First, there was Mine Vaganti (Loose Cannons is the English title but the direct translation, apparently, is Wandering mines (as in sea mines used in war)). Then there was some famous latin-pop singer. It seems there’s a lot of it about!
Then there are the discussions about it. First the Italians talking about the film. The reaction, in general, is that it is a ‘nice’ film although, if the Italians talking about it had three children and the two male children were both gay, I’m really not sure how that would really go down.
And then there are the discussions about the famous latin-pop star. They basically fall into two categories. There is the ‘who cares – his music was crap’ to the ‘who cares in 2010′ and then there is the ‘what a surprise (not)’ to the ‘oh look, he has a biography to promote’.
Being gay has never been so ordinary nor so popular! I guess I must also be a very fortunate homosexual too, then? Actually, not really. I’m a very fortunate guy, certainly. But being gay has absolutely nothing to do with it
But I do get a little disheartened by it all. So let’s get some things straight (so to speak).
Being gay – maybe it shouldn’t make a difference and, in many ways it doesn’t but in some ways it really does make a difference and it does mean that you have to consider every action, every word spoken, etc.
I regularly (here) see couples embracing. In fact, for me, being British, it can be downright embarrassing on the basis that they seem only a small step from having full public sex! But, imagine walking down the street and seeing two men or two boys doing the same thing. It’s OK, or not? I’m thinking that, however open-minded you may be, it may not be completely OK. Even I would be more embarrassed than I already am!
The coming out. There’s no right time. Of course, there should be no need to ‘come out’ at all, you may say. But, especially if you’re straight-acting, the automatic assumption is that you’re straight. So, women may make passes at you; colleagues at work will talk about a beautiful women in the context of you being interested, etc. I have no problem with women making passes at me. It is, after all, very flattering. However, I do feel that it would be unfair if I let them continue when there’s no chance of it going any further, don’t you? And, so, there IS a need to come out, unfortunately. And although it’s not necessary, strictly speaking, I do really get fed up with people make lewd comments to me about females and expecting me to react in a ‘blokish’ way and, so, would love to ‘come out’ to them. I noticed that, with people who know, there are no comments about women in that way – at least not in my company.
The Family. OK so this is, probably, the hardest of them all. It doesn’t really matter how difficult it is or isn’t to come out to your friends or in the workplace – but coming out to your family is an entirely different thing. The problem here is that, however, relaxed and open-minded they may all seem (and for certain mine weren’t so I knew what the reaction would be before it ever happened), it’s an entirely different ball-game when it’s your son/brother/cousin/father/uncle etc. Even then most open of people can, deep down, harbour those prejudices that we are ‘taught’ when young. And, of course, it’s worse when it’s one of ‘your own’.
I mean, how can you face the outside world? What explaining you’ll have to do!
And, just in case you think that, just because I write all this here I am one of those people who are ‘out’ well, yes, to some degree. But not everyone knows at work and, having gone through all the crap between the ages of 18 and 25, I just can’t be bothered to go through it all again – except I find myself having to do so here, in this country where the film Mine Vaganti rings true as it would have done in the UK about 20-odd years ago!
So, although everyone ‘knew’ about Ricky, and although I don’t have any particular feeling about him (gay or not), I can feel the slightest bit sorry for him. Whether he did it now or later; whether it was for the book, to boost his flagging career or none of those (the timing would always be wrong for some people); whatever the reason, we shall never really know the reasons why he kept it secret for so long (what pressures he was under to ‘keep it all under wraps) or why he decided to come out now (maybe writing the book and seeing how his life to date was built on lies). At least he has come out and now we can get on with loving or hating his music and he can get on with his life.