D’YA WANNA KNOW A SECRET? D’YA PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

by Ross Sharp

Michael Jackson was gay. Apparently.

According to this guy, at least.

Big deal.

If true, it was probably the most normal aspect of his behaviour and personality, given what else we came to about know about him and his increasingly bizarre antics throughout the years.

At what point in the future, how many years, decades, generations may have to pass before the tabloid media and various so-called “biographers” will no longer feel compelled to report that a public figure or entertainer’s sexuality should be considered in any way an astounding reveal of a shocking secret, do you think?

But unfortunately, we still slouch about in times where corporate heads, managers, agents and advisors of all manner will tell their charges that they would risk to lose a significant percentage of their “fan-base”, their audience, and therefore their income, if they were to reveal their sexual orientation. That they would not score that role, get that contract, have that hit.

And, unfortunately, living as we do in a world with an over-abundance of fools, that is true.

In olden times, such performers would have risked criminal charges were they to come “out”.

Cary Grant’s long-term relationship with Randolph Scott. James Dean and Sal Mineo. Rock Hudson. Elton John. So on and so forth. What does it matter that they are or were gay, or, as in Grant’s case, swung both ways? What does it matter that it is widely believed Laurence Olivier had a knees-up with Danny Kaye?

Does it diminish their achievements, reduce our appreciation of their talents, their contributions to their art?

Michael Jackson’s music did not appeal to me. Though only a dolt would deny the impact and excellence of Jon Landis’s “Thriller” video at the time, Jackson’s music and his persona had always struck me as anodyne, sexless and unthreatening. And therefore, uninteresting to me. But that’s me.

His life? Lived through headlines that would make any person think he was quite mad. As to the allegations of child abuse, those expecting to hear anything from Jordan Chandler any time soon are sure to be sorely disappointed. As Brian Palmer from Slate explains, the confidentiality agreement that formed part of the settlement with Chandler …

“binds not only the parties themselves but also their “heirs, administrators, executors, conservators, successors, and assigns.” The death of Jackson, or Chandler for that matter, would have no effect on the settlement’s secrecy obligations.”

Perhaps there will be others who, bound by no such agreements, will speak of their own experiences with Jackson. And others to verify their tales. Surely there will be, as we can come to expect anyone, anyone at all, who had ever exchanged more than a dozen words with the man will have a story to tell. And a hand out for a swift fistful of cash to tell it.

But such alleged behaviour would have naught to do with any claims or hearsay that Jackson was homosexual. Instead, that alleged behaviour would indicate an aberrant personality, a dysfunctional psychopath, and that clearly criminal activity had taken place and that he had the bucks to prevent its disclosure. And that he was a sick and perverted freak.

To be gay, or to be straight is not the question.

And if it is to be the question, the answer should be simple …

“Meh”.

As a sex scene in any film is typically the least interesting thing in it (as it impedes story and tells us nothing), the sexuality of an individual is by far the least interesting aspect of their character.

It becomes relevant to the public interest only, for example, if it is found that a vocal opponent of gay rights, or gay sexual behavior is, by virtue of their private life, a liar and a hypocrite. There have been many such examples in the past and, no doubt, there will be many more to come.

Otherwise, why should we care if a man or a woman in the public eye chooses to keep their sexual identity to themselves?

So …

“Psst … So and so is gay, do you know? How about that?”.

I don’t care.

I’m far more flummoxed by the fact that Justine was kicked off MasterChef last night.

Now, THAT, that fucking floored me.

Just wrong, that was.

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