The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Celebrity liaisons

Oh here they come again. More straight female celebrities jumping on the lesbian bandwagon. First up is Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie who, according to The Sydney Morning Herald has “confessed” that she had a “series of lesbian relationships” when she was younger, in a bid to rebel against her parents and strict Catholic upbringing. What’s notable is that she feels it’s ok to “reveal” this titbit now, because it was all just a phase she was going through when she was 18. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that she’s playing a lesbian in Quentin Tarantino’s new horror film, Grindhouse. Can anyone else hear the wheels of those PR machines turning?

Next up is Jane Pratt, former editor of fashion magazine Jane, who has now “finally” admitted to a “steamy sexual encounter” with actress/producer, Drew Barrymore. AfterEllen.com reports that, years ago, Pratt alluded on shock jock Howard Stern’s TV show to having had a lesbian liaison with a famous Hollywood actress, but declined to say who it was. Now she’s spilling the beans because … you’ll never guess … her brand new show has just made its debut on Sirius Satellite Radio. Pratt allegedly told listeners she’d “had sex” with Drew, and now wants to return as a guest on Stern’s show to “tell him the truth” about their Sapphic romp. Whether we are supposed to believe the timing of her revelation is sheer coincidence and nothing whatsoever to do with ratings is unclear, and Ms Barrymore is currently remaining tight-lipped on the subject.

How the tide has turned. As SBS’s recently-screened documentary Gay Hollywood: The Last Taboo illustrated, claiming to have had queer liaisons in the past would have spelled the kiss of death for the careers of straight, bisexual or gay celebrities. Barbara Stanwyck was so far in the closet she was practically in Narnia, even though her press agent apparently later said she had “no doubt” that Babs was “intimate” with fellow screen siren, Joan Crawford. Now there’s an image thoroughly more enticing than a less-than-memorable pop singer’s same-sex teenage dalliances. Jodie Foster’s probably done the best job of keeping her gob shut about her sexual preferences. That hasn’t stopped the press speculating about it over the years though, and Out magazine has even gone so far as to put her on the cover of its May issue with the tagline ‘The Glass Closet: Why the stars won’t come out and play’.

Perhaps the real lesbians are staying in the closet so as not to be lumped in with boring faux Sapphics (Madonna, Britney anyone?). And if you’re wondering how to distinguish between the two, I refer you to the story on Reuters of Daphne Wright, a deaf, black lesbian in the US state of South Dakota who is accused of murdering and dismembering with a chainsaw a straight woman she thought was spending too much time with her girlfriend. The benchmark has been set. Message to Fergie, Jane et al – you’re not even close.

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