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Ex-boy bander Bass and his open closet door

The WashBlade’s Kevin Naff has a column up on the latest news about ex-N*Sync member Lance Bass, who has long been rumored to be gay. Apparently the NY Post‘s Page Six as well as gay bloggers Andy Towle and Cyd Zeigler sighted Bass in P’town over the July 4th weekend with his boyfriend Reichen Lehmkuhl of the “Amazing Race” (lord, I don’t know who this guy is — is this a reality TV show)?

Also, a not-so-tongue-in-cheek New York Daily News article goes on at length about the gayness of Lance and Reichen sharing clothes, and Perez Hilton posts about the coupling with a picture as well.

Last week, online gossip Perez Hilton caught wind of a stunning discovery about two of his favorite mudslinging targets, former ‘N Sync boy-bander Lance Bass and “Amazing Race” winner Reichen Lehmkuhl: They’ve begun Man Sharing.

Photos surfaced on his site of the pair sporting the same Air Force T-shirt, giving many pause – and not simply because only Lehmkuhl was once in the service of Uncle Sam. It’s that, even though the pair say they are platonic friends (Lehmkuhl is openly gay, but Bass has repeatedly emphasized his heterosexuality), the simple fact is: Men don’t share clothes.

Anyway, Kevin revisits the topic of the quasi-closet in his piece; the netherworld that many gay celebrities inhabit where everyone except the general public knows that they are queer. In some cases, even the gaydar-deficient folks even know it. What makes these folks openly closeted is the media blackout on covering the “story,” as it were. Remember, we’re in an age of Brangelina and Jen and Vince and who’s boinking who, yet the same media outlets that cover het couplings ad nauseum, suddenly get queasy themselves about privacy when covering these quasi-closeted types, even in death (see Luther Vandross).

Kevin:

With this more public quasi-outing, Bass joins a growing list of openly closeted celebrities and politicians who play transparently coy games with their sexual orientation. Bass, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Fox News’ Shepard Smith, actress Jodie Foster, singer Ricky Martin, Congressman David Dreier (R-Calif.), actor Sean Hayes, and too many more to mention are doing a disservice to their fellow gays by choosing the security of the closet over the integrity of living an honest life.

It’s the same song and dance perfected by Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O’Donnell for years before they finally came clean.

These public figures need not march in a parade and trumpet their sexual orientation. But all those listed above have been asked directly about their sexual orientation and, rather than give an honest answer, choose to obfuscate, perpetuating the damaging myth that there is something shameful or wrong about being gay.

As I said back when Vandross’s sexuality was carefully avoided by MSM outlets, the coverage bends over backwards, straining any sense of credibility, to avoid any fact-finding about the subject in question that might reveal celebrities are/were gay, even if the person was openly gay in their social circles, but not to their fan base. Why is there such a need to preserve a straight public fantasy?

The real issue is the complicity of the MSM in participating in the charade by refusing to ask the very same questions they ask of many interviewees about who they are dating, boffing, marrying, etc. It would be a breath of fresh air if these figures could just come out of the closet and help us out here — if asked the question, they should honestly answer, given their otherwise uncloseted lives. However, it doesn’t look like they’ll be asked the question, leaving the door wide open to be outed by gossip rags/paparazzi — hell, just plain observant people — when these folks hit the town in gay mode.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding