Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gordon in the morning: Joe comes out

Just a few short days after Gordon Smart's snurkling at a gay man and casual tossing about of "bender", Joe McElderly chooses Gordon's column to come out. With an "exclusive".

The title bar on the page insists:

Joe McElderry admits that he is gay | The Sun | Showbiz | Bizarre
Why would you come out to a column that feels saying you're gay is something you admit to, like a murder or liking Dominic Mohan?

In fact, why is this splashed all over Gordon's page, larded with "exclusive" labels?
JOE McELDERRY told last night how gossip on the social networking website Twitter persuaded him to come out as gay.

The X Factor champ, who hit No1 with his single The Climb, was targeted by hackers who broke into his account and "outed" him for a joke.
That's a change. Usually it's tabloid journalists getting in touch, threatening to run a story unless the celebrity - or, in this case, Joe - co-operates with the outing. That hasn't happened here, then. Obviously.

So, "hackers" posted made-up stories to Joe's Twitter saying he was coming out. What then?
But as the shock subsided, proud Joe admitted the message made him realise his true feelings.
Eh? You're telling us, Gordon, that Joe didn't know he was gay until someone posted a fake message saying he was gay?
"I think the Twitter thing was the point when I realised I was gay. I just looked at it and thought, 'Should I be more bothered about this'?

"Because I wasn't, that's when it clicked and I thought maybe I was. It was a turning point, definitely."
I know some people believe everything that they read on the internet, and are incapable of filtering out made-up Tweets from genuine ones, but this surely must be the first time somebody has ever consulted their own stream and gone "oh, it turns out I'm not straight. Better open up a Gaydar account."

Still, let's pretend that's exactly the way it happened.

There is one honest detail tucked in the long interview where Joe runs through a story of his sudden gay awareness:
"I am a really private person and I want to continue like that.
A really private person, and yet one who supposedly happily handed his coming out to a gossipy rag.

Naturally, being something to do with The X Factor, Simon Cowell has to telephone in an appearance:
"He said, 'Hi, it's Simon. You know, I 100 per cent agree with what you are doing. It's fantastic. I am here at the end of the phone if you need any support and we are thrilled for what you're doing'.

"It's great. It would have been a bit of a nightmare had they said they didn't want this to happen, but they've been totally fine."
It's not like the revelation is going to hurt his sales, is it?

Alongside Gordon's interview, there's a horribly patronising piece by The Sun's agony aunt Deirdre Saunders:
EVEN these days coming out takes a lot of courage.

In theory gay people aren't supposed to suffer from any prejudice in this country but, as I hear from readers every week, many do.
Yes, Deirdre. The paper you write for thinks it's alright to use the word "bender" in headlines. You don't appear to have noticed that you are very much part of the prejudice.

1 comment:

Mary Sue said...

"surely must be the first time somebody has ever consulted their own stream and gone "oh, it turns out I'm not straight. Better open up a Gaydar account.""
Yeah, that annoys me too. But surely the interesting implication is that he *was* questioning his sexuality. If he kissed a bloke last year he obviously wasn't just assuming he was straight.

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