Sean Hayes Comes Out

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After years of refusing to directly answer questions about his sexuality, Sean Hayes finally sits down with a major GLBT publication to reveals that he is indeed gay. Some highlights from his interview in the April edition of the Advocate

“I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never.”

“Why would you go down that path with somebody who’s done so much to
contribute to the gay community?” he asks. “That was my beef about it.
What more do you want me to do? Do you want me to stand on a float? And
then what? It’s never enough."

“I feel like I’ve contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America, and if anyone wants to argue that, I’m open to it. You’re welcome, Advocate.”

Comments

  1. JeffRob says

    “Do you want me to stand on a float?”

    YES.

    “And then what? It’s never enough.”

    Correct, Sean, not enough has been done, by anyone. So the least you can do is something.

    Your vault-like privacy may be of utmost concern to you, Sean Hayes, Ricky Martin, Anderson Cooper, but the fact remains that millions of gay people would have had much different coming-out experiences if you had just gotten on that float 10 years ago.

    Millions of parents of glbt people would have been less condemning, and more loving and understanding to their children’s coming out if you had only gotten on that float 10, 15 years ago.

    So, fucking YES, get on the damn float. Every year.

    If your personal privacy trumps the tremendous difference you could easily make in the plight of a planet-full of your brothers and sisters, FUCK. YOU.

  2. Don says

    Is that a chip on your shoulder, Sean? I haven’t read the piece yet, and I love Sean Hayes, but he can’t be surprised that people, especially his people, might ask, “If it wasn’t a big deal then why didn’t you answer this question many moons ago?” But you have now and you have done a lot for us and that’s good and we love you and yes, we’d like you on a big fancy float in the big fancy parade of your choice anytime that works for you.

  3. JohnInManhattan says

    Late to the party AND with an attitude?!? Could Sean Hayes be any more of a schmuck if he tried?

    A toast to PROMISES, PROMISES poor ticket sales.

  4. RJ says

    Nope. I don’t think he needs a float. Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin and Sean Hayes are just doing their jobs. There are thousands of gay men who go to work everyday and don’t need to share their personal lives with their co-workers or anyone else. Just becuase they are public figures doesn’t mean they owe us (the gay community) anything. If you have an issue with it get yourself counseling and become an active gay member of society. Call your congress man and demand change. Don’t depend on gay celebrities to fight your fight. Let them do what they’re supposed to…entertain you. That’s all they’re responsible for.

  5. Dan says

    Perfect example of what courage is NOT. Even though Hayes was playing a gay character on a top 10 show, he waited until all his pay checks were cashed and the show well and truly over to finally disclose what everyone already knew. Wow, he’s admitting that he’s one of many rich gays who live in H’wood. Big deal. This man is no Rosa Parks.

  6. Strepsi says

    @RJ, re: “There are thousands of gay men who go to work everyday and don’t need to share their personal lives with their co-workers or anyone else. ” But, RJ, there are NOT thousands of straight people who do the same, and that is exactly the problem!

    How long does it take a straight person to announce their personal life? About 2 minutes, when they mention their wife or kids or girlfriend or who’s hot or their wedding ring or their wedding picture on their desk or their phone calls or errands or a million other things. It’s almost like they “flaunt it in our faces!” Saying “I’m gay” is NOT announcing your personal life, it is the equivalent of the bare minimum straight people do daily. Straight people “out themselves” all the time, and we still act as if annoucing same is baring a shameful secret? Not on your life.

  7. lark says

    I am sympathetic to Sean Hayes. We all know if he had come out it would have ruined his career. Because of all the gossiping his post-Will & Grace career was ruined anyways. Odd that so many gay people turn on the gay actors and actresses instead of the Hollywood studios that refuse to cast gays and lesbians in straight parts (but have no hesitation to cast straights in gay and lesbian parts.) I’m sure he has more than enough money from Will & Grace to live a comfortable lifestyle the rest of his life, but I see no reason why he had to curtail his acting career to come out.

    It seems to me that people like JeffRob who are always so sanctimonious about people’s decision process to come out usually grew up with liberal/non-religious parents in a liberal part of the country and in a profession where it would be a bigger faux pas to be anti-gay than gay. They live in a bubble and never appreciate that some people have it tough. If you cannot appreciate it’s harder to come out to Mormon parents than non-religious parents then you are delusional. I think everyone should come out but let’s not pretend everyone can come out at the same age as everyone else. Nor will everyone be comfortable coming out to everyone instead of coming out to friends first, then family, and then work all at different times.

  8. RJ says

    @Strepsi Some gay men are consumed with their gay identity and use it to define themselves, others look at their gay identiy as another component of their makeup like eye color. I do not discuss my personal life with co-workers because I do not want to be solely judged on being gay. I have othewr amazing attributes that I would prefer to shine then my sexuality.

  9. Dan says

    The problem with hiding your sexuality (and that is what it was – an active attempt to not reveal IS hiding) is that people assume it to be binary and, if undisclosed, straight. Much of America and the world assumes that gay rights aren’t an issue that affects them or those they care about – and hiding enforces that idea. Further, coming out now – years later, enforces the notion that being gay is somehow shameful and career suicide and ought to be hidden.

    And the idea that this man has furthered gay rights is ridiculous – he was an unknown actor that took a job – a job MANY others would have taken regardless of their allegiance to gay issues. MAYBE the producers, or the writers, or even the TV execs who took risks with valuable assets and produced a “gay” show – but this guy? A closeted actor portraying a gay character – that is “monumental contribution”? You might as well say that Harrison Ford has made a monumental contribution to archeology.

  10. Jack M says

    How can he expect anyone to respect him as a gay man if he spends all that time in the closet (and yes, Sean, honey, you were in the closet), and then comes out with major attitude. I’m almost sorry he’s not straight!

  11. Larry says

    I’m mixed on this whole issue. On one hand, I feel that hypocrites who go out of their way to discriminate against gay people and then are exposed for gay behavior (Roy Ashburn, Larry Craig, Ted Haggard) should be exposed, but others have the right to go public about their sexuality at their own speed.

    On the other hand, it is tremendously helpful for those struggling with their sexuality to see role models out there, and every public figure that comes out helps. However, it’s important to remember that Neil Patrick Harris and TR Knight came out when they did because of a situation, not because they wanted to at that time.

  12. Sam says

    The problem I have with Strepsi’s point is that many straight actors don’t announce their sexuality. You may know it because they are married and maybe if Sean Hayes were in a committed relationship, you’d know that too. I don’t know of anything he did to subvert the truth or to pretend he was straight. He simply never said I’m gay. I don’t really see what the big deal is. If it was obvious, what did it matter? His role served its purpose and who he is outside of that role is no one’s business really. People here seem to be conflating these two things. NPH was quiet about his sexuality for years and I think he’s doing a fine job now that everyone seems to just know it and he is openly discussing his personal relationships.

    People need to remember that while being gay is really a big part of their personality, for others it is just a choice of who they sleep with and frankly, I don’t think anyone should feel obligated to talk about that in public. Maybe if less people did, straight or otherwise, the world would be a better place.

    I don’t need to know who you are sleeping with. All that matters to me is that you don’t vote for or support laws or politicians who would allow discrimination based on that. Who Sean Hayes is screwing is none of my business and it is none of yours, contrary to what you might think.

    People shouldn’t be so quick to think these things are anyone’s business. Our enemies are the ones who think it is important who we sleep with. We shouldn’t be supporting that view in any way.

  13. JauntyJohn says

    Being a well paid actor on a sitcom, regardless of subject matter, is not “contributing monumentally to the gay community.” It is by some standards hitting the lottery.

    Pulling quotes out of context can alter their meaning somewhat, but its hard to see these as anything other than celebrity ego and entitled attitude.

    @Dan: Well put.

  14. Art V. says

    I thought everyone’s inidividual life is they’re own life. It’s easy enough to say a celebrity has more of an impact, but when you moan and complain about celebrities taking part in the noh8 campaign for not doing enough for “the cause,” your just created a hypocritical situation in your own mind, not the celebrities. How about you whine to your politicians, or do something other than post to message boards?

  15. mike in houston says

    “The problem I have with Strepsi’s point is that many straight actors don’t announce their sexuality”

    Eric McCormack spent his entire SNL monologue declaring his heterosexuality to distance himself from his “Will” character. It was sickening.

  16. says

    woa. another washed-up actor comes out years too late for some publicity. Earth is shattered.

    Staying in the closet – especially in the face of widespread speculation or outright knowledge – sends a direct message to kids in the closet, plus bigots, that there’s something to be ashamed of. Tired of these cowards.

  17. Zach says

    Sorry, they do not “owe” it to us to come out. I know it seems shocking but even a celebrity has a small amount of privacy.
    And more to the point.. no matter what many celebrities like Ellen or Rosie do, it’s NEVER enough for some people.

  18. JohnInManhattan says

    Poor RJ. Another sad sack that believes being gay is about a “personal” sex life. A classic case of internalized homophobia if I ever saw one. Be sure to look for RJ’s posts on Craig’s List under “str8 acting”. Ho-hum.

  19. says

    “What more do you want me to do?”

    To give a clear and honest answer when interviewed about your sexuality, and not to dance around the question because you fear for your career. That’s all!

  20. Patrick says

    I’m saddened to read this. No, he doesn’t need to get on a float, but just owning it publicly would have changed thousands of lives. And he KNOWS this. He HAS to know this. Giving his history, I am suspicious at the timing of this disclosure. Most likely, he kept himself in the closet for years so that it would ADVANCE his career. But it didn’t, did it Sean? In fact, I think that W&G may have been the pinnacle of his career, as he has had nothing comparable since. Is he realizing now that he made a deal with the devil that hasn’t paid off? Too bad. Too late. Next!

  21. northshore says

    I think Sean Hayes can handle his sexuality however he wants. At least he as an individual is a positive role model for the gay community. But I will say I know a lot of people who feel his character Jack in many ways hurt the gay community in that Jack was a promiscuous, idiotic free loader (among other things). So when he says he’s done “so much for the gay community” I’m wondering what else he’s referring to?

  22. echovic says

    sorry zach and the other apologists: it’s not private information. it’s public information for public people. different rules apply. nobody’s asking about how they like their sex – just who they are really as people.

    it pathetic that he would come out now that his career his dead and he’s irrelevant in hollywood. the idea that he wouldn’t get roles if he comes out is insane – see NPH, Ellen, Ian McKellan – these are people who became more human, more real and more powerful as personalities. The rats – like Sean Hayes, Kevin Spacey, Ricky Martin etc. – the ones who lived semi-publicly gay lives, have had relationships and sex with men, had gay friends etc. but were cagey about their sex lives to the press – they’re languishing in a very cold gay closet and hopefully won’t come out till they’re dead – or till they grow spines and find a way to redeem their integrity.

    and being out doesn’t mean they have to wear pink pajamas – it just means they have to be believable as public figures. with sean hayes, it was a classic case of delusion and self sabotage to pretend that people would give him work because they somehow would think he was actually straight.

  23. henry says

    Neil Patrick Harris should be the textbook example of how to come out in Hollywood. He courageously did it right as his career was taking off and never looked back.

    NPH did it so well, we even forgive him when he does a silly thing like that opening at the Oscars last night. Oh NPH!

  24. Adam says

    If coming out means getting less jobs, do what you have to do. Lets keep it real, out means less jobs in that industry. In a perfect world, everyone would be out and proud from child birth. Everyone is entitled to their rights and that includes privacy. Gay or str8, what does it matter? The more pressure that is put on people makes the labels more oppressing. Lets let go of these silly labels and love who we choose, ok?

  25. says

    You can’t know what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. W&G premiered in 1998. Culturally, that was quite a while ago. That run was on the cusp of (and in a small way, helpful to) things changing. He took the conservative route but did so with a wink and a nod and remained supportive of the community. We should be celebrating his newfound openness. Better late than ever. And, yes, let’s wait for the entire article to come out.

  26. Jason Dorn says

    Sean dated a friend of mine years ago, before Will and Grace, and he had a chip on his shoulder then as well. “…Done so much to contribute to the gay community”, really Sean? You played a role on a TV show, that was your job and you got paid incredibly well..while avoiding answering questions about your sexuality. How does that “contribute”, it makes it look as if being gay in real life was something to be ashamed of…no wonder you’re still single.

  27. Jason says

    Henry your delusional NPH did not come out at the top of his career, he was pushed out and had no choice but to admit he was gay.

    I’m sorry but almost everyone one here is so bitter and disgusting, would it be great if Sean had come out before now? yes. But he doesn’t owe it to us to do so, I get so sick with people trying to make others come out of the closet just for their own well being.

    When you first meet someone, If the first thing out of your mouth is I’m gay, that is sad, its like that’s all you are. Being out doesn’t mean wearing a sticker that says I’m gay on it, I have never said I’m gay to about half of my friends, they just know, they meet my boyfriends, I talk about guys I’m attracted too, and so on, but I didn’t need to have a sit down and say I’m gay. I’m proud to be gay and will tell anyone but it isn’t necessary to define yourself by just one aspect of who you are. Like Adam Lambert and other young gays being out isn’t about saying I’m gay its about living your life as yourself.

  28. JohnH says

    My partner and I always remembered Mr. Hayes being out when he was promoting “Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss” — it was mentioned prominently in a magazine that we no longer have, IIRC — but it seemed once “Will & Grace” arrived, discussion of his sexuality was verboten…

  29. Zach says

    The only expectation I’d have of Hayes was for him to honestly answer the question if asked. He’s not obliged to march in a parade, or advocate a cause. But the Spacey/Cooper/Martin-esque ducking is unnecessary and rather tiresome.

    We move towards a day when being gay is a non-issue. Unfortunately, that requires people now being honest about it. Not publicizing it, or letting it consume their identity. But a bit of openness is kind of necessary.

  30. Paul says

    What you’ve “contributed monumentally to,” Mr. Hayes, is the FAILURE of the gay movement in America. You are just another self-important deluded piece of Hollywood sh*t.

  31. says

    If someone wants to put forth the notion that Will & Grace, as a cultural phenomenon, didn’t really do much to ameliorate the image of gay men in the eyes of countless Americans, they can do so, but I would invite them to reconnect with reality.

    Of course it did.

    My problem with the ‘Jack’ character at the time was that he was a minstrel, and Will was was an anal retentive, uptight emotional cripple. Then I had to get over myself because I knew damn well that those characters were in many ways real, and I saw both of them in me, sometimes within the span of 5 whole minutes.

    I think Sean is entitled to his truth, as is everybody else.

  32. JeffRob says

    Well, sure, it would be a lot easier for everyone if closet case celebrities could just be “not gay”.

    But they’re not. They’re “straight”.

    Sean Hayes has been “straight” for the last 15 or whatever years. Not “not gay”. That’s the difference.

    So, you can stay “straight” for all I care, Sean.

    Oh, and while it’s true that I was raised by liberal parents in a liberal area and came out an early age, I’ve known way too many glbt young people who have come out in the most dire of extreme circumstances to believe that anyone’s best choice is to stay closeted for an extended period of their adult life.

    But don’t get me wrong- if you’re living an anonymous closet-case hermit life down by the river and that’s what you want and you’re happy and not hurting anyone, hey, do you, baby.

  33. BCLance says

    @henry: I’m a huge NPH fan, but this is just delusional. NPH’s career had been stalling for years when he was pushed out of the closet without much fanfare. That helped to get his career moving again, which is great, but let’s not reimagine his history in order to malign someone else.

  34. Mrroboto says

    Having been involved with Hollywood and the LA gay community, I know for a fact that Sean has quietly put that enormous W&G paycheck behind numerous gay causes, gay charities, gay youth organizations and gay theater. And he’s done it without one drop of credit.

    As for Neil Patrick Harris, I’m so sick of seeing him trotted out every time this issue comes up. I love Neil. I love what he’s done with his personal and professional life after coming out. But as someone else already said, Neil was forced out. He found out that the Enquirer was about to do a big story outing him, so he stole their thunder and did it himself, on his own terms, with People. I’m glad he did, and he did it with class & style. But had the Enquirer thing loomed, he might still be in the closet today.

  35. D.B.. says

    Sean Hayes does not “owe” anyone anything, and like everyone else, has the right to keep his personal life private. And given that he’s in the entertainment industry, I can certainly understand his career concerns.

    However, given the immense power of the media, any public acknowledgement of his orientation back in his W&G days — even if he chose to not be involved in gay causes or issues — could have been very meaningful to others, particularly those in his own industry struggling with the same issues.

  36. Richard says

    Sean is a Schmuck.
    Not only is he delusional about his “monumental contirbution” to the gay movement (success or otherwise), he is a bold faed liar.
    I know for a fact that he told staffers on Will & Grace that the answer to any fan’s question, Is Sean Hayes Gay? is always NO.
    Again, a Schmuck.

  37. GrabbinNewscum says

    >>I’d prefer if he were run over by a flaot. Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 8, 2010 1:25:11 PM

    Maybe we can string up your fat black ass as a “flaot” in the next pride parade.

  38. says

    If he were on any show other than Will & Grace, I would say I understood his reticence in coming out. Since he was on a show whose entire purpose was to confront people about assumptions about sexuality, and spent most of its time waving the flag about how out and proud it was, his decision to remain in the closet – which is what it was, no matter how much he protests – seems like cowardice in the extreme. The viewers of his show were, by definition, people who were accepting of homosexuality – they were not going to switch off just because of his private life. All he had to do was say, yep, I’m gay, when he was asked during the show’s run, and move on. Instead he turned it into an issue of “am I, aren’t I?” so that his career wouldn’t be harmed. It’s just about being honest.

    Incidentally, compare and contrast with Megan Mulalley telling the Advocate she was bisexual ten years ago.

  39. anon says

    Sean Hayes vs John Mayer: compare and contrast folks.

    Anyway, Sean’s style of acting was typecast bait from day one–and that limited his career prospects more than anything else.

  40. Paul says

    @Mike In Houston re: Eric McCormack on SNL.
    That monologue was a joke, poking fun at the whole idea that he was constantly defending his heterosexuality after years of playing Will. Surely you didn’t take that seriously? It was sketch comedy.

  41. Will says

    Thanks, RJ, for sharing the grown-up perspective. It still surprises me that some seem to think they have the right to make others’ choices for them. And for all the sis-boom-bah about Ricky Martin, Anderson Cooper, et al. I would love to know whose coming out they would make easier. Celebrities might as well live on the moon (except as far as the celebrity-obsessed are concerned). For those of you who are so concerned about the issue, be a role model in your own community. I wager you’ll find it will have a more meaningful effect than some celebrity. So, give it a rest and stop knocking other people’s choices and work on yourself and your corner of the planet.

  42. GEEBEE says

    Sean Hayes owes me nor anybody else in the audience anything other than the best performance he can give when he’s on stage or screen. What he does in his private life does not concern me as long as he’s not in a fake marriage or showing up with a beard on the red carpet. Which, BTW, neither Anderson Cooper or Ricky Martin do (unlike Tom Cruise and John Travolta). There is quite a difference between choosing not to put one’s personal life in the public domain, on the one hand, and playing a lie in public, on the other. I wonder about those individuals who demand “outness” everywhere by everybody and ask if they brought up in the first interview for a job they wanted: “By the way, I’m gay.” I think not.

    Years ago, I was a guest at the Golden Globes when “Will and Grace” were in the Top 10. Sean Hayes was there (with a couple of guys, no woman in sight) and I came face to face with him. I smiled and said: “Thank you.” He smiled back (I’m a nobody, show biz-wise, btw) and said: “You’re welcome.” Even tho I agree with the criticism that the Jack character was over the top and a minstrel at times, I happen to recognize that person from my own life, and so, for many enjoyable performances (including his characterization of Jerry Lewis), I still say to Sean Hayes: “Thank you.” To Don, who asks if that is a chip on Hayes’ shoulder, I say: “No, that is the sound of a man feeling suffocated by the pressure of a politically correct crowd who thinks everybody should share their agenda and expectations about how he should open his personal life to public scrutiny.”

    I am reminded of reading the obituary of Paul Scofield, heterosexual to the core, who made it a point not to give interviews, didn’t attend the Academy Awards at which he won his Oscar for “Man of All Seasons,” and lived a quiet life with his wife in a small village outside of London. Why can’t we allow performers to simply not talk about it? Whatever “it” may be?

  43. says

    We’ve been having this argument as a community for years now. There are valid points to be made on both sides of the issue. For me, the answer usually lies in assessing each situation individually instead of making a blanket pronouncement about what should or shouldn’t happen.

    That said, I think that the only person who thought Sean Hayes was in the closet is Sean Hayes. You can’t pull off that kind of gay minstrel character without having it emanate from some nugget of truth within you. Given his particular character on the W&G show and the stereotype it represented, I think it’s not quite clear whether his public coming-out would have helped or hindered the progress of GLBT rights at that pivotal time. That can be debated, and will be, I am sure.

  44. burnbabyburn says

    To all the people defending Sean Hayes for being a closet case and saying he shouldn’t have to talk about his sexuality–why is he suddenly doing it now? What has changed?

    Well, let me break it down. He’s washed up. A total nobody. So now he’s trying to get some attention and some gay dollars by telling us what we already knew, but he was too much of a coward to acknowledge before. He’s relying on the desperation of the gay community to welcome him with open arms, but just in case, he’s also being very standoffish about his previous stance. He wants us to know he owes us nothing, but you better believe he thinks we owe him some sort of recognition. Well the only recognition this opportunistic scumbag will get from me is the middle finger. Go back to being a sad lap dog to straight society, you prick.

  45. TANK says

    Well, I’m confident it’s already been mentioned, but since his career’s on the downslope, this is usually a celebrities attempt at remaining relevant.

    In other news, milk does a body good.

  46. David B. 2 says

    OK here is a plus — finally a gay coverman for the Advocate — something other gay magazines rarely accomplish!

    but the point of the this discussion should be honesty — when people lie about anything, it is underhanded and sets everybody back. Rigorous honesty should be the ideal — not getting away with what I can for whatever reason. The truth suffers so much in our society already!

  47. Matty says

    RJ, I agree with you 100%, he’s an entertainer, not an activist or politician and it’s no one’s business.

    Strepsi, you pointed out exactly why some gay men DON’T want everyone in their private business; not all of us want to be just like those generic, annoying, straight people going on aimlessly about their boring and mundane lives.

    I’ve never had a problem being gay and have never felt the need to be in anyone’s face or to wear a sign over my head announcing it. That’s just me and that’s just Sean Hayes, he has no obligation to you, the community or anyone else.

    It’s his life, let him live it the way he chooses, same way you live your life the way you’ve chosen.

  48. Greenman says

    I think there’s a mathematical equation that covers this. Whoopty/Fucking = Doo

    It’s no skin off my nose whether Sean Hayes came out or not. “Will and Grace” probably did help the mainstream perception of gays but it’s rather silly for Sean to take credit for that, especially when the character he played was every gay stereotype rolled into one. Shallow, catty, narcissistic, and childish. Gosh, if Franklin Pangborn’s character roles had been narcissistic and childish we could call him a gay activist too!

    After you’ve been ducking interviews for decades it’s also disingenuous to claim you’ve been “out” the whole time. Again, whether he came out or not doesn’t matter in the scheme of things but there’s a whole lot of revisionism going on in that interview.

  49. Jesse says

    Wow…These comments are brutal! I think some towleroad readers could work on their maturity and decency. For any actor, coming out to the press is a career ending decision. How many of you who are criticizing Sean have made such a large sacrifice? After reading these comments, why would another want to make such a sacrifice just to be hammered by those your trying to help just becuase “it’s never enough”.

  50. GEEBEE says

    Let’s examine the premise. He was advancing his career by staying in the closet; he’s resuscitating his career by coming out. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

  51. Mike Friedman says

    Like it’s a surprise to anyone?

    Please be a little less sanctimonious, Sean. Poor dear is crying all the way to the bank to cash his residual checks.

    What gets me is why people who are such flaming queens (Clay Aiken anyone?) get all uptight when someone asks them to confirm what everyone knows. Then they get all coy about it which just insults the audience.

    People aren’t stupid.

  52. wtf says

    WHY do all you queens care so much? Do you think his being out would have made so much of a difference? To whom? You? Some teenager in BFE in Oklahoma? Guess what: those assholes that beat your ass up in high school had kids, and they are beating up the gay kids in high school again, regardless of how many gay celebrities there are. If you’re looking for someone else to make it better, you’re looking in the wrong place.

  53. Marty says

    This obsession with wealthy gays (Martin, Cooper, Hayes) and how much they “owe” the gay community is just a smoke screen for plain ol’ envy.

    If these guys were Larry Craig, living some secret life, then I could understand the hate, but these guys live gays lives (for those who live in NY or CA and see Coop and Hayes on the regular). Every gay man with an IQ over 10 knows it, gay teens, twinks included (ever hear of google? most under 30 have)

    Newsflash THEY CAN’T SAVE YOU

    Are you equally upset at friends who are closeted? how about co-workers? (guess it depends on if he’s hot)

    They’re rich, young and goodlooking and living lives most of us can’t dream of (I’ve seen some of Coop’s alleged boy-toys..dare to dream)

    Be the role model you demand of others.

    And live you life on your own terms.

  54. Hank says

    He thought he was protecting his career by being cagey all these years- (not sure it made much of a difference in this case either to his career, or to “the movement” )- but certainly there is nothing very unusual about this. Unfortunately gay people have to weigh the costs of being out in this world all the time. If that weren’t true, if there were no costs to weigh, no possible negative consequences to consider, then there would be no need for a gay movement in the first place. Let’s practice compassionate acceptance of each other and ourselves as we face these dilemmas, and not hate each other or ourselves over it, even while recognizing the importance of being as out as we can manage to be.

    And what if Sean’s decision to stay in the closet was not actually based in a realistic assessment of his career situation, but was more driven by an internal lack of self-acceptance, then what? We’re going to hate him for what, for hating himself? It’s not like he’s J. Edgar Hoover. Just another conflicted song-and-dance girl looking for the approval he can’t give himself…and if we find that embarassing , undignified, unattractive , maybe we need to look in the mirror …

  55. sleaze_hound says

    Those quotes are much more compelling if you assume ‘Jack’ said them. Also: ‘The interview you’ve waited 12 years to read’? More like the interview you’ve spent 12 years assuming was superfluous.

  56. Bryan says

    “I feel like I’ve contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America…”

    By acting on a sitcom? I knew actors were vain, but this is narcissism beyond comprehension or endurance. Even if we concede that Will and Grace somehow constitutes activism (I don’t), did Mr. Hayes conceive the show? Produce it? Write it?

    No. He recited the words someone else wrote for him, took his paycheck, and went home to his precious privacy.

    Somebody slap this arrogant, character disordered bitch. Hard.

  57. princessjohnson says

    give the guy a break, you hags!
    sean hayes did his job.
    he didn’t want to get cancelled like ellen!
    he always “refused to comment”, just like miss jodie foster.
    like it or not, miss foster set the standard and sean hayes is a serious actor who took his job seriously.

    he was playing a classic tv role and was thoughtful enuf to allow his real life persona to recede and let the characterization of “jack” shine on its own terms.

    he did not want us to get distracted by personal media scrutiny onto sean hayes, private citizen.
    he had that right already, but then he earned it.
    that show stands next to cosby, rosanne and i love lucy.

    does any of us in the tv audience even have a clue what sean hayes’ real personality is?
    no!
    that means that sean hayes did his job as an actor (not a “celebrity”).

    “jack” was allowed to stand alone as a timeless, absurdist figure at the same moment a time capsule parody and tribute to the late 20th century actor/rentboy/retail f*g.

    those of us who would dismiss the brilliance of the acting on “will and grace” are fake, jealous and projecting our own issues onto a damn tv show!

    those of us mad at hayes for “promoting stereotypes” are po-facedly, selectively “politically correct”…
    and faintly desperate.

    honey, you know that sh*t was real!
    “will and grace” was funny as hell, but it wasn’t really fiction.
    darling, that was *documentary*!

  58. jaragon says

    Career wise one can understand why Hayes tried to stay in the casting closet. But he has obviously been typecast for life- so this is one of those better late than never moments.

  59. cmh says

    To a comment made earlier, I lived for many years in a conservative, highly religious environment. My coming out cost me friendships and resulted in my mother and I essentially not speaking for two years. To this day (11 years later), she is still not accepting of my being gay. There certainly can be a cost for coming out, but nothing is worth hiding who you are. Being honest with myself includes being open and honest with the world around me. It’s simple really. The greatest and most significant thing that each of us can do to advance the cause of LGBT equality is to be out — not just celebrities but all of us.

  60. Steven says

    A monumental contribution to the gay movement in America?!

    He played an exaggerated stereotype from which a lot of gay men try to distance themselves. Furthermore, through his character, he perpetuated the attitude that gay men are still not to be taken seriously…that we are purely for buffoonery and comic relief.

  61. Happily Married says

    Anyone who is gay and doesn’t own it or is coy or untruthful about it sends the message that it is something to be ashamed of. That is the opposite of contributing to any movement in a FORWARD direction.
    He was playing an extremely popular, openly gay character so what the hell did he think he had to lose?? It’s not like he was playing some womanizing wolf and it would strain the public’s image of him. WTF?
    We all assumed he was gay–just be man enough and proud enough to be honest. But he wasn’t. He is no hero. He is anything but. He lost my respect long ago.

  62. Joey Y says

    Whoa there. Nonsense, most of you. For all the bullshit people whine about, saying the church, conservatives, etc. shouldn’t butt into our private lives, now we’re saying that someone else should be FORCED to parade their personal lives in front of everyone to prove a point? I couldn’t disagree more. And the most vile thing on this forum is the bitchy old-style queen attitude. Late to WHAT “party,” Johninmanhattan? You mean the activist party? It’s his life and is personal time, and he can do whatever the hell he wants with it. “Washed up?” He’s accomplished more in his life than you ever will, Ryan. FAR be it for someone to say he’d rather just work and be left alone rather than have to become a symbol for such a bunch of self-important jerks. After seeing the way you people are talking about someone for exercising the very freedom of privacy we struggle for, I’m embarrassed to stand alongside you too.

  63. Joey Y says

    @Happilymarried, BULLSHIT. If someone’s coy about it, they are saying it’s none of your business. He wanted to perform, and that’s what he did, and that’s what he wanted people to focus on, instead of who he’s dating. Also, as per another post on here, he’s been quietly donating TONS of money to gay acting, gay youth causes, and gay theater. Are YOU doing as much, or are you too busy being a judgmental bitch who’s “man enough” to decide what’s best for others’ career decisions?

  64. ProfessorVP says

    This just in: Jupiter is a planet. Officially. That said, RJ, you don’t get it. It’s one thing to just say what you are, another thing to go on what you’d consider the warpath- being an activist, leading the charge. If enough gay people just effin’ came out, especially those with high visibility, those who are liked, admired– okay, OPRAH for one, Andy Cooper for another… then the need for activism would be far lessened. I’ll tell you something else, RJ… you likely think “nobody knows.” It is likely they know, and if somebody ever beats the crap out of you, or denies you a promotion, or makes lurid jokes about you behind your back, gosh, could it be they didn’t notice all the other things that shine about you? And zero in on just one thing? So get real.

  65. MIKE says

    Whatever will we do for a gay messiah now?

    And he is right. If he or any gay celebrity doesn’t absolutely and immediately give his entire life over to “The Community”, said “Community” will declare him fat, old, unattractive, washed-up and a terrible lay. Meanwhile, “The Community” is too busy trolling truck stops, barebacking, snorting whatever drug is fashionable at the moment, and flashing sad, bitter pearls of what passes for wit on the internet to actually get off their own asses and do more themselves.

    Stop waiting for the Great Gay Hope and be one yourselves. Bitches.

  66. Kyle Bailey says

    I don’t think you can beat up on Sean Hayes. He was the gayest man in America — on national television — for 8 seasons. I’m just sayin’.

  67. john says

    I can’t tell you how much I hate this….
    Sean Hayes would hit on every waiter in LA, but yet maintained his coy “reserve”….meanwhile, Eric McCormick goes out of his way to support every HIV/AIDS charity – The Trevor Project, Project Angel Food, AMFAR – openly and honestly.
    Fuck Sean Hayes.

    Great comments JeffRob – I hope he gets run over by a float too….who needs that sort of conditional acceptance?
    Poor girl..she hasn’t worked in a while.

