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Savage Garden singer attacks gay media stereotypes

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  1. The only positve gay couple on the BBC: Adam and Ian in the Archers(!)

  2. Simon Murphy 22 Jul 2009, 4:28pm

    Oh hear we go again. More people complaining about gay representaion.

    Complaint No 1: There’s only camp gay people on TV.
    Response: LOTS of gay men are camp. There’s nothing wrong with being camp. I would argue that the reason there are more camp gay men is that they cannot hide their sexuality and are more visible as a result

    Complaint No 2: Promiscuous gays like George Michael and Rupert Everett give us a bad name.
    Response: So what. Are you really so insecure that your happiness or confidence depends on how George Michael lives his life

    Complaint No 3: There’s not enough lesbians on TV
    Response: Claire Balding; Pam St Clement; Mary Portas; Rhona Cameron; Sue Perkins

    I personally think Darren Hayes is a pretty poor example of a gay man in the media in that he waited until his career was over before he came out. Why did he wait? Oh yeah. He was scared of damaging his record sales. How selfish.

  3. Simon Murphy: You have no concept of what media-based business is like. They may be full of mincing queens, but if you are in the spotlight, you have to maintain a straight persona, or at least a “don’t ask, dont tell” sexuality. It was common insider knowledge that even in the days of Wham!, that George Michael was cottaging in the loo’s on the A3. You might want equality like the rest of us, but we all have to pay the mortgage, and shouting about your sexuality may look good, but it doesn’t sell records/movies/tickets to screaming teenage girls. Having worked with many artistes in the 80’s, I appreciate why they kept their mouths well and truly shut, and why even today, it’s not good to stick your head above the parapet. So have you come out at work? I thought not. How selfish.

    The obviously camp ones can’t hide it, so they make a feature of it, that’s why I was brought up on a plethora of stereotypes in the 70’s such as Danny La Rue, John Inman and Larry Grayson. These days it’s much the same with Graham Norton, Julian Clary or Paul O’Grady. I go with what Darren Hayes says, but until the modern world comes to accept someone like Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Hugh Jackman as gay men, we will continue to be branded as a bunch of effeminate mincers, and I don’t blame him in the slightest for putting his career ahead of his sexuality. I’d rather be a successful and well-paid closet than a struggling poof.

  4. Samantha Johnson 22 Jul 2009, 5:35pm

    Actually Simon, Darren didn’t wait to come out because of fear of damaging record sales, coming out was a personal thing for him. Besides, what’s selfish got to do with anything, its his life and just because he’s in the public eye doesn’t mean he has to live his life by it. That’s like saying every time he does something different, changes his regular coffee from Venti Americano to a decaf latte, he should immediately say ‘Stop the presses! Must tell the world!’ and that’s bull****. Do your research on people’s motives before slandering them.
    I think Darren is a quite a good example for an “out” gay man in the media spotlight. He isn’t ruled by clichés and he has a stable relationship.
    Just because it took him a while to announce to the world (like its anyone’s business anyway) that he’s gay, doesn’t mean he’s not proud of it and has a right to speak out about how he feels gay people are treated in “mainstream media”.

  5. Simon Murphy 22 Jul 2009, 5:38pm

    Well I’m in favour of treating gay and straight celebs the same way. And increasingly the tabloids and gossip mags are behaving in the same way. If it acceptable for tabloids to do Kiss And Tells on straight Slebs then equally it is acceptable to do them on Gay Slebs. The days of hiding in the closet are over. The press doesn’t collude with it any more and they don’t seem to abide by the unspoken rule of protecting someone’s closet any more.

    Particularly in the UK. In the US gay closet cases like Queen Latifah or Wentworth Miller or John Travolta are still protected. Not over here. Duncan from Blue came out because an ex-lover was about to do a kiss and tell.

    The morality of kiss and tell is a different thing of course. But if it’s acceptable to do them on straight slebs then equally it’s OK to do them on gay slebs. If a star wants to maintain their closet these days then they should probably not have a sex life with anyone other than a long term partner.

  6. Simon Murphy 22 Jul 2009, 5:42pm

    When Darren Hayes was in Savage Garden he used to lie about being straight. It’s one thing not to come out but it’s another thing entirely to lie.

    He wouldn’t get away with that anymore especially if he had an active sex life. That may not be appealing to some people but for me that is progress. It may be cruel but at least the press are treating gay and straight slebs in the same manner.

  7. Simon Murphy 22 Jul 2009, 5:51pm

    Oh and Samantha Johnson – you may think that Darren Hayes is a good gay role model because “he’s in a stable relationship.”What are you trying to suggest. That single people or people with an active sex life are BAD role models?

    Isn’t that really quite homophobic of you?

    Will Young is a far better role model than Darren Hayes as he is openly gay and didn’t wait until he’d been dropped by his record label to come out.

  8. Oi!! MURPHY!! ARE YOU QUEER!?? “The public have a right to know!”

    You tell me if you want to answer that to some slavvering journo from News of the Screws.


