Everyone knows that a celebrity's sexuality is of the most profound public importance. Not. Nonethless, the media continues to speculate on the sexual orientation of the rich and famous for our entertainment. Sometimes, this is even passed off as actual news.
One of the more cringe-inducing examples of attempted celebrity-outing took place a few years ago, and was directed at Jeff Wilson. I remember an awful interview with him: the interviewer asked Wilson if he was gay, Wilson denied it and was clearly uncomfortable, so the interviewer then asked Wilson if he thought there was something wrong with being gay. Wilson became more visibly irritated.
FFS. Wilson may not have handled the situation as graciously as he could have, but the media set out to poke its nose into his private business for salacious reasons, using the gay accusation in a provocative and derogatory way. The unpleasant, homophobic undertone of this 'tactic' is disturbing - it invites the celebrity to respond something like, 'How could I be gay? I don't even like gays!'.
In the face of this, Hugh Jackman's recent response to accusations that he's gay was refreshingly mature:
Jackman also acknowledged he was uncomfortable denying he was gay.
"I'd be happy to go and deny it, because I'm not," he said.
"But by denying it, I'm saying there is something shameful about it, and there isn't anything shameful."
Jackman went on to question the concern with celebrities' sexuality in the US - where rumours about his own sexuality seem to have originated:
"The questions about sexuality I find more here in America than anywhere else, because it's a big hang-up and defines what people think about themselves and others. It's not a big issue in Australia."
To be honest, I think Jackman may be too optimistic about the acceptance of gays in Australia. After all, this is the nation which just had a minor meltdown about two women kissing on Home and Away.
Still, it's a relief to see someone in the public eye who, when confronted with this stoopid game of 'prove how heterosexual you are', simply refuses to play.