  68. Jay says

    I just wish he’d be honest: he stayed “coy” for business purposes. As for typecasting, I think it was as much the typical sitcom curse as the gay thing that typecast him as Jack. Now that he has a Broadway debut coming up and is hoping to revive his career he’s decided to come out. The full text of the interview comes across oddly tense and he comes across as extremely arrogant.

  69. MarkDC says

    Fag.

    I haven’t been to “Pride” (ugh) in 15 years so I don’t give a fuck if you’re on a float or not, or if you think being on a float is what The Gays want or need you to do.

    I also never watched Will & Grace. It was embarrassingly bad.

  70. Joey Y says

    I hate to call so many of you bitches out, but I feel compelled to. I am of the early-30’s generation of gay men, who are now cleaning up the UTTER MESS the older generation left for us. After Stonewall you had a golden opportunity, and instead turned into a bunch of trolling, bitchy, caricature whores who slept with everyone else, then blamed the government and the public for not being sympathetic to the consequences. Now, MY generation has to undo the stereotypes you set up for us. Thanks for the truck stop promiscuous sex, leather parades, referring to each other by female pronouns, and acting like bitter exclusionary assholes. It’s affected the upbringing of gay youth in a FAR more negative way than some celebrity who chooses NOT to buy into your too-late attempts to do something relevant. If you had done your damned job decades ago we wouldn’t be having to fight tooth and nail to retain or gain partner benefits or marriage, while having images of you making fools of yourselves used as ammo to hold us ALL back. Was it worth the pageantry? Are you surprised Sean didn’t want to be part of that, and sink his career?

    Now here’s the part where you again harp about how he’s “nobody” and “washed up,” and then ridicule someone who expects quiet, NORMAL respect for their love life. And before you pull out the nonsense card about how I must be some self-hating middle America loser, you should know I’m an urban professional who decided that a career and relationship were a lot more important than the anonymous glory hole cocksucking that so many of my illustrious “elders” decided to waste their lives on.

  71. ajd says

    Yes, gay celebrities do owe us something. We give them MONEY by watching their shows. If they’re going to be a part of our community or pretend to be, to affect the way society views us as individuals, we are owed a little bit of honesty.

    As for the “privacy” thing, if you want privacy, don’t go into show business. Don’t do an interview with Advocate. Don’t go on a tv show, play a flamboyant homosexual, and then lie to everyone about it. It’s wrong, and there is no excuse for it.

    “It’s never enough”? No one has even thought about you since the end of W&G.

    The best way he could have handled this would have been to bury the news in an interview with some nongay pub.

  72. Michael says

    @Joey
    I agree with your entire sentiment! This is a piece of not-news that’s generating too much debate over something so trivial. The man is an actor, and not a very good one (my opinion), who’s pretty much saying what everyone with more than 1 brain cell knew anyway.

    Our focus should be on cleaning up the mess of the previous generation. That’s not just on gay rights, but just about everything else under the sun. Social programs in disrepair…check. Healthcare costs out the roof…check. Unemployment spiraling out of control…check. Soldiers dying left and right for no damned reason…check. And the big kahuna of them all…allowing seditious religious fanatics to have influence over the governing of states and the nation.

    How about we all get off our asses and tell the freaking boomer generation to retire and stop making a bigger mess of the country than they already have. That whole generation has done nothing but whine about their entitlement to this or that since birth and look at where we are now?

    Cawing over a mediocre actor who’s decided to come out over a decade after we all just assumed he was gay.

  73. says

    Well, let’s hope the next 12 years he does something more real and more productive. And as far as all the ‘arguments’ that it’s no one’s business….that’s bull. He made his money off a show that was succesful because of the gay community. The LEAST he could have done was proudly said “Yes I’m gay, so what?”. A hypocrite is a hypocrite is a hypocrite plain and simple.

  74. Chris says

    Personally, He did what he had to do. Sometimes it’s just amazing because someone did’nt come out right away and it makes you all angry…..why?

    In the end you will not be responsible for how he will continue to make a living, or anything else as he may be confronted with homophobia from the industry, hopefully he won’t. While he never admitted his lifestyle. Keep in mind he never spoke against this community neither.

    He did it when he felt comfortable to do so and good for him. The Harvey Milk days are long gone of looking for Heroes, or making someone YOUR cause. If it’s a case like Roy Ashburn I’m totally understanding of the anger.

    But in this case it’s just childish and he owes none of us an explanation why he decided now to come out.

    Bottom line he is really on our side now and that’s all that matters!

  75. Scott says

    From some poster on Queerty:

    “So Sean is claiming that he was never in the closet–I call bullshit.

    So, let’s turn the clock back to the year 2000, let’s say I went on Regis and started talking about what I did over the weekend and I let it slip that I had dinner with Sean and his then boyfriend.

    I wouldn’t be accused of outing him? I wouldn’t get a call from his publicist? The Regis show wouldn’t attempt to edit that comment from my interview?

    Is that what he wants me to believe?”

    I think he brought up a good point.

  76. Happily Married says

    @joeyy
    “Are you gay?” If you can’t answer that simple question honestly then you are not proud of who are and you are an insult to the gay community. You are contributing to the perception of bigoted people that there is something wrong with being gay and you make gay teens think there is some reason to hide who they are.

    “as per another post on here, he’s been quietly donating TONS of money to gay acting, gay youth causes, and gay theater. Are YOU doing as much, or are you too busy being a judgmental bitch who’s “man enough” to decide what’s best for others’ career decisions?”

    Just because someone said it on here doesn’t make it true. Maybe he has. Good for him. I happen to give money to GLBT causes, too. The thing is, I don’t have very much money and when I give to these causes I have to give up some things, like a vacation or new clothes, in order to do so. I kind of doubt he has the same issues. As a percentage of income, I am willing to bet my contributions stack up pretty well. Or maybe I just should have said “none of your business.”

    “Thanks for the truck stop promiscuous sex, leather parades, referring to each other by female pronouns…”

    And then you call me a bitch. Way to go.
    I guess you aren’t going to be the one to “undo the stereotypes.. ”

    Drag Queens fought at Stonewall and many of us older folks have fought tooth and nail so you could live however you want. Read some history and see how far we have advanced gay rights in a relatively short period of time, especially when compared to other civil rights movements. Do you have the slightest idea what it was like for me when I came out in 1978? Well it was a cakewalk compared to the ones before me who came out in 1928 or 38 or 58. I owe them everything for making it easier for me. If you choose to live like a Puritan Republican full of hatred and judgment for all those who paved the way for your sorry ungrateful ass…fine. You’re welcome.
    I have led an honest life as a gay actor since 1978 and Sean Hayes couldn’t even make that claim as recently as 2009–not even when he was making millions of dollars while playing a gay character (brilliantly, I might add) who was loved by millions of fans.
    Now he’s ready to come out and claims to be a hero to the cause. HA.

  77. STRANDED says

    I’m sorry but Sean Hayes is no hero to me. The gay men I know are not vapid caricatures. Will & Grace gave straight people, it seems, an expectation of mincing faggotry, to the point where it seems acceptible to expect that all gay men are just cute, bitchy little clowns and accessories for straight women. He’s the Steppenfetchit of the gay world and I have no love for his “contributions.”

  78. Jason says

    I see both sides of this, but I have to say that I don’t think it’s right for anyone to tell anyone else when to come out. It’s true that it sucks that he essentially denied being gay for so long, but at the same time, why does it matter so much to everyone? Would people have hounded him so much if they thought he was straight? By being upset that he didn’t come out when cornered repeatedly you’re essentially condoning that unfair and prejudicial treatment of a person based on their perceived sexuality, and this is simply not okay.

    I understand why it matters to the lgbtq community, but becoming an actor does not automatically commit you to being a role model or a martyr, nor does it give people a free pass into your private life (contrary to popular belief).
    Also, being famous doesn’t mean that his family is automatically more understanding or accepting than anyone else’s family.

    Basically, while I wish he had come out earlier as it would serve as a good example, I don’t think he’s any more of a coward than anyone else who has a difficult time coming out. In fact, most people who come out only have to do so to their friends and family, not the entire country or world, so I think if anything actors and people in the spotlight who come out are very brave, regardless of how long it takes them to do it.

