When I first started this column, its purpose was to poke fun of celebrities who were a little too adamant in declaring their heterosexuality. In a time when Clay Aiken’s declaration that yes, he is indeed gay is met with a collective yawn, and when Ellen and Portia’s wedding is treated as nothing more than a typical celebrity wedding, there is no question that coming out as gay or lesbian in Hollywood is no longer a death knell or — in most circumstances — even considered scandalous enough to guarantee that the masses will whisper about you for more than five minutes.
But certain elements of the media never got the memo, and this time, we turn our attention to these stragglers.
Earlier this month, Eamonn Holmes (co-host of British television show This Morning) interviewed Salma Hayek. During the interview, Mr. Holmes mistakenly believed that Salma Hayek had come out of the closet, at least halfway. (And, no we do not mean by starring as bisexual artist Frida Kahlo in the film Frida.)
The 42-year-old Hollywood star had been trying to tell the This Morning presenter that she was half Lebanese. However, Eamonn misheard her and made an embarrassing gaffe, thinking that the Mexican-born actress had “outed” herself.
Belfast-raised Eamonn seemed to be struggling to understand the Ugly Betty star’s accent and thought she said she was half a lesbian after he commented on the origin of her surname. At the start of the interview he said: “Hayek doesn’t sound very Mexican.”
As she tried to explain that her father was Lebanese, Holmes quickly asked: “You’re a lesbian?” Seeing the funny side, Salma lent forward saying “Lebanese” very slowly. Mortified by his mistake, he replied: “Oh sorry. I thought you were half lesbian. Forgive me.”
What exactly is a “half lesbian”?
Is mistaking someone for being a “half lesbian” a reason to soil one’s tighty whities? I suppose it depends on the lesbian.
I don’t know if I’d be “mortified” if I were to be mistaken someone for, say, half of Portia de Rossi, because even half of Portia de Rossi is pretty damn smokin’ hot, and it would be a great compliment to be mistaken for being even a fraction of Portia de Rossi.
In fact, if an interviewer were to mistake me for half of Portia de Rossi, Leisha Hailey or Rachel Maddow, I’d give the interviewer a big wet kiss, which I suppose might in turn “mortify” the interviewer, but even if that scenario were to have occurred with Salma Hayek, I am sure Mr. Eamonn Holmes would have welcomed it with open arms (and an open mouth).
In any event, “mortified” is a strong word. I created a hierarchy based on the mortification level of an interviewer that may result from mistake an interview subject for various types of people. Sadly, my statistics professor was a Marxist, and he gave out B+’s to anyone who showed up to class (true story); consequently, I did not bother to learn anything in his class and merely showed up to receive my guaranteed B+.
Since I am woefully incompetent in this arena, I asked resident Lesbian Scientistician Stuntdouble to create a graph from my raw data.
As you can see, mistaking someone for being a “half lesbian” is not a valid reason to become mortified. Thank you, Stuntdouble.
Also last week, gossip rags got wind that Pink may have experimented with women in the past but now prefers men, which caused a collective scrambling to print this ever-so-important news item. Examples:
(Note to the media: There is a word that describes a person who is attracted to both women and men, and that word is “bisexual.”)
Although the above-linked articles did not name their source, the story originated from Pink’s appearance on the “Eddie, JoBo & Erica Show” on B96 FM in Chicago, a clip of which is available on PerezHilton.com. I have transcribed the clip below:
Host: Would you ever try a relationship with a woman?
Pink: Um, I’m not gay, so no, I guess not.
Host: You wouldn’t even experiment, like, uh, Megan Fox said she did?
Pink: Um, I never said I haven’t. I just said, going forward, I like penis.
[Raucous laughter by the radio hosts]
Pink’s sexuality has often been questioned. Could it be her penchant for closely-cropped hairstyles, including the occasional dyke-a-licious fauxhawk? Her public make-out session with Kristanna Loken in 2004? In any event, this line of questioning seems a bit out of place, considering the subject of the rest of the clip.
Host: So, Pink, we hear that you are not a fan of Sarah Palin.
Pink: Um, she scares me. It also scares me that women are thinking, “Oh yeah, another woman — yay, let’s be feminist and vote for a woman.” She hates women, actually. She’s pro life, which is fine, for her, I guess. But she wants the entire world to be, even in cases such as incest and rape. She wants to shoot wolves out of a helicopter. She wants to ruin the wildlife in Alaska and start drilling, which would make us more dependent on oil, when we are trying to be less dependent to stop wars, so we can get out of debt so that people can pay off their mortgages. Yadda yadda yadda. I can’t stand her; she scares me. It scares me that we would vote for a 70-some-year-old president and that realistically there is a one in four chance that she would become our president and she would be in office.
Host: I’m coming up, so you better get the Republican Party started!
Pink: [laughs] She scares me.
You know what? Pink can like penis all she wants. It wasn’t so long ago that the Dixie Chicks suffered a CD-burning spree and boycott for dissing Dubya, and it didn’t stop Pink from releasing the single “Dear Mr. President” a couple of years later.
Pink has never pulled punches, and that is something to be respected. Furthermore, she is an ally, and we love her. Pink, we embrace you, even as you embrace the penis — not that there is anything wrong with that.