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Q: I can’t help feeling a little tingle when watching George
Clooney. He seems so gay even though he never played a gay role. It’s the
twinkle in his eyes. His male friends are all dreamy and the women he’s
been attached to seem like they could care less. Is he the big gay secret
in Hollywood, like Rock Hudson was? – Price, West Palm Beach,
A: That little tingle you feel is called “being alive.” That
said, Clooney seems unbelievably straight to me – the kind of man we here in Seattle call a “Seattle
Straight Guy.” That means he’s thoughtful, articulate, fit, liberal as hell, well-dressed
and well-groomed, but thoroughly straight, even as he’s totally cool with gay
If you mistake a Seattle Straight Guy for gay, he usually
says something like, “Hey, man, I’m really flattered, but I don’t date men.” Then
he might laugh and say, completely confident in his masculinity, “Well, there
was that one time in college…!”
Seattle Straight Guys are different from, say, Alabama
Straight Guys in that when you mistake an Alabama Straight Guy for gay, he just
might punch your face in – and then spend the next six months doing everything
he can to convince himself and everyone around him that he’s not really gay.
Yes, I stereotype. But when it comes to tolerance of
gays, there are really are geographic differences in the U.S. (though
it’s mostly urban/rural, not blue state/red state).
Anyway, needless to say, Seattle Straight Guys are
unbelievably hot. Seriously, it’s infuriating. Michael (my partner and the
editor of this site) and I live near Green
Lake (this urban lake
just north of downtown), and I swear: walking around the lake in summer is like
stepping into a Sean Cody video, albeit with slightly more clothing.
But back to Clooney. He has played gay characters, twice –
sort of. He played Stan Marsh’s gay dog Sparky in an episode of South Park
(although the dog had no dialogue, just made barking noises). And when, in
2006, Barbara Walters asked him if he’d play a gay cowboy, he said, "I was
in a rubber suit and I had rubber nipples. I could have played Batman straight,
but I made him gay."
Next page! Paul Newman’s GLBT support. Plus, the daddy/bear of Holmes on Homes.