  79. dvz says

    I think he’s pissed because he’s watched Neil Patrick Harris not only be unhampered by coming out, but actually become even MORE popular–so there went the excuse he was clinging to for so long, as well as some of the roles or cash. Wait, I take that last part back. One of NPH’s pubic hairs on a bad pubic hair day has more talent and likability than this twat.

    Hayes comes across not even something as benign as unpleasant, but rather as a bitter and creepily angry man.

    Does he think his much belated and very “this just in, fire is hot” announcement is going to help jump start his career? God, if he does, that’s pretty pathetic, but whatever else might be his true reason? He’s had ages to make a simple, matter of fact acknowledgement, and then move forward. I know I’m cynical, but this whole thing seems like a grasping, gasping play for CPR on his faded popularity.

  80. james says

    I was in a theatre show with someone in the early nineties when hiv fear was near its peak. He was playing a closeted gay man. He was 100 hundred per cent straight but whenever if was asked (and he was asked lots) he refused to confirm his sexuality. Such a small act but so generous.

  81. Chapeau says

    Ummm .. great Sean that you finally threw open the closet doors honey! But as they say you’re a day late and dollar short … not only is it something everyone who ever saw you do Jack – already knew. No honey, it’s the fact that it shouldn’t have a been a big deal .. and all these years you’ve been playing coy … well, it made you look like a$$. But I love ya anyway!
    — signed Karen Walker

  82. Hank says

    @JOEY Y : The world you take for granted , in which you can be out at work and out to friends, and thinking about wanting to focus on “relationship and career” wouldn’t exist without the generation you’re trashing having done what they did. (BTW I’m 10 years older than you, not the Stonewall gen, , the ACT UP gen, who came of age just as the party was ending amidst sickness, death, and Reagan.) The stonewall riot was part of the same explosion of rebellious energy that fueled the gay sexual world of the 70s; you can’t have one without the other. That affirmation of gay sex as a good thing in and of itself was necessary to blast out of the closet and get past a degree of shame and universal repression, internal and external, that you probably can’t accurately imagine. There is no such thing as a self – affirming gay man without that step of basic sexual self-affirmation being taken culturally and individually .It came about in the context of left political movements of the 60s and sexual revolution of the 70s that threw into question everything about how society is organized. And without that wide open context and massive sexual charge, gay liberation would never have got going at all. So don’t hate is what I’m saying, and learn the history that created your world and gave you the opportunities you have today.

  83. DCSean says

    Heck, he’s just following in the footsteps of so many other noble entertainment world stalwarts, such as Lance Bass, Clay Aiken, and Rosie, all of whom waited and waited and waited to come out … Gee, guess this means HRC will be inviting him to their next Black Tie dinner to laud his courage and praise him as such an upstanding member of the community.

  84. Rinnie says

    The thing is more and more celebs are tight-lipped about relationships because they talk them up and then they get Anniston’d. They look like idiots in front of the world–at least that is what THEY think.

    It makes the rest of us think they’re human.

    As for Sean…who in America didn’t think he was gay?

  85. Joey Y says

    I respectfully disagree. I don’t live like a “Puritan Republican” simply because I show a little respect to myself. No, my life ISN’T all about sex, and I’m proud of it. I am a guy who’s a professional, a friend, run a GLBT corporate entity, and work with my elected officials to change things, and I just happens to be gay. That’s gotten me a LOT farther than saying that my sexuality defines me, my behavior, and my way of life. Just because I am engaged to a great guy doesn’t mean I am or ever was compelled to shout it from the rooftops, nor did it mean I found any kind of “pride” in “being myself” by having sex with people I never met. As for you Hank, at least you DID something, unlike most of the people in your generation who instead “celebrated” by fucking everything that moved and then cried about what happened.

    I won’t allow a bunch of sanctimonious pricks who didn’t stand up and make a change when it was THEIR turn judge someone ELSE in our OWN community for making different choices. If people can talk about what a jerk Sean Hayes is for not coming out on their timetable, then it’s fair game to ask why the hell THEY didn’t do their part when the time was right. It’s disgusting. As for calling someone a bitch, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, sorry. Act like a catty woman and you’ll be treated like one, even by me. Act like a grown man with more to consider than apply your life to Sean’s personal choices, and you’ll get a lot further with someone like me. Angry? You bet your ass I am. My generation is mad as hell, and not only at the right wing. We’re disappointed that so many of our forebears fucked things up so much that we have to spend much of our time explaining how that guy in the park ducking behind bushes isn’t the norm, and that it’s not all drugs, circuit parties, and drag shows. Unfortunately, some people decide to dismiss people who live a more mainstream life as “not proud” because we choose not to act the same way, and that’s just pitiful.

  86. says

    I’m sorry but this is just sad. Hayes didnt offer a “monumental” contribution to the gay movement, he played a stereotypical swishy gay guy on a hit sitcom, while staying in the closet.
    And NO ONE CAN EXPECT TO BE FAMOUS AND HAVE PRIVACY. It’s not part of that game. If you dont want to be famous, or if you want privacy, then dont become an TV actor.
    Hayes is an embarrassment..
    Lastly, i cannot abide by people saying how it would have ruined his career, much like saying this about Anderson Cooper or Ricky Martin.
    That totally downplays our openly gay, successful actors like Neil Patrick Harris, Alan Cumming, and Ian McCellan- all of whom share way more enviable careers than Hayes, and all of whom work consistently. If GLAAD decided to give Hayes an award for his “late to the party” achievement and pissy attitude, they will have reached a new low in my book. And NO Out 100- how about honoring people who’ve fought this battle for years?
    DN

  87. JeffRob says

    To excuse Sean for not coming out because it’s his life and he deserves his privacy is stupid and sad. I understand the notion, but considering the state of the gay person in the US today, taking that position is stupid and sad.

    To excuse Sean for not coming out because somehow it would ruin his career and he made such a smart move by being a “straight actor playing a gay man” all those years is offensive, wrong, homophobic to its core, and downright nauseating. That some actual glbt people would prefer that glbt celebrities stay in the closet for the sake of their careers actually makes me shudder with anger.

    Come out, or you’re not part of this community, I say.

  88. Joey Y. says

    For every openly gay actor who’s seen success after coming out, there are plenty more who didn’t, or were sidelined to also-ran status. Dan Pintauro? Chad Allen? Rupert Everett? As for Cooper, why would he give anyone an excuse to question his journalistic bias? He’s a reporter, not a symbol or messiah, and that’s his right.

  89. Hank says

    Joey I feel sad for you that you’re so ashamed of other gay people and so worried about explaining us to..whom, exactly? And that you don’t understand leather or camp or sexual freedom and what they have meant to gay people. And that you show so little compassion. It seems like your mind is a cold bitter hard place to live. This country markets a phony plastic dream of normalcy and success to the young, and you have bought it, but I am afraid it will not make you happy in the long run.

  90. Hank says

    @Joey again, I take back the very last thing I wrote at the end of my previous post: I don’t know what’s it’s like to ‘live in your mind’, or what ‘dreams’ you’ve ‘bought’, and I might be offended if someone talked to me that way. But I do find it sad that you don’t show more compassion and appreciation for others whose lives may have been different from your own.

  91. JusticeontheRocks says

    “Done so much to contribute”????

    “Contributed monumentally”???

    I’d say the gay community contributed a lot more to him – and his bank account.

    Besides, his TV show was a modern day black-face minstrel show. An embarassment that set us back years.

    Get over yourself queenie.

  92. JeffRob says

    Joey, why wouldn’t Anderson Cooper’s being in the closet make you question his journalistic bias? It shows a lack of integrity; he would be much more trustworthy if he was honest with the world- no, just his fans- about who he is.

  93. Walter says

    Sean — so your career bombed even after betraying the Gay and Lesbian community over and over by your “career closet”.

    Now he goes running to The Advocate for press … he is a funny clown and an awful selfish person.

    Fuck him. He could have helped when people remembered or cared who is / was.

  94. contragenic says

    Oh I get it, so Sean all those previous interviews wherin you said you were straight, you just felt that lying was somehow better than telling the truth. Ok well thanks for the update,by the way Sean, you may be a rare talent but you are also a PUSSY! Fuck Off!