  9. Simon Murphy: “Will Young is openly gay and didn’t wait until he’d been dropped by his record label to come out.”

    Maybe that’s WHY he got dropped.

  10. Is Mary Portas a lesbian? I didn’t know that!

  11. Simon, you seem to be labouring under an agenda that you’d like to apply to gay people—specifically gay men—across the board. There ARE stereotypes in the media and these stereotypes are as far from portraying the reality of being gay in an overwhelmingly straight world as the racial stereotypes presented in a 1920’s vaudeville blackface show reflected the reality of being African-American. Darren did NOT, as you believe, wait until his career was “over” (it certainly isn’t over!) to make his announcement… he waited until he was ready, emotionally, and in a position to legally sanction his relationship. Career, selfishness, secrecy, being anything less than fiercely proud of his sexuality … these had nothing at all to do with the decision. It was of primary importance to him that the world see him and his partner make a stand for equality under the law. And the moment civil partnership was legally recognised in the UK, he took that stand. He still takes whatever opportunity he can to advocate for equality. And to decry stereotypes that are harmful and often ludicrous, as he’s done today.

  12. Simon Murphy 23 Jul 2009, 1:35am

    RobN – Will Young still has a record deal

    Catriona – Darren Hayes came out AFTER being dumped by his record label. He may take whatever opportunity he can to be an advocate for equality today. But today he is a hasbeen singer who only gets interviewed by the gay press. He’s preaching to the converted.

    You may be a fan of his but personally I don’t have too much respect for a man who lectures his only audience (other gay people) about negative gay stereotypes when he waited until he was no longer newsworthy to come out.

    People like Graham Norton, George Michael, Will Young etc may be stereotypes. But that’s sort of implying that being a ‘stereotype’ is always a bad thing. Darren Hayes is also a negative stereotype – a gay man who waits until his career with a mainstream audience is over before coming out then at least guaranteeing continued interest from a gay audience.

  13. Sister Mary Clarence 23 Jul 2009, 4:57am

    I though his career was over, and just to clarify, Will Young came out because he was about to be outed anyway

  14. Sister Mary: It was pretty common knowledge to many that Darren Hayes was in a relationship with Daniel Jones for years, which is why when they split, so did Savage Garden.

    Simon Murphy: Darren Hayes was dropped by Columbia after ten years and he then set up his own label. Since then he has just given away freebies over the internet. Hardly the same level of success I would say. I am not suggesting this is all attributable to his coming out, but I’m sure it was a major factor.

  15. Lorna McArdle 23 Jul 2009, 12:12pm

    How come you have all skipped or over looked the last paragraph.

    “Neither of these things have anything to do with penises, or cocks in mouths or any of the things that are related to being gay.”

    Why would the public and I am the public, want that to be the main focus of being gay? If you want that then there’s porn. I would prefer to I see more in how Tourchwood and Eastenders are handling gay relationships than talk about cocks. Otherwise can we talk about our clits then as that’s not mentioned if fact Lesbians aren’t portraid at all anywhere unless it’s to titillate.

  16. What has being Gay got to do with Relationships? A better stereotype is for a gay man to be single and emotionally happy BEFORE he embarks on emotional relationships with men. This includes honesty, authenticity, no cover-ups and frequent sexual exploration. Just like str8 men. I loathe this superior attitude that implies that gay men in a relationship are better role-models. I think that camp gay men swishing down streets at 3am after clubbing in unsafe areas are far braver than one half of the ” solid ” relationship on gaydar for 3 hours. As to Pop Stars coming out – until they are open from the beginning – all around them are just enablers for reasons given above. As to Will Young and record concert sales – I would swop my bank account for his any day.

  17. I can only agree with what Darren Hayes says. It would be good if there was a better, more varied, more realistic range of portrayals of gay poeple in the media. That would be good in so many ways- it would help to educate straight poeple with prejudices and it would help those isolated or younger gay people struggling to find any reflection of themselves in the gay community. Gay men are too often protrayed as queeny. Where are the depictions of gay indie kids, gay people from ethnic minorities, gay disabled people, older people etc. And what about gay people in long term settled relationships. Not to mention the underrepresentation of lesbians and bisexual people. True, there are more lesbians in the public eye now, but not enough. Perhaps we could clone another six Sandi Toksvigs- that would make the world a better place.

  18. Darren Hayes is a sweet person. I don’t think it’s fair to pick on him because he took a long time coming out. Who knows why he did that or how much his upbringing contributed to that? He was married to a woman before his CP, and I personally consider him very brave to end that marriage and come out.

    His general point is a good one. I don’t like token gay characters. I’d like to see characters who are lawyers/policemen/policewomen/thiefs/spaceship captains/anything you can think of where being gay is just part of who they are and is seen as completely normal, just as much as being straight.

    P.S – whoever said Darren Hayes was a ‘has-been’ – you’re entitled to your opinion and maybe you just have different musical taste, but Darren’s last album was great in my opinion :)

  19. Simon Murphy 23 Jul 2009, 6:56pm

    I’m the one who called him a has-been. That’s not a comment on his singing ability as he is a very good singer. However the fact remains that he is a commercial hasbeen who is only really noticed by the gay press these days. Savage Garden were finished as a successful band before he came out of the closet.

