RuPaul, editorializing on her blog today, wants to know why editors of gay magazines put straight actors on their covers. “Gay magazines are an important voice of a community that has historically had very limited to NO mainstream outlets,” she says. “Yes, putting a straight actor on the cover may make him appear to be ‘down’ and ‘cool with the brothers,’ but what does it do for ‘the movement’? Oh yes, remember ‘the movement’? We still don’t have equal rights, teenagers are still being killed for being gay and the perversive ‘straight acting’ phenomenon is rapidly chipping away at all the achievements made by brave gay men and women for the past 35 years.” (More)
That’s all true, very true, of course. But, like everything else, it’s all about the Benjamins. Editors of magazines must sell issues to keep their jobs. Most gay men are quicker to buy a magazine if a shirtless Brad Pitt or, say, Aaron Eckhart is on the cover than if Sean Hayes, Ian McKellen, or – God help us – Nathan Lane are. Together. When Tom Cruise comes out, everyone will be happy.