  95. Happily Married says

    @Joeyy: Are you really a 30 year old gay guy or actually a conservative straight troll posing as one?
    You are full of venom and hate for those who came before you and made your life easier.
    You don’t seem to grasp the simplest facts of life. The generations before you were filled with gay men and lesbians of all types. There have always been doctors, lawyers, athletes, designers, writers, musicians, Pulitzer Prize winners….some of them led quiet, conservative lives and some of them wore leather and/or sucked cocks at glory holes. Some of them did both. Some of the hardest working activists and political movers and shakers did all the things you criticize while accomplishing more than you could ever hope to. You can have a successful career, a serious, long-lasting, meaningful relationship, advance the cause of gay rights through political channels and still wear leather on occasion, have recreational sex, and even use female pronouns! Many do. Many don’t. Young gays and lesbians do all those things too, and no one has forced them to do anything they don’t want to do. It is the Puritanical Republicans who can’t find room for anyone to live a life that they don’t live themselves. You are more like them than like us.
    By your logic, we should have had full equal rights 100 years ago when there were no pride parades, leather daddies or glory holes (at least that society was aware of).
    Nobody was behaving in a way to offend the general public back then, but you could be thrown in jail for being gay. We have more rights and more freedoms since all those things have become more visible. But you want to “clean all that up”. F*ck off.

  96. Happily Married says

    Oh, and Ellen, NPH, Ian McKellan, and Alan Cumming have all enjoyed GREATER success after coming out. Perhaps Sean was wrong to be ashamed of who he was in order to have a more successful career.
    No one has to come out on anyone else’s time-table. But choices have consequences.
    If they behave like a coward, they open themselves up to criticism (especially from those of us who chose to live bravely and honestly…we are not asking anyone to do anything we haven’t done ourselves).

  97. jamal49 says

    12 years, huh? I wondered what all this waiting was for. Um, I’ve worked nights for 25 years. Prime-time TV has never been a factor in my life. I’ve not seen Will & Grace. Maybe I’ll try to catch one of the re-runs. Maybe then I’ll know who this guy is. I might even begin to care about yet another celebrity who (a) is criticized for not “coming out” because lots of gays think he/she should and (b) who feels obligated to come out because lots of gays think he/she should. Frankly, I don’t share my personal life with anyone at work and don’t feel that I should. My personal life is just that: personal. And private. However, if I hear someone making negative comments against me and my LGBT brothers and sisters, I am in their face, down their throat and up their ass.

  98. Joey Y says

    Amazing, Hank and Happilymarried. You guys fell right into the trap I built for you.

    1. You criticize Sean Hayes for making choices which are entirely his, for his own reasons, but when I criticize YOU for the EXACT same thing (your personal sexual lives, personal choices in demeanor and lifestyle, which are 100% YOUR business), you lash out at me. So, it’s okay for YOU to not only make choices for yourselves, but also tell everyone else what’s appropriate for others, and then you try to give ME hell for saying to mind your own business?

    2. You call me ungrateful, and even assume that I’m conservative (far from it), straight (not even close), and just trolling and posing as a gay man (laughable). You’re not the only NYC people around, nor the only ones with familiarity with gay history, nor the only ones with friends who are trans, stonewall vets, or knowledge of gay culture. However, you immediately assume that I’m “bitter” or “full of venom” because I turn the mirror on your own hypocrisy? Assume I’m not familiar with sexual escapades? And I’m not sure how you reconcile that I am “ashamed of other gay people” when I clearly stated that I’m leading the LGBT outreach group of a major corporation. That makes it pretty damned clear that I’m out, AND proud. All I did was show you just what it’s like to have some other gay guy who knows NOTHING about you focus on trivial nonsense that has no effect on anyone else.

    3. Now, look back at your prior posts, and the way you attacked Sean for not coming out on YOUR terms. Are you proud you labeled him “washed up”? How about how “she’s nobody anymore”? This was exactly the point I was trying to make, and you made it FOR me. He did what he felt was appropriate for him, and in your lives you did what you felt was appropriate for you. Calling him useless, washed up, etc. is no worse than me implying that you’re whores, lazy, or drug-addled assholes. Do I really think so? Nah, but I did feel the need to point out exactly what’s wrong with our community. The name-calling, infighting, backbiting, and catty rude bitchiness have provided nothing but obstacles for my generation. I’m sorry, but simply living in the Village or Chelsea doesn’t mean you contributed in any real way. Being witty by tearing others down because of their clothes, bodies, wrinkles, age, or anything else didn’t help me get engaged.

    4. Sean Hayes didn’t come out before now. Big deal! At least he doesn’t go around acting like his answers were the right ones for everyone else. It doesn’t mean that he was ashamed. It means that he didn’t think that his personal life, which MAY have distracted people from his life’s work wasn’t a gamble he wanted to take, and that’s just fine.

    5. In response to Jeffrob, someone’s sexuality doesn’t affect their integrity at all. If someone is a journalist, what I care about is accurate facts. If Anderson Cooper tells me a news story, and Katie Couric tells me the EXACT same news story, with the same facts, neither one of them has more or less credibility. He has decided that his personal life as a gay man has no bearing on his career as a JOURNALIST, and you know what? He’s completely right.

    Now, I do apologize if I came out swinging, but sometimes, I’ve learned that the best way to get my point across is to hit where it hurts. It brings me no joy to know that people before me had to watch so many friends die. Or that they were beaten, killed, or suffered so much, and I AM appreciative to those who did their part. I do, however, ask that those who didn’t do their part when it was their turn at least stop taking credit for things. It’s a disservice to the people who WERE rioting at stonewall in that era, and the people like myself who ARE working and doing our part today. Stow the bitchiness. That’s all my generation asks, and it’s certainly not too much to expect.

  99. Chitown Kev says

    This is been a fascinating discussion where I’ve enjoyed sitting on the sidelines for a bit.

    I think it would have been one thing if Sean Hayes had remained closeted simply for his acting career, without regards to roles.

    But, yes, Hayes was every bit the gay minstrel and that’s kind of what I hold against him; Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin or (for that matter) George Michael ever made money off of such a stigmatized stereotype of gay people as did Sean Hayes.

    So in spite of the fact that, surely, there will be queer theorists who will go back and analyze the Jack character and thourghly demonstrate the ways in which the character “problematized” gay stereotypes as opposed to confirming him, Hayes will be remembered as a Stephen Fitchit. Nothing more, nothing less.

  100. Happily Married says

    @Joey: All you proved is that you are a douche. I work for a GLBT rights organization, I don’t live in NY and I don’t do anything that you were being critical of. I was standing up for people who were not deserving of criticism from someone who claims to be gay. None of that changes the fact that Sean Hayes does not have the right to be secretive about being gay (which directly implies that it is something to be ashamed of whether you admit it or not)while being an actor on Television playing a gay character, making millions of dollars, and then claim to have advanced the cause of gay rights– WITHOUT SUFFERING ANY CRITICISM.

  101. Mark says

    It is too late or we would have been better off never hearing from him. If he had done this in the pinnacle of success while Will & Grace was a hit, the sheer number of LGBT youth whose parents laughed at W & G may have finally had an “in” to talk to mom and dad about.

    Certainly, WHO he sleeps with is none of our business; but in a world where homosexuals can still be denied housing and employment in many states and municipalities and “don’t ask don’t tell” is still on the books, revealing WHAT SEX he sleeps with in the midst of his career could have had a greater impact on many average people. Frankly, Ellen coming out was her part as far as I’m concerned. The highlight of her career was yet to come, and she still came out. She doesn’t have to go to a pride parade, talk about it everyday until her face goes blue. She has already laid it on the line, let the chips fall, and stuck it out.

    This is, of course, my opinion, and everyone else is entitled to theirs. Sean Hayes…love the guy but should have continued to keep it to himself (and probably would have had everyone stopped badgering him), as should have Advocate.

  102. Happily Married says

    @Joey: If you are making excuses for anyone to remain in the closet in this country in 2010, you are part of the problem not part of the solution. You are undermining whatever work you may be doing in your organization and I don’t know of a single credible GLBT rights organization that takes that position.

  103. JeffRob says

    Joey: “someone’s sexuality doesn’t affect their integrity at all. If someone is a journalist, what I care about is accurate facts.”