    He’s free to air his opinions about negative stereotypes all he wants. But in my view it is just as acceptable to regard him as a negative stereotype for waiting until his career as a mainstream pop star was over before he came out.

    As for this idea that he is a good role model because he is in a stable relatioship. What a load of old nonsense. We don’t know what his relatioship is like. A single, confident, camp, happy gay man like Graham Norton or Will Young is just as good a role model as Darren Hayes. And unlike Hayes they were openly gay while they were still commercially viable.

  20. Simon, is commercial success the only measure of someone’s success? Perhaps the quality of the music would be a better yardstick. Do you think that commercial succes means someone is a good musician? Some of the worst musical drivel is commercially succesful. If he earns enough money to make a living and makes music he is happy with then in my books that is better than an over-packaged talentless load of rubbish that makes load of money- probably to line the pockets of the marketing execs, not the artists.

    At the end of the day, Darren Hayes is still popular enough that this is today’s most read story and people are still interested in what he is doing. Plus he has come out with an intelligent opinion.

  21. Simon Murphy. “But in my view it is just as acceptable to regard him as a negative stereotype for waiting until his career as a mainstream pop star was over before he came out.”

    I respect your opinion but he was still married to his wife when Savage Garden became famous. I’m guessing that personal reasons had more to do with not coming out than commercial ones.

    I agree that his record company wanted to control his image (as they do with most pop stars) and maybe he should have protested more, but I’d think that his feelings about his wife and coming to terms with his sexuality took up more of his time than worrying about his manufactured image.We can both only guess, but it must be hard to be married and realise you’re gay.

    (And, yes, he is a very good singer. No argument there :D )

  22. Fist of all read his comment on twitter about this ‘interview’. These are old quotes from different sources strung together so he’s hardly held a press conference and ‘attacked’ the media.
    Secondly, the guy was married to a woman and suffered depression over his coming out. All of which he openly discussed when his ten year record deal ENDED. Not ‘dropped’. He has famously never lied about being gay. Unlike George Michael or Boy George.
    Finally, the guy just sold out the Royal Albert Hall as a ‘has been’ as you described it and didn’t play either of the massive u.s number one singles that garnered him over 27 million album sales. So put things into persepctive when you describe someone as being over.
    If you feel so strongly about your opinion of someone you know nothing about why don’t you write to the guy on his myspace or twitter and take some responsibility for your words.

  23. Ewald Liebegut 24 Jul 2009, 11:53am

    As long as the media (many times ‘dictated’ by the likes of Graham Norton) only portray stereotypes, many of us non-stereotypes will always have to think twice about coming out. Because stereotypes are not taken serious and laughed about by the masses.
    I’d like to be taken serious as a person, who just happens to be gay.
    I don’t hide it [which is easier in Amsterdam I know], but will think twice before I announce anything.
    As too many times from that moment on, people see you as GAY and no longer as another human being.
    Stereotypes casting causes this.
    And no: “cause you are visible a lot, and shout a lot; doesn’t make you the majority of all gays”.
    I am not against anything but a little more balance such as this article is welcomed!

  24. So much ignorance & petty comments. Though I don’t agree with Hayes’ perception of the TV series, “Will & Grace” its no reason to slander him, nor is it a reason to judge or attack one’s personal decision of publicly declairing their sexuality. I’m straight, but I don’t go around telling everyone, so why should gay men & women go around, or be expected to announce their sexuality? Why is such a subject treated as a one way street? Its hypocritcal & unfair. Most of you need to do some research before defaming Hayes’ character because it makes you look stupid & ignorant. FYI: Hayes was never dropped by his record company, he was married to a woman for 6yrs & realized he was gay while married, and he had a traumatic childhood. Thats a lot for any one person to handle, so your judgement & cruel words are shameful & wrong.

  25. Being a straight woman I stand a little outside the grounds of this, but..
    FIRST:As for Darren’s timing for ‘coming out’, that is HIS choice & his alone. I beleive, he has probabley ‘battled’ being gay for a very long time as many other people would have (& continue too) And you guys in the gay community should understand that more than anyone else. And I agree, he decided ‘mutulely’ with the record company (they didn’t want him anymore because he was not making ‘them’ enough, I beleive is the actual truth!) to part ways.

    I love Darren & he is completley entitled to feel how he feels… I also watched every episode of W&G. I do except what he has said a be ‘a truth’, but nothing is ever as black & white as it seems. I have had a similar dicussion a few times with my dad (who is 76 yrs, and very much dislikes any gay/lesbian lifestyle) However he watches Paul O’Grady every single chance he gets, as well as really enjoying the John Inman character & many very camp characters from various shows. I asked him what he thought made them funny/entertaining & he admitted that it was the ‘campness’ of them that made them entertaining.
    I read all of the posts on Darren, & you are all different yet all the same (even as the straight/christian/etc…) we all all individuals.
    It all goes’ to show ‘ME’ that any little community of people all have the same difference of opinions or differences of personality.

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