Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Out of the covers
The age of the “Yep, I’m Gay” magazine cover is over. At least so says Entertainment Weekly in this week’s new cover story. The full-cover declaration screaming up from your Time magazine could well be a thing of the past. Today’s stars come out in a nonchalant, oh-wait-did-he/she-just-come-out way that it barely registers bold-faced headline, let alone a very-special issue. Think Jim Parsons, think Matt Bomer, think Zachary Quinto, think Jesse Tyler Ferguson, think Chris Colfer. Wait, that’s a lot of guys. In fact, the women they use to illustrate this trend are Wanda Sykes and Jane Lynch. Wanda came out several years ago at an anti-Prop. 8 rally. And Jane? God, does anyone have any idea when Jane came out? Wasn’t she always out?
But there are a handful of hot younger female stars who are also out, like Amber Heard and Anna Paquin and Kate McKinnon and, um. Give me a minute. Um. And, speaking of nonchalant, I think Amber’s coming out was so nonchalant the mainstream media never even noticed it. Because they sure never mention her when talking about gay Hollywood. But I digress. While there is a small but lively crop of out female actresses in their 20s and 30s (smallest being the 20s), many of our most famous comings out still tend to be women who are older. And I don’t mean this in a mean way at all, but past the peaks of their careers. Women like Meredith Baxter and Kelly McGillis and Kristy McNichol. This is, unfortunately, the nature of the beast. Many actors are still too scared or unwilling to come out at the beginning of their careers. They fear it will limit their marketability, suppress their stardom. Yadda yadda yadda. But I wonder, too, despite the whole straight dudes get turned on by lesbians thing, if women still need to be sexier. If women need to be seen as more sexually available, especially when younger. I don’t know, I’m just spit-balling out loud here on the fewer famous out younger women thing.
Still despite the reason for the disparity, I will say I’m glad we’re past our magazine cover days. Don’t get me wrong, I like a cheesy coming out People magazine cover as much as the next gal. But the more being gay becomes just a fabric of who we are and less a circus show to be ogled at, the better. Also, that means my mint vintage 1997 Time magazine featuring Ellen’s “Yep” heard around the world will be worth more. What, I can’t be for gay rights and gay entrepreneurship? Sheesh.