3 Celebrities Who Put the 'Lies' in Allies

Last week, the internet reacted angrily to Andrew Garfield's no doubt well-meaning, but slightly irritating comment, about being a gay man "without the physical act”. He's not the only LGBT+ ally to cross the line from 'supporter' to Single White Female, though

two shirtless sweaty men hug, facing the camera

Where would we LGBTs be without our allies? Certainly, we’d unable to force through legislative or cultural changes without them. Without Daniel O’Donnell weighing in for marriage equality ahead of the referendum in 2015, would it have passed?

Okay, yes, it probably would have, on account of the tireless campaigning of activists and ordinary folk up and down the country. But, the point remains: when a celebrity says a product is cool, people will buy it and the same applies to sexuality – if the right celebrity says it’s okay to be gay, then the public at large begin to agree.

Sometimes, though, allies can get a little too supportive and end up crossing the line into ‘Um, that’s not cool, dude’  territory. Here are some celebs who did just that…

Andrew Garfield

Former Spiderman Garfield hit the headlines after calling himself “a gay man right now just without the physical act” during a panel discussion earlier this week.

Garfield told audience members at an NT Platform discussion that his weekly day-off from appearing in a London revival of ‘Angels in America’ is spent watching ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’ with friends.

“My only time off during rehearsals – every Sunday I would have eight friends over and we would just watch Ru. This is my life outside of this play. I am a gay man right now just without the physical act – that’s all,” explained Garfield, who played a gay character, Prior Walter, in Angels in America.

The third-best Spiderman quickly found himself trapped in a web of sticky internet criticism, perfectly articulated (as usual) by Twitter users.

Other users took a more conciliatory tone:


James Franco

James Franco (who also appeared in the Spiderman franchise, though it was opposite Second Best Spiderman, Tobey Maguire) is an expert on trolling the mainstream media with tantalising and often contradictory statements about his sexuality.

In December 2016, the self-styled “provocateur” amped up his trolling by conducting an interview with the Gay James Franco, as the Straight James Franco (or maybe it was the other way around? Like most of Franco’s non-movie work it is as indecipherable as it is pretentious).

Either way, it caused quite an outpouring of online approbrium. When Straight James asked Gay James if he was “fucking gay or what” the latter responded: “Well, I like to think that I’m gay in my art and straight in my life. Although, I’m also gay in my life up to the point of intercourse, and then you could say I’m straight.”

“[I]f your definition of gay and straight is who I sleep with, then I guess you could say I’m a gay cock tease. It’s where my allegiance lies, where my sensibilities lie, how I define myself. Yeah, I’m a little gay, and there’s a gay James.”

Cynics were also quick to point out that Franco’s headline grabbing admissions came right around the release of his movie King Cobra, which focuses on a murder in the gay-porn industry.


Jessie J

When Jessie J (known as Jessie Cornish, IRL) hit the scene in 2011 with her sorta-queerish hit Do It Like A Dude, many LGBT sites were happy to claim her as one of our own (lesbian site Autostraddle wrote a particularly fawning piece about her at the time). When asked about her purported bisexuality during a radio interview in March, 2011 she said: “Whoopie doo guys, yes, I’ve dated girls and I’ve dated boys – get over it.”

jessie j feeds cake to a butch woman

Fast forward to 2014, when she startled everyone by telling the UK’s Mirror that she just wanted to shut up talking about gay stuff and “find myself a husband”.

She continued: “I did talk about it, and I was open about it, and I do support being lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender — love who you want. That’s what I’m doing.

“I don’t regret anything I ever said, but I never knew back then that whatever I said became a fact that I couldn’t change. I’m just so bored of it, and that’s kind of it – I want to stop talking about it completely now and find myself a husband. It’s a true struggle. All the chick flicks that didn’t make sense to me, I now understand – Sex and the City is real! I’m not anything. I’m aware of who I want to be and I want to marry a man. That’s it.”

jessie j pulls a weird face

But none of this really would’ve matter very much (hello, who cares?) if she hadn’t dropped the ‘P’ bomb, saying “For me, it was a phase, but I’m not saying bisexuality is a phase for everybody.”

“I feel that if I continue my career not speaking on it, I almost feel more of a liar than if I didn’t. I just want to be honest, and it’s really not a big deal. Who cares?” Well, maybe your LGBT+ fans? Whatever the case, Jessie is still making music, being an occasional TV “talent” show judge and looking for Mister Big.


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