August 6, 2006

"People think I'd be so ashamed of being gay that I wouldn't admit it? Oh, please."

Said Oprah, in a seeming denial that got everybody talking. Here's a big article about celebrities denying gay rumors. Are you just calling more attention to it? Are you setting up a thousand new jokes?

But about that Oprah quote. Is it even a denial that she's gay? "People think I'd be so ashamed of being gay that I wouldn't admit it? Oh, please." That's only saying it's ridiculous to think that I'm the kind of person who would be ashamed of being gay. If I were the interviewer, I'd want to ask: Yes, I know you wouldn't be ashamed of being gay, but as a popular mainstream daytime television personality, might you not reason that your audience is not ready to hear that someone like you is gay, and might you not decide to remain discreet about it in order to continue to reach them?

But let's look at the source material. It's an interview on the home territory of Oprah Magazine, with both Oprah and her best friend Gayle King.
Gayle: The truth is, if we were gay, we would so tell you, because there's nothing wrong with being gay.

Oprah: Yeah. But for people to still be asking the question, when I've said it and said it and said it, that means they think I'm a liar. And that bothers me.

Gayle: Well, particularly given how open you've been about everything else in your life.

Oprah: I've told nearly everything there is to tell. All my stuff is out there. People think I'd be so ashamed of being gay that I wouldn't admit it? Oh, please.
The boldface indicates possible hedging. But Oprah says "Yeah" to Gayle's initial statement, so she's either not gay or she is liar. And it would bother her if you thought that she was a liar.

And doesn't having a nonsexual best friend as good as Gayle seem highly desirable to you? It's not as though the relationship only makes sense if it's sexual.

24 comments:

Dave said...

Next there will be a rumor that Tom Cruise is gay.

(To the dense: yes, I'm aware there already is such a rumor. This comment would therefore be a joke.)

dick said...

This rather bothers me. I am gay and I have 2 very close friends, so close that we talk at least once a day every day and discuss any choices to be made, and neither of them is gay nor have I ever even thought of having a gay relationship with them. In my days of hitting the bars they even went out with me to the bars but still there never has been even a hint of a gay relationship with either of them. If someone were to suggest that we had a gay relationship it would really disturb me. It seems as if there are people out there who cannot conceive of a friendship that close that is not sexual. They are total fools!!

tiggeril said...

I'd like to have a close, lifelong friend like that. All my friends are either online only or transitory.

George said...

My wife and I appeared on her show many years ago. My wife had to sign a "secrecy" agreement in which she promised never to reveal, discuss, write about, etc. what went on during the taping, how we were booked, etc. (Somehow I eluded this pact.) It's my understanding that every person who appears on the show and every person who works for Oprah has to sign such an agreement. While I can appreciate a famous person's desire to retain her privacy, one can only wonder what this billionaire is like behind closed doors. Incidentally, for any readers who think a TV taping is a glamourous experience, it was a total bore, partly because the CEO host was fully programmed by her hovering staff and appeared to be going through the emotions, er motions. She had about as much effervescence as a 20 pound hunk of lead.

P. Froward said...

Yes, but is she still beating her wife?

J said...
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J said...

Just as a technical point, in most cases where I hear homosexuality discussed, there appears to be a clear distinction between gay and lesbian, which has caused me to assume that the term "gay" refers specifically to male homosexuals, not all homosexuals. True or false?
I mean, if it also meant she was a man I can see why she'd want to keep that under wraps - at least until she was having trouble in the ratings or something.

Finn Kristiansen said...
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Finn Kristiansen said...

This is silly. One should take her at her word since she has already made clear denials about being gay. And as the first or second wealthiest black person in the country, (with the former owner of BET probably being first), she would hardly be effected by coming out, and could just as soon focus on production instead of her show (if it were to lose audience). A billion dollars goes a long way.

People, when they don't understand something, always rush to the lazy explanation, or the entertaining one, or one that conforms to their limited world view. It's like those people who read letters written 100 or 300 years ago, and see the passion and warmth in how people of the same sex addressed each other, and then leap to the conclusion that the writers had to be gay.

Also, I've seen so many friendships like Gayle's and Oprah's among black women, and it's not at all unusual. Nearly every black woman has a Gayle.

Finn Kristiansen said...

George said...

"She had about as much effervescence as a 20 pound hunk of lead."