    I didn’t say sexuality affects integrity. But honesty does. You want accurate facts? One accurate fact is that Anderson Cooper is a gay man, and yet only the gay community knows it. That’s not honest.

    But Anderson’s situation is much different than Sean’s. He’s not a reporter for LOGO. He’s not in a gay job. It’s still stupid and sad for him to not be out, but not anywhere near as offensive as “Just Jack”.

    The more think I about it, the more pissed off I am. He was playing the most iconic, most stereotypical gay character ever on television, and to the entire world, he was a straight actor playing the role.

    Fuck you, Sean Hayes.

  104. Joey Y says

    @Happilymarried, are you listening to yourself? I’ll bypass you calling me a “douche” as it’s juvenile and has no place in an adult debate about these issues. As you said:

    “None of that changes the fact that Sean Hayes does not have the right to be secretive about being gay (which directly implies that it is something to be ashamed of whether you admit it or not)while being an actor on Television playing a gay character, making millions of dollars, and then claim to have advanced the cause of gay rights– WITHOUT SUFFERING ANY CRITICISM.”

    Actually, he has EVERY right to come out, OR NOT, now matter WHAT he does professionally or HOW successful he was. Just because he’s given to causes quietly and didn’t show up in pride parades as some Grand Marshal doesn’t mean he’s ANY less entitled to privacy than ANYONE ELSE. It’s HIS life, he’s an ACTOR, not an ACTIVIST. He’s a PERFORMER, not your SYMBOL, and he’s got the right to choose that for himself, HOW he wants, WHEN he wants, IF he wants. It’s still , and it’s still NONE of your business, or anyone else’s. That is, unless you WANT to give people the excuses to meddle in our BEDROOMS for the rest of our lives. We can’t ask conservatives to mind their own business if we don’t do the same.

    As a rebuttal to you Mark, what if he had come out? Would those parents then have been as comfortable watching W&G as they were before (citing the fall of Ellen’s sitcom)? Would it REALLY have made things easier for the kids, or is that just speculation? After all, you did have TWO gay characters on the show, one of which was the TITLE character. So here you have it, a straight guy playing Will, the successful, pulled-together lawyer, and the gay guy playing Jack, the flighty, promiscuous, buffoonish character. Do you really think some 14-year-old would have the fortitude to sit down with their parents that they were otherwise afraid to approach and have a conversation about how they identified with Sean Hayes being out, but then explain how they needn’t be alarmed by his behavior? Even people posting on this forum have expressed regret at the directions the writing of the Jack character took, so would you prefer to have THAT be the role model, or someone more like a daytime Ellen or Rachel Maddow, who at least can bring intelligence and professionalism to the table?

  105. TANK says

    I know more about joey y (including his child-like name–grown men don’t go by “joey,” sorry) than I ever wanted to. All this fag fight needs is your angry crazy tranny to start gouging out eyes.

    Why are people talking about sean hayes? It’s insane…he was a closeted lavender face; a throwback…and now he’s unfit to be center block on hollywood squares. Who cares if he came out, dies in a car accident, or drinks himself to death.

  106. Happily Married says

    @JoeyY: Once again, you didn’t understand what I said. Read the whole sentence. I never said he didn’t have the right to stay in the closet. I said he didn’t have the right to do so and then go unchallenged about his decision.
    It’s like when Sarah Palin or Carrie Prejean make one of their idiotic comments and then is called on it. They get all indignant at their critics and say ‘we have free speech’ and “how dare people try to censor us!”
    But nobody is saying they can’t speak. Critics are simply calling them out on their bullshit. Free speech doesn’t include some crazy rule that nobody can challenge your decisions or statements.
    Mr. Hayes (or any gay or lesbian person, famous or not) has every right to stay in the closet. Nobody can make that decision for them. But the GLBT community has every right to form an opinion of them based on their actions. My heroes are ordinary people who bravely come out, even in the face of negative consequences. They all should be on the cover of the Advocate for advancing our cause and educating the world. Sean Hayes was not an ordinary person. He chose to be in the limelight, where the rules of privacy are unquestionably different. All rich and famous people sacrifice some of their privacy–it’s part of the deal. He had a golden opportunity to become a true role model and a hero to all of us–and it would have been EASY. Clearly it’s not too hard to say “yes, I’m gay” and clearly he must not think it would be the end of his career BECAUSE HE JUST DID IT. He was already assumed to be gay. He was loved by millions of people while being assumed to be gay. He had so much money he didn’t ever have to work again or he could produce his own projects. And how hard is it really to ride on a fricking float and have adoring fans smile and wave at you? To show up at a Prop 8 rally and say a few words? Is that beyond his capabilities?
    He didn’t HAVE to do any of it, but he was presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to do some major good and he chose another path. What did he really have to lose and where did it get him? How can you blame any self-respecting gay or lesbian person from looking at that decision and saying “he sucks”? At the very least, I think we get to call him out on his “contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America” statement, don’t you? He said himself if anyone wanted to argue that, he’s open to it. Why aren’t you?
    Do we as a community reward people for staying in the closet for selfish reasons and then coming out of the closet later on–for selfish reasons? Not in my book.
    Oh, and it’s “juvenile” for me to call you a douche for “setting a trap” for me to “fall into” by writing hateful,disingenuous slurs, but when you called me a bitch, that fit your criteria for having a place in an adult debate about these issues. Nice.

  107. Don says

    “Will and Grace” brought gay characters into prime time. That hadn’t been done up to that point. It was a hit and that helped a lot of people who were unexposed to us understand that we are not the evil people that our traditional enemies make us out to be. The show probably gave many the courage to come out, or at least to accept themselves, and many others the courage to accept loved ones as they came out. If that is what Sean means by his contribution, I agree with him. He could have been more courageous about his own coming out, but that does not obviate what that show, of which he was a major part, did for our community.

  108. Ben says

    No, you do not have to get on a float. If we want to be “normal”, some of us need to just live our lives. Open, but just like anyone else’s. You see every straight person on a float? But just the same, Hayes was in. He was asked hundreds of times for over a decade and dodged. Saying you’re straight is not the only way to be in, hiding is virtually the same as lying. The path to acceptance is for some of us to be in peoples’ faces, but most of us just being known and average. People stop opposing our rights when they know one of us personally, not from the TV.

  109. Ben says

    However, I hate this “privacy” bullshit. No straight person in the history of the world considers their sexuality personal and private. Who you are attracted to is no more personal and private than the color of your eyes. If you’re straight. If you’re gay, and you feel it is, then what you mean is it’s a SECRET.

  110. David DeAngelis says

    If there’s a benefit that comes to the community from “modeling” a lovable, funny gay character on television, doesn’t it follow that, by modeling refusing to publicly own being gay for 12 years, something ELSE comes to the community?

    It comes down to WHY a public figure would choose to overtly “not own” something for a decade. Not just by not mentioning it – but refusing to own it. If you were in a relationship with someone, and your partner wouldn’t introduce you to anyone or own up to the relationship, would you stay in the relationship? Probably not, because you’d probably (correctly) assume that the person was ashamed of you.

    Shouldn’t the community feel the same way? Shame is a big thing. It’s the opposite of Pride – which is why we celebrate Pride to begin with. The opposite of Pride is shame, and if you’re not owning being gay, then you’re telegraphing that you must be ashamed to own it, or there’s something wrong with owning it. Don’t ask, Don’t tell.

    So, Sean, although I love and admire you, your talent, and all you have achieved, I think you’re in denial that you were telegraphing something else all that time in addition to the positive message. And that “negative” message probably resonated with many people who like to laugh at gay people, but who also feel comfortable with their belief that something’s wrong with being gay at the same time. “I like that guy, Sean. He’s funny, but he knows enough that being gay is something you should be quiet about.” This is something I’ve actually HEARD someone say at a dinner table.

    Do I think you’ve helped the community? Yes. Do I like and admire you? Yes. Very much. But I think there’s something here that you’re either not seeing, or don’t want to own. That’s ok, it’s your personal choice and your life. But at least understand that people aren’t demanding the world of you so much as having a visceral reaction to the shame thing that can be perceived as implied over those 12 years.

    Congratulations, though, on the Advocate interview and coming out publicly. As Shakespeare wrote, All’s Well That Ends Well.

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