When famous cis straight white men and women start to feel they are getting boring or losing steam in their personal or professional lives, they start to co-opt the identities of others. We’ve seen this happen, again and again, starting all the way from colonialism and slavery, right to this very day with the Kardashians and their obsession with black bodies. But there are some celebrities you would expect would know better, who would find more respectable ways to inject some new life into their careers. I used to think that Andrew Garfield was one such celebrity. I was definitely wrong.
Early in 2017 during the Golden Globes award ceremony, Garfield went from a non-nominated guest to one of the evening’s biggest news stories when he kissed Ryan Renolds, also nominated for an award and seated beside his wife Blake Lively, on the lips. The kiss wasn’t all that risque as far as LGBT kisses go, but the idea of two straight white men sharing a smooch on international television was bound to draw news. Garfield even went on the road, touching down at several big American nighttime television talk shows on the back of this kiss. He even went as far as reenacting it with comedian Stephen Colbert. The crowd ate it up, and Garfield was suddenly reincarnated as an LGBT sex icon.
Fast forward to this July, where Garfield is a star in the West End adaptation of American play Angels in America, plays a gay man living with AIDS and struggling to hold on to his disintegrating relationship. When asked about the play, Garfield was quoted as saying he was ‘practically a gay man, without the sex part’ because, in preparation for the role, he watched all 11 seasons of Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Is that really all it takes to be gay? Why didn’t anyone else think of that?
As is expected at this point, Garfield has already issued an apology and clarification and reasserted that he really is straight but hopes one day, he gets the opportunity to explore homosexuality. And we can’t even be bothered at this point to explain why he is wrong for even trying.
Homosexuality is not a fad you use to promote your acting career. Can we please rest this narrative? Please?