' private lives, I would suggest Axel Madsen's The Sewing Circle: Hollywood's Greatest Secret: Female Stars Who Loved Other Women, 1995. It's not a cheap expose on celebrities' sexual orientations, but rather a well-researched work on the social conditions of the times and how these stars really led two lives. Arranged marriages that never worked, psychiatrists who were quite unsympathetic and studio bosses who would tear up contracts in an instant were all daily factors that controlled their lives.

 

It took until 1969 for the American Psychiatric Association to finally state that homosexuality was not a mental disorder. To think of the guilt, stress and fear some of these women went through is terrible to contemplate.

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Hi cowboy--

I did read it and The Girls, which was pretty sensational (in the National Enquirer mode, I mean). Interesting reads, both, though I think the author of The Girls was trying a wee bit too hard.

In one of them, I can't remember which, the author quotes a rhyme that goes, "2,4,6,8, how do you know your grandma's straight?"

Now, before anyone gets up in arms defending their grandma's honor, I think the point was that in those days, not only was homosexuality considered a mental disorder(which you pointed out), but a lot of average middle class women were kind of sheltered and wouldn't have had a clue what a lesbian was. (My Grandma wouldn't have and if she had, she would have whispered it, God love her ;0)) So it was probably worse to be a respectable bible belt woman and have feelings like that--not only would her doctor think she was nuts, she couldn't even put a name to what she were feeling. And I don't think her husband would have understood either...

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