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08/11/2009

Perez Hintin': Spurned news anchor lets the ol' tongue wag

by Jeremy Hooper

News anchor Charles Perez, who was recently fired amidst a "too gay" controversy, has been all over the media this week, opening up about his life, his career, and his still too-hesitant business. Now in a new Advocate interview, he turns his attention towards more grey-haired pastures:

"I’ve spoken with Anderson but have never met him. Anderson was on Oprah; he did an hour with his mom. It was great. He talked about his childhood. He talked about his brother’s suicide. He talked about wanting to be a journalist and going to Africa in Picture 3-237his 20s with his own camera. And I applaud him for that. There are a lot of kids who come from privilege who would have never done that. I applaud him as a newsman.

But I thought something very interesting. I thought, If you had a straight newsman with that profile of that same age, who is reasonably handsome, who is unmarried, would Oprah not have even asked the question if he was seeing somebody? And I can only imagine that it was negotiated ahead of time, or it was understood between them. And that’s the difference. It’s a subtlety that really needs to end. It’s great that Anderson is on the air and he is as successful as he is. But there is a difference now between gay men and gay women. It’s twofold. Gay women have had the benefit of giants like Ellen and Rosie. They may not have been in news, but they have certainly blazed the trail. In the television industry, it is still acceptable to have gay men in a stereotype that straight men feel comfortable with, whether it is Steven Cojocaru or Jack on Will & Grace. But the Will of Will & Grace still makes them uncomfortable. And that is partly our fault. I’m not kidding here. I’m not a perfect gay man. There were times when I could have been more out than I was, where I could have done more, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t now."

Fired: News Anchor Charles Perez Speaks [Advocate]

Somehow we think Anderson might see it differently (in regards to both his orientation and his "reasonably handsome" label). But Perez's assessment is a mostly fair one. Love life Q & A's are standard chat show/celeb magazine fare, yet are largely considered taboo when the gossip trends towards gay. The Today show will have Kate Gosselin on and ask her about every rumor about every "plus 1" that might be in either her or her husband's life, no matter how tabloidy the source material. But when those same sources suggest that the love life might be same-sex, there is a deafening hush. Even if you're not a fan or even supporter of outing, don't you have to wonder why the standard so often doubles right in tandem with a relationship's potential penis/vaginas?

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Your thoughts

You might remember that there was the same deafening hush when it became obvious that Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson were acting like a couple. It's not just non-stereotypical gay men.

Posted by: Dave in Northridge | Aug 12, 2009 12:35:12 AM

I really wish people would look at the career of Neil Patrick Harris. I mean, the guy comes out to ho-hum fanfare and, if anything, his career has only flourished since! A big, award-nominated role on a hit sitcom, hosting awards shows...he's practically ubiquitous! And he does it all with a constant wink-and-a-nod to the pink elephant in the room!
Gays in the biz, take note! It's not a death sentence to come out!

Posted by: Eric | Aug 12, 2009 7:47:13 AM

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