Gena Hymowech

In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months, you’ve undoubtedly heard that young movie star Lindsay Lohan is in a bit of trouble.

Okay, that’s probably the understatement of the year: she is currently in a drug rehabilitation centre, trying to get her life back on track after crashing her car into a tree.

This is the second time she’s been in rehab in half a year’s time. To put it into further perspective, she’s not even 21 yet.

And now, her former bodyguard has opened the floodgates by telling the world everything he knows. The media is jumping on his revelations like nobody’s business.

No surprise there.

While most people were familiar with many of Lohan’s troubles before the bodyguard spoke, there is one thing they didn’t know about that her bodyguard has just revealed. According to him, Lohan likes girls.

What’s troublesome is the way the media is covering this bit of info-lumping it together with her partying and alleged drug-taking as yet another sign that Lohan has gone off the deep end.

For example, Australia’s Herald Sun referred to “troubled movie star Lindsay Lohan’s weird world of drug binges and lesbian romps….”

I’m no expert on psychiatry, but last I checked, being a lesbian was not the same thing as taking drugs.

Taking drugs is proof that your life is spinning out of control. Being a lesbian is not proof that your life is spinning out of control.

In fact, it’s just the opposite: declaring yourself a lesbian is proof that you are taking control of your life and your sexuality.

In Lohan’s case, though, it’s a little bit different.

That her secret has been found out-if it is even true to begin with-is probably because when you’re partying heavy, it’s hard to remember to stay in the closet.

And of course, that’s where a young teen star of her popularity is forced to stay by publicists, who are convinced that a young popular queer star would be the kiss of death to their bottom line.

But let’s forget Lohan for just a few minutes. Let’s instead think of her fans, of which there are many.

Let’s think particularly of her lesbian fans.

While it is usually a good thing when a lesbian star with teen appeal comes out of the closet, in this case, the effect is bad, precisely because the media is covering Lohan’s lesbianism the same way it is covering her out-of-control partying.

As a result, young, in-the-closet lesbians may be scared to come out-as if they didn’t have reason enough to be already.

As adults, we are smart enough to know to ignore this salacious coverage, which is only done to sell more newspapers or get more web site clicks.

But young girls see in all the articles just another voice of judgment saying that lesbianism is bad, and proof that something is wrong with you.

It may seem strange that the media is choosing to make this moral judgment on Lohan’s choice of sexual preference.

When other young stars have recently come out (like Lance Bass of N-Sync), nobody said they were out of control. So, why is Lohan different?

Well, it has to do with a concept known in tabloid journalism as “packaging the story.”

Lohan is not just a star in the media, she is a character, and her character is The Bad Girl.

So everything she does has to be written about in that light. It’s just unfortunate that they have chosen to write about her sexual orientation that way.

I do hope Lohan gets her act together.

And when she does, if she is a lesbian or bisexual, I hope she will loudly proclaim her queerness to the world, making it something that she and lesbian teens everywhere can be proud of.

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