I have MANY things bugging me right now, but only one I feel I can verbalize. In case you haven't seen it, Newsweek published an article stating that Americans cannot take a gay person seriously in a straight, romantic role. He cited cases like Jonathan Groff on Glee, Cynthia Nixon on Sex & The City, Sean Hayes currently appearing in Promises Promises on Broadway, and Neil Patrick Harris on HIMYM. Part of his argument is that we in these United States are so obsessed with sexuality that we cannot process outside of that.
I have been stewing on this for a few days, and the more I think about it, the angrier I get. I would like to say that I can't believe this amount of closed-minded thinking still exists in our country today, but I know that's not true. I will never understand why we can't accept people for WHO they are.
The other thing about this is, basically, this article states that we cannot separate real people from the roles they play. Sure, every actor or actress puts a bit of themselves into a role. HOWEVER, does this mean that I'm supposed to think that Sarah Michelle Gellar slays vampires? That Johnny Depp is a pirate, a man with scissor hands, or even Willy Wonka? That Sam Waterston can serve as my attorney? That Lee Pace can awaken dead people for one whole minute using his index finger? That Adam West/Michael Keaton/Val Kilmer/George Clooney/Christian Bale IS Batman? That Anthony Hopkins EATS PEOPLE? It's ridiculous!
I know it might seem like missing the point with the examples I've given. As I already stated, the writer's issue lies in romantic roles. However, what about a straight person in a LGBT role? Like, for instance, I don't know... HILARY SWANK in Boys Don't Cry, which won her an ACADEMY AWARD? Or the aformentioned Lee Pace in Soldier's Girl, which earned him countless accolades AND nominations for Emmys and Golden Globes for this breakthrough performance? Or even Alyson Hannigan as Willow, Eric McCormack as Will, Christopher Meloni as Chris Keller in Oz, or Michael C. Hall as David Fisher? And, to use a not-so-modern example, Billy friggin' Crystal in Soap?
I can't totally formulate how much I hate thinking about this. I can't put it into words that express my deep disappointment that this idea has been thrown out into the ether. In general, it just breaks my heart to know this kind of thinking exists in this world. Breaks my heart.