Or maybe, George, the show was not designed to "effervesce you"? You being a guy and all?

It's always amazing how people extrapolate a worldview from a miniature moment.

Synova said...

It's sad and it's almost like we *can't* have real relationships, or perhaps a good term would be primary relationships, that are not sexual. Why not?

George said...

Finn--

My point is that we all like to believe that the personas of people we see on TV, like talk show hosts, are their true personalities. Oprah likes to present herself as a serious, yet sassy, Everywoman who speaks up for plain folks. A billionaire with a heart. What I saw of her for about 3-4 hours during the taping was a dour CEO of a billion dollar media conglomerate who was being fed lines off of cue cards. She's a master at manipulating her image for her own ruthless pursuit of wealth and power. Be suspicious of all billionaires. If she wants us to think she may or may not be gay, she's probably focus-grouped the topic and has a financial reason for wanting the subject to surface now.

setstraight said...

Actually Oprah is now TWICE as rich as the former owner of BET since he lost half his fortune in divorce. According to Forbes international rich list, Oprah's been the world's ONLY black billionaire for the past 3 years

setstraight said...

cvI'm very surprised by the person who thought Oprah was just going through the motions when he taped a show with her. When she first started, all the critics hailed her as the most spontaneous and dynamic person on TV. Maybe that's changed over the years.

Lou Minatti said...

I am surprised no one has brought up Stedman.

Conservative Guy said...

Oprah's definitely gay. Case Closed!

Mark Daniels said...

I think that the assumption that society attaches a stigma to "a popular mainstream daytime television personality" being gay is incorrect.

Many people may not like homosexuality. But it has become so accepted as a reality that no entertainer is harmed by coming out. Ellen De Generes is a beloved daytime talk show host. Rosie O'Donnell is coming back to the genre soon.

Mark Daniels

$CAV3NG3R said...

"She's a master at manipulating her image for her own ruthless pursuit of wealth and power. "

Interesting choice of words, and you know this because your name is actually Gail? why don't you my dear man tell us what really irks you about the woman. That she's rich, a woman, black or a certain combination thereof.

...has a financial reason for wanting the subject to surface now...

If they are poor, you call them lazy, good-for-nothing ghetto &*#@!... if they are rich they are master manipulators...Hmmm wonder why....

A few words for ya:

Don't hate the player.....

charlotte said...

I heard a rumor that, not only is Oprah black and gay (come on, "Gay-le"?), she's secretly a Republican and goes by GOPrah at Log Cabin meetings. Also, she's anorexic, which she covers up well.

sonicfrog said...

I'm Gay!

There I said it!!!

I'm soo glad I didn't pursue my childhood dream to become a famous actor. I'm also glad I'm too lazy to become a world famous blogger! :-)

sonicfrog said...

There was a time when I younger, my colledge days, that I was very fearfull of telling my friends or having them find out about my secret life, because partly I didn't want to change the nature of our relationship, and partly because I feared rejection over the relevation. Friends are hard to come by when you're insecure with the world and your place in it. Strange thing, most of the friends I did tell during that time are still here, and the others have faded out of my life.

George said...

Scavenger--

If you do not think that all billionaires--black, white, or purple--are ruthless, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

Doug said...

I am surprised Stedman hasn't come up yet either. Any suspicions I have about her sexuality flow through her relationship with him. I thought they were engaged, but other people have said they are simply "life partners". Even so, I doubt she is a lesbian, though I have never heard much about Gayle King's love life.

I see about an hour of her show a year, though I did watch that stupid Oprah's Legends Ball, or whatever it was. That was just a cheesefest of self importance, arrogance and self love. If I were as big of a star as some of these people are, I would have been embarassed to appear on that.

Atticus said...

"I'm very surprised by the person who thought Oprah was just going through the motions when he taped a show with her. When she first started, all the critics hailed her as the most spontaneous and dynamic person on TV. Maybe that's changed over the years."

The critics are talking about Oprah ON TV, not watching Oprah's real life. I have no trouble believing that someone in the studio would see an Oprah different from the one we see on TV. I heard much the same from someone else who was on Oprah's show--they were surprised that Oprah in person does not exude the warmth she projects on the TV screen. Makes perfect sense to me--the TV image is controlled.

As for the friendship...who cares?