James Franco has long taunted the media about his sexual orientation. Even though he's been in a long-term relationship with girlfriend Ahna O’Reilly, his numerous role choices of playing gay characters has people thinking that, perhaps, he is gay, and instead of shouting a defining answer like most celebrities, he coyly dodges the question.
Some critics say that it's a publicity stunt, to ensure his name continues to make headlines. That his back-and-forth play is almost an insult to those truly struggling with their sexual identity.
In his recent cover story in Entertainment Weekly, he responds:
It’s funny because the way that kind of stuff is talked about on blogs is so black-and-white. It’s all cut-and-dry identity politics. ‘Is he straight or is he gay?’ Or, ‘This is your third gay movie -- come out already!’ And all based on, gay or straight, based on the idea that your object of affection decides your sexuality.
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Our society loves putting labels on people -- gay, straight, bi. It's as if it makes everyone more comfortable if they can identify a person by their sexuality. But in reality, the lines are blurred. A straight woman can have one night with another woman and not be gay, or even bi. She had a sexual connection with someone and went with it. We're all human and we all have urges, and sometimes those urges are opposite of what we are normally drawn to. It truly shouldn't even matter, but unfortunately we're obsessed with where each other stands on the sexuality spectrum, making it even more intimidating for those that are struggling with their sexual identity.
James plays these gay characters not for the headlines, and not because he's a closeted gay (but even if he was, it shouldn't matter). He chooses these roles because they're challenging. All of the characters he's played were homosexual in eras when it was difficult to be openly gay. He goes on to say, "Part of what I’m interested in is how these people who were living anti-normative lifestyles contended with opposition. Or, you know what, maybe I’m just gay.”
What do you think of James's outlook on sexuality?
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