Rupert Everett is saying mean things about gay parents. In a surprise interview that got everyone thinking, “Wait a second…Rupert Everett, Rupert Everett…nope, can’t remember who he is, gotta check Google,” the British actor told the Sunday Times Magazine that he “can’t think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads.”
Oh well… okay then.
With an attitude like that it’s a good thing Rupert Everett isn’t a gay dad then, innit?
Rupert immediately clarified that he wasn’t speaking on behalf of the gay community or any community in particular. Which is good. Because when I asked one of my token gay friends, Rob, what he thought of Everett’s statement, Rob gave me a long, tense look – kinda the same look he gave that time I messed up the words to “Bye Bye Birdie” during an impromptu singalong.
“Just because he’s a gay and a celebrity doesn’t mean he’s speaking for me. He’s not speaking for a lot of people.”
So, like, just because Courtney Love is a heterosexual female with a child doesn’t mean that her views on parenting would represent the views of all heterosexual females or carry some special weight because she’s speaking as an “in the know” member of that group?
Rob and I then agreed that what’s especially stinky about Everett’s comment is that there are still a lot of people out there who have a narrow and negative view of gays. A lot. And that, somewhat ironically, they’ll use Everett’s misguided comment to support their misguided opinion that kids who don’t have both a mother and a father in their lives are at an insurmountable disadvantage. ”See! Even that famous gay guy thinks two men can’t be good parents.”
Never mind that these same endearingly bigoted people have never even seen Shakespeare In Love or previously gave a fiddler’s fart over Everett. And probably think that all gay men pop the collars on their pink polo shirts and have a great eye for interior design.
(They don’t. Penchant for Broadway show tunes aside, my friend Rob recently admitted to me that he uses milk crates as book shelves and has no problem with wood paneling as a wall covering. I called Queer Eye For The Straight Guy to report him, but they were like “Bitch, please. Go buy a copy of Elle Decor and stop looking for gay handouts.” Point taken.)
As far as what kids need in the way of two parents or stereotypical gender role models – if this is what Everett’s statement is all about – don’t ask me. I can’t walk in high heels and my husband doesn’t know how to drop the engine on a Camaro. We have three kids and can’t seem to get through the week without the assistance of eighteen school teachers, four sports coaches, three scout leaders, two grandmothers, various neighbors and relatives, and a theater instructor.
Which maybe makes me a horrible heterosexual parent. But, I’ll never be Donna Reed and my husband will never be Ward Cleaver. I’m all for as many people as possible helping to raise my kids, care for them, and stand in as role models. No matter how perfect I try to be, I can’t do it all for them. I can’t be it all.
And, seriously…I’m not changing my mind about